In business, a good reputation is everything.
- It will guarantee you more customers.
- You will be protected from slander and bad word of mouth.
- You will attract the best hires.
As a consequence of these things, a positive reputation will protect you from failure. This won’t be news to you, of course, as you are probably aware of businesses both large and small who have suffered losses because of a bad reputation.
Consider the following examples. Should your business fall prey to these mistakes, you can say farewell to your reputation.
Engage in criminal behaviour
Illegal behaviour of any kind will get you in trouble with the law, and consequently into the attention of the press. Consider Hollywood wunderkind Harvey Weinstein, for example. He has been embroiled in controversy due to the multiple accounts of sexual abuse filed against him. And not only has he come under fire, but his executives at The Weinstein Company have also come under attack for being complicit to the alleged assaults. The company will now have to rebrand itself or shut for good.
The takeaway for you is this. For starters, don’t engage in criminal activity, in either your personal or business life, because despite being morally wrong, your name and business will be shattered as a consequence. And if you suspect criminal behaviour within your company, be that from somebody higher than you, one of your employees, or a business partner, don’t be complicit! Say something and take the appropriate action, because you might get dragged into the mix when these illegal behaviours become common knowledge.
Ignore your environmental responsibilities
Some of our biggest businesses have come under fire for their lack of care for the environment. The agricultural giant, Archer Daniels Midlands, once faced multi-million dollar lawsuits for releasing cancer-causing pollutants into the air. American Electric Power came under attack for their carbon-dioxide spewing coal plants. And Shell are famous for their oil spills in the North Sea. These are just a few examples, and while they have tried to clean up their acts, many businesses, large and small, still come under scrutiny today from environmental groups.
So, what about your business? Should you be involved in any sector within the manufacturing sector, you need to clean up your act. You should consider renewable energy sources to power your operation, invest in technologies to manage the risk of pollutants, and partner with companies such as Tristarwater, who are equipped testing for impurities in commercial water plants. But even if your business is office based, there is much you can do, from reducing your plastic waste to enforcing recycling policies. Think about it, and take action, not only to secure a positive business reputation but to do your bit in saving the planet and its inhabitants as well.
We have only covered two reputation-shattering examples, but there are other examples here. Read them, heed them, and along with our suggestions, make every effort to stay on the right side of customer and media opinion. You might struggle to make a comeback if your reputation suffers, and that will have dire consequences for both you and your business.
Thanks for reading!