“Do you mean to tell me, that you have hung your slender reputation on the broad shoulders of a eunuch cat?”
A sarcastic comment made about a Marmalade Cat character in the Orlando books, bitter response when success was observed by a less successful peer of the author. Written by a painter the stories conveyed possibility and, although success wasn’t guaranteed, the author had a persistence which guaranteed her reputation along with, for those who enjoyed the stories, guaranteed memories.
Reputation suspends from a business’s character and it is from which customers or employees reflect on their experiences, not realising reputation sticks like a shadow, indifference can be costly to business because a business reputation goes out to its readers; investors, suppliers, purchasers, possible new, or current, customers and employees. Leaving reputation exposed without a backward glance, held as if by the driest adhesive to a greasy wall, it’s intangible yet an essential asset, acquisition that can’t be bought but coveted and cultivated relative to peer businesses, holding both potential and retention in terms of sustained financial outcome and the addition of value.
Fighting fires consumes any business, invariably there are always more problems than hours or people to do them, and ongoing problems can overtake each other for attention. Enter Jack-be-Nimble, the Ace up the sleeve attitude of successful small business, whose ability is to quickly jump over candles and prevent them becoming fires through direct overseeing of business; outsourcing, networking and generally responding quickly to any slack, actively looking for the fire before it takes hold. Support that non-corporate business implements to reach out and add, not subtract value, to reputation. Whilst many of the big boys are aware of reputation management and usually have the matching big budgets in place, smaller businesses are all too often not even aware of their reputation. Sites such as Facebook are perfect environment for a business to be reassured by the 99 people who are happy with them versus the 1 who might not be but, encouraged by the support, as opposed to a reactive or defensive reaction, aim should remain always to understand the 1 and prevent any reaction through aggravation. Monitoring, for the small business, doesn’t necessitate a big budget, however, it does mean that any avenue used as measuring stick, requires overseeing, as opinion, being abstract, will always mean unhappy customers. Business basics are no different from Orlando’s time, however, the world of business is very different. A reputation doesn’t have to be as old as this fictional moggie but will be rooted in authenticity, therefore intentions need to be built upon every day because every size of business with a mainstay of service is susceptible to reputation. Seemingly acting as a mirror, reputation shouldn’t be confused with image, and it’s important that the little guys know they can be David to their Goliaths, therefore abilities, of those beneath the radar of Corporate, should include amongst their armoury, an awareness of the need for reputation to come from within before it moves to any peripheral arena.
Smaller organisations and their advocates are aware they can rarely use price as an advantage for using them but are always able to illustrate the powerful advantage of being up close to the customer. With an ability to be flexible and react to their customer’s requirements, getting to the root of any problem is a successful fire blanket for business and its reputation, and should give businesses a sense of satisfaction with the way they run their businesses reputation – which is different from Orlando’s perceived self-satisfaction.
(Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF)