Building good reputations [Archives:2003/03/Business & Economy]

January 20 2003

The Road Ahead
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Why do businessmen always make it a point to ensure the satisfaction of the other party they do business with? They know that every deal they close and every business transaction they make involves more than profits and growth, it involves reputation. And that reputation will help the business organization get more business in the future.
In other words if you want to maintain your customers and make new ones you have to build and maintain a strong reputation about your business and your services. Nowadays the competition has gone beyond the market to the minds and perceptions of the customers, because they associate themselves with those business firms that have a good reputation.
No doubt, businesses, in order to survive and thrive, have to build a strong reputation. This requires four main steps: Demonstrating skills, adhering to a high standard of behavior, caring about others and knowing the organizational purpose and mission.
Demonstrating skills involves showing excellent technical skills and expanding the organization’s capabilities continuously. For example many automobile importers in Yemen import the technology but they do not have the skills and capacity to maintain it, which has resulted in a bad reputation for their after-sales services.
Also working hard is critical for building a reputation. Communicating that you work hard to your customers has a great effect on your reputation. But be careful that you don’t blow your horn too much nor work in the dark.
Adhering to a high standard in behavior means professionalism. That includes neat presentation of ideas, good time management, proper communication with your customers, handling responsibilities efficiently and effectively and more. In other words when you do something, do it right and give it the best that you can in order to ensure professionalism.
Caring about others includes excellent people management. People include everybody from employees, suppliers, distributors and customers to everyone that the business interacts with. It also involves making people like you. That can be through listening to their problems and willingness to walk that extra mile for them. Make it a point to be friendly with every body because that somebody will help in building a good reputation for you today and might as well bring you big business in the future.
Knowing your purpose is of great importance because everything else is just an activity or a short term goal that are set in order to be in support of the broad purpose or mission. Because it is your purpose which will make your name.
Remember: Combining high standards of professional behavior with a caring attitude towards people and business will make your contributions to them more visible and that will in turn build a good reputation for the business.