4 big things: preventing a reputation crisis, using your reputation to attract new customers, and more

Each week, we collect some of the best advice for small businesses from around the internet. This week, these four articles caught our attention:

  1. Shubhomita Bose: 4 steps to avoid an online reputation crisis in your small business
  2. Tripp Donnelly: Why your digital reputation matters and how to influence it
  3. Smallbusiness.co.uk: Reputation management in a small business: the dos and don’ts
  4. Kathy Simpson: Managing your online reputation: why it’s important and how to protect yourself and your small business

4 Steps to avoid an online reputation crisis in your small business

By: Shubhomita Bose

Summary: it can take months, years in some cases, to earn the trust of customers but it doesn’t take nearly as much time to lose that credibility. The internet has provided small business owners with some of the most powerful tools, like review sites, that help small business owners attract new customers. But there are still proactive steps business owners can take to protect the trust they’ve built with their customers and the reputation they’ve worked hard to establish.

Our take: These steps help small business owners take control of and promote their online reputation, and prevent a costly reputation crisis in along the way. Reviews can be a local business owner’s best friend when it comes to attracting new customers, but if left unmanaged, those reviews can backfire and actually drive customers away from your business.

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Why Your Digital Reputation Matters And How To Influence It

By Tripp Donnelly

Summary: “Reputations have always’ been a form of currency. In today’s digital world, however, our reputations are more important—and more permanent—than ever before.” – Trip Donnelly.

In this Forbes article, Tripp Donnelly gives a statistical look at the importance and impact your reputation can have on your business. As consumers continue to rely on search results, they’re placing even more trust in the reviews and customer feedback they find. Tripp continues by providing 3 ways small business owners can start improving their online reputation today.

Our take: The digital world is ever changing and new tools are emerging every day. Consumers are adopting these new technologies to help them find the best options for shopping local, and what they find when they research your business is shaping their purchasing decisions.

Reputation management isn’t a new concept for small businesses. But for the first time ever, small business owners have tools they can use to leverage and control their reputation to attract new customers.

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Reputation management in a small business: the dos and don’ts

Summary: While many small business owners have managed their business’s reputation from Day One, the digital shift has made some elements of reputation management a bit tricky. This post outlines 4 things every business owner should do—and 2 things they shouldn’t—to build and maintain a valuable reputation.

Our take: They say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but that doesn’t really apply when you’re a small business. In local markets, business reputation is crucial to success, and even minor elements can have negative effects. As reputation management has gone digital over the past decade, the playbook for building and maintaining consumer trust has changed.

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Managing Your Online Reputation: Why It’s Important and How to Protect Yourself and Your Small Business

By: Kathy Simpson

Summary: A business’s online reputation is one of it’s greatest strengths. It can be the beacon that attracts new customers or a sign of warning that tells shoppers to look elsewhere. While a business can’t control what their customers say, there are several things they can to improve their online reputation and make their business more attractive. Kathy Simpson outlines several ways small business owners can proactively manage their online reputation.

Our take: Whether your business is the trendiest new eatery in town or you run a  lawn care service, your customers are talking about you online. They’re sharing their experiences, feedback, and (hopefully) recommendations. Review sites are the backbone of your online reputation.

Many business owners have yet to embrace online reviews as a part of their reputation strategy; instead, they’ve taken an out of sight, out of mind point of view. But the truth is, even if you’re not using your online business listings, your customers can still leave comments and feedback. The only way to ensure a strong business reputation is through a proactive approach. Kathy’s guidelines are a great place to start.

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