Your corporate image is a vital asset you should protect at all costs. Your business reputation is essential for growing and strengthening your institutional and commercial relationships. While a recent study has shown that consistent brand representation can increase your revenues by 33%, threats to your reputation and other associated risks can negatively affect you. That said, here are seven crucial threats to identify and address immediately.
1. Careless statements on social media
While social media has become vital for directly engaging and communicating with customers, it can be complicated and easily harm your business reputation when you make insensitive statements. Word travels faster in today’s hyper-connected world, and what appears to be a harmless comment could easily backfire and ruin your reputation within minutes. While it’s essential to keep everyone inside your business in check, posts on their personal social media accounts can fall back on the business. So you have to be extra cautious when managing your brand or business social media pages. Also, ensure that your workers are careful of their comments as well.
2. Poor quality products and services
Receiving repeated complaints about the quality or safety of the products or services might harm your brand’s image. Fortunately, implementing the appropriate quality control checks can enable the early detection of areas and processes prone to such risk scenarios and allow for timely intervention. The consequences of ignoring this may include loss of business, liability, productivity, and increased costs.
3. Company data leakage
Insider threats are one of the biggest issues small businesses face today. According to a recent study, over 34% of businesses globally are affected by insider threats annually. The conduct of current or former workers, associates, and business contractors can ruin your reputation. While greed or malice may be the motive, it usually occurs due to ignorance and negligence. External entities like cybercriminals can also be the culprit, and they do so by deploying new methods like credential stuffing to access and leak your company data.
You may be wondering, what is credential stuffing? Think of it as cybercriminals using stolen credentials to build an army of bots that attempt to login into your system or website. Usually, businesses that utilize multiple cloud-based services require different accounts to log in. However, your data can be compromised when you use the same password for different accounts or when passwords are easy to guess.
4. Questionable relationships
Having links with organizations or individuals implicated in criminal acts can hurt an organization’s reputation. As a result, it’s critical to research the organizations or individuals you’ll be forming any relationship with, whether as suppliers, customers, or partner businesses. It is best to examine the business’s processes, review their documents to know what they are engaged in, and possibly request information about the business owners. Ensure to verify the information provided and report any irregularity to the appropriate agency or authority.
5. Lack of reputation monitoring
It’s easy to get caught up in operating a business and forget what others say about you. While many enterprises commit this mistake, it is a huge one you want to avoid. Often, customers may assume your business doesn’t care about the critical reviews or postings on social media when their questions are left unanswered. For many, this could be an admission of guilt or a display of arrogance. Unfortunately, neither is good for business, so it is essential to keep monitoring your reputation online and make efforts to improve them.
Time management is crucial and may go a long way toward building a solid business reputation. Failure to honor time obligations can be a poor reflection of your business or brand. On the other hand, punctuality communicates to clients, employees, and associates that you value their time. For this reason, it can be useful to practice efficient time management, such as prioritizing your work and delegating when necessary. This way, you can stay ahead of your deadlines. It is also helpful to use technology to monitor your project deadlines and track meetings.
7. Lack of social responsibility and ethics
Failure to abide by compliance regulations or engage in unethical practices can tarnish your brand. You should ensure your actions don’t endanger the environment. This means ensuring quality control measures, such as adhering to health, hygiene, and safety regulations. It is also wise to protect employee and client personal information.
Maintaining a positive brand perception is key to sustaining your business growth. Therefore, it is better to recognize these reputation-busters to protect your business.