When it comes to running a business, your company’s public image can make you sink or swim, so it’s important to take the steps necessary to create a positive representation of what values and business practices your company encompasses. You don’t have to sit back and wait to find out what the public thinks of you; there are many steps you can take that allow you to intentionally reflect a positive picture of your company back to the world.
Give Away Eco-Friendly Promotional Items
Reusable grocery bags, water bottles made out of convertible plastic, or custom t-shirts that are made out of recycled materials, all branded with your logo, are excellent ways to subtly create an eco-conscious background for your company. The earth friendly movement is becoming much more than the phase it was a decade ago, and getting your company on board is a great way to stand out from any rival companies. It might be a bit more costly up front to invest in eco-friendly promotional items, but the admiration and respect it will win you from your customers will certainly pay off down the line.
Donate to a Good Cause
Donating to a good cause under your company’s name is a bulletproof plan to gain positive exposure for your business. Any cause is a great one to donate for, so try to pick one that means something to you. Advertising that a percentage of all proceeds will go to your cause of choice allows people to feel good about investing in your service or product, and that feeling is what helps create customer loyalty.
Demonstrate Extraordinary Customer Service Skills
In order to be the company that people drive out of their way to see, rave about to their friends and family, and maybe even pay a few dollars more for, you have to demonstrate extraordinary customer service skills. Quality of the product is only half of the equation; the other half is making every customer feel like they’re your only customer, and that’s much easier said than done. Not all customers are pleasant to work with, but you have to remember that they are keeping your business intact. Not only that, but word of mouth is a powerful force that can work for or against you, and keeping a constant patient, helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable demeanor is going to set you apart from anyone in a similar line of work.
Be Honest and Open
If it’s one thing that can tarnish a company’s reputation, it’s showcasing manipulative and deceiving behavior. If something goes wrong with one of your products, or if the service you gave wasn’t the best it could have been, address the issue, apologize, and move on. Acting defensive and trying to push the issues under the rug creates an opportunity for public backlash, but when you’re the one who brings it out in the open, you appear honest and trustworthy.
Get Involved in the Community
Aside from just donating to a good cause, actively involving yourself in your local community makes you appear relatable, down-to-earth, and genuine. Encourage your employees to join you once a month to help you raise donations for the local food bank, walk dogs at the animal shelter, or pick up trash off the streets. Hang up some pictures of your volunteer work in your office and on your website; not only will it will be refreshing to see a business owner who is concerned for the welfare of others, but getting your employees together to help better the community will help strengthen bonds around the office.
The public image of a company can make or break any business, so it’s important to take time to decide how to create a favorable one. Donating to good causes, caring about the environment, treating customers with care, being honest, and involving your company in your local community are all great ways to ensure you will be well-received by the general public, and if you’re willing to do all these things, you probably won’t ever have to worry about a bad reputation anyway.
Julie Hartwell is a freelance writer who loves anything to do with the arts, design, and effective business marketing. When she’s not embarking on her own creative adventures, she writes about custom t-shirt printing for Blue Cotton.