In a brand conscious world, we just need to take a step back to understand the real meaning of reputation. An enterprise or organization or globally renowned company continues to stay in business – continues to make decent profits quarter after quarter because it has managed to create and sustain a sound reputation in the ever-changing market.
Wow – that was one really long sentence, but it is worth rereading it. Essentially it is a confluence of several crucial factors that spells success for any company.
The markets are constantly in a state of flux. What was in demand just yesterday is outdated today. Typewriters became obsolete when word processors came into the picture. Very soon personal computers made the word processors seem old fashioned, and now a mere hand-held device called a smartphone can literally do all our multitasking for us. All we have to do is tap, click or swipe and get our work done.
So how does one develop a reputation in this kind of a scenario?
Here are a few pointers that will give us at least the most elemental and basic factors related to the business world.
Creating a reputation
- It does not matter whether we are the owners of a multinational company or a simple entrepreneur selling bananas on the street side.
- We need to create a presence in the market first:
- We need to use our common sense and do some basic research to find out what is required in the market first. Sometimes, we overlook such a simple factor and invest huge sums of money into a business which manufactures products for which there are no takers in the market.
- If we are able to create and deliver products for which there is a constant demand, people will start acknowledging our presence. They will enquire about the name of the product or the kind of service we are providing only if they really need what we are trying to sell.
Quality: We may have to work harder than others to prove our true worth. We may have to juggle several aspects of our career or our business to maintain the quality of our products or service.
- Again, several people seek instant gratification. They are not patient enough to wait for things to happen. It takes the time to generate a reputation for ourselves. It will not happen overnight. Success is a long drawn process. We want to see immediate results. We want to make a lot of money within a short span of time. And when this does not happen we start cutting corners, compromising on our ethics/values or company policies which affect the quality of the product. And that is our biggest mistake.
- Every business has a life cycle and a season. The margin of profits may vary from quarter to quarter, but that should not adversely affect the quality of our products or our service.
- We need to have enough faith in ourselves and our team and our ability and our product or service. We should know that our product is good and it is just a matter of time before people recognize it.
- Once people acknowledge and understand the quality of our product or service, there is bound to be a steady demand. We would have created a market of customers for ourselves.
- People will keep coming back for more only if they know we are consistent with our quality of our products or service.
- If, during this often long drawn waiting period, we find that we are swamped by other competitors and intuitively feel that there is a strong risk of our business folding up – we should seriously consider advertising and marketing our products.
Technology has changed the very dynamics of advertising too. All we need to do is create a web page of our product and service and upload it to Facebook. Share it amongst groups and ask them to spread the word.
- If the product is good and there is a genuine requirement in the market, this phase of advertising will work wonders for our slack or slow business.
- Exploring the market too helps in diversifying our clientele market. We may get more customers, or we may end up creating other related products for which there is a greater demand in the market.
- Either way, we always need to ensure that the quality does not ever suffer at any point in time.
- Some businesses make a higher margin of profit because they don’t even have to invest a dime in marketing their products. Their products literally fly off the counters because there is such a significant demand. And yet, such small profitable businesses do not boost their production to match the demand because they do not wish to compromise on the quality of their products.
- You will find such small lucrative businesses around every small town and city. If we do a case study on such business houses, we will realize how simple their thinking is and therefore how effective their business strategies are. They do not believe in cost cutting, they believe in and create simple effective and practical solutions to meet the challenges that they regularly face. They do not believe in a big team size; they believe in empowering the few talented people that they have and pay them extremely well.
Creating a presence and building a reputation is an inside-out process. We need to work our way up the ladder slowly.
- If all our employees are happy, if they are able to work in a good lively and stimulating atmosphere, if there is a great team that works together cohesively, then the quality is bound to be good.
- Customer satisfaction can happen only if the employees love what they are doing. Employees love what they are doing if they are paid fairly and treated fairly. All employees like to progress in their careers and if the system of the organization is sound – employees will willingly work hard and deliver good quality work when they know that their work is acknowledged, respected, appreciated and rewarded monetarily by their seniors.
Everything and everyone is inter-related. No one can work this kind of magic single-handedly. Only if we focus on building a good reputation first, will we be able to build an enterprise which spells quality. Only if we believe in generating quality each time all the time, will our organization gain a good reputation in the market.