Dealing with a Bad Business Reputation


Joan Jett may not have given a damn about her bad reputation, but a business owner doesn’t quite have the same luxury. While the merit and quality of what you do should always shine through, there’s no denying that a hit to your business reputation can definitely do tremendous damage to your prospects. 

So let’s say that something bad has happened. Maybe you’ve gone back on a promise. Perhaps you’ve annoyed a customer and they’ve aired out their grievances on social media in a post that’s since gone viral. Perhaps whoever is handling the social media operations of your business has accidentally retweeted something problematic. Maybe the public have found out you pay your employees remarkably low wages. Whatever the problem, you need to deal with it, fast. 

If you want to help rehabilitate your business reputation, here’s a quick guide.

Own Your Mistake 

Yes, you need to apologize. But sometimes people apologize without really being sincere, or while being evasive about who is responsible. In other words, they don’t own their mistake. You need to admit that this was your mistake, apologize publicly, and outline to the public what action you’re going to be taking in order to help right this wrong. Your words and actions should appear sincere; they shouldn’t look like mere damage control. 

Take Action & Change Your Business Principles 

There are generally fairly obvious solutions when it comes to dealing with the mistake directly. If an employee did something problematic that was revealed to the public, you can fire them. If your business practices are harmful to the environment, then work with greener businesses such as the Signature Filling Company in the manufacturing of your products, or start donating to green causes. But whatever you do, you can’t let a solution feel temporary. You need to consider making a change to your long-term business principles to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. 

Monitor The Situation 

You know those oddballs who keep searching for their own name on social media to see what people are saying about them? You may need to be that oddball for a while. People tend to air their grievances quite thoroughly on social media, so it’s one of the best places to ascertain how people are responding to the situation. You may also want to look into some deeper brand analysis. Check online reviews and press articles to see the effects in more detail; you may even want to look into online review management from a third party. You should also have a look at your sales or engagement figures to ensure you’re not experiencing any severe drops in performance. 

Carry On 

Carrying on like nothing happened isn’t an option, but neither is not carrying on at all. You need to be able to juggle this drama along with the usual business responsibilities. Production or development shouldn’t slow down as a result. You need to keep your business ship moving regardless of all this. Marketing should continue as usual (unless your marketing was part of the problem!). Content creation should continue. Take action as you need to, but don’t let it distract too much from your ultimate business goals.





I hope you enjoyed this article about how to deal with a negative business reputation, especially in the digital world.

Interested in more articles about online reputation management?

Read My Posts:

- Does A BBB Rating Still Affect Your Business 

- The Importance Of Google Reviews On Page Ranking

Published by Michael J Schiemer
Owner of Bootstrap Business
Money - Marketing - Motivation
Digital Marketing | SEO | Social Media
Mike Schiemer Builds Better Business

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