Reputation And Entrepreneurship- What Startups Can Do To Enhance It

StrategyDriven Starting Your Busines Article |Enhance Reputation |Reputation And Entrepreneurship- What Startups Can Do To Enhance ItStarting up a new business is never easy but this wouldn’t dissuade someone born with an entrepreneurial streak. When you establish your dream venture, there’s always a lot to handle. Apart from the financial challenges and hard work to be invested, you need to be very careful about managing your reputation at all times. One slip at this stage can throw your reputation off track and your company may never be able to take off.

On the other hand, a solid reputation right from the start can build the trust, credibility, and loyalty of your customers. Also, it can present you as a reliable prospect for suppliers and partners. Together, these factors can give you the growth push that your startup needs. It makes sense to put all the effort you can in building your reputation. Here are some measures that can help you enhance the reputation of your entrepreneurial venture.

Invest in consistent branding

Branding serves as the bridge between a business and its customers. It is all the more important at the startup stage when you want the potential audience to know, recognize, and recall your business. Investing in a consistent branding initiative makes it possible to build a reputation for your product and brand. Start by creating a compelling narrative that highlights your value proposition. Encourage the first customers to stay with your brand and propagate it with word-of-mouth recommendations. Incentivize them for spreading the word around because people tend to trust other people rather than brands. Ensure that the tone of voice and messaging is consistent across all the branding channels.

Have the right people on board

While a great branding plan gets you a head start with your reputation, you cannot sideline the value that people can add to your brand’s presence. This is one more reason why entrepreneurs should prioritize having the best people in their team. Hard skills do matter but you should onboard people who are great with interpersonal skills as well. Customer-facing roles, in particular, require extra care and attention. After all, these are the people who will interact with your customers. Moreover, those dealing with suppliers, vendors, and partners should also be capable of keeping up your reputation with positive and friendly interactions.

Steer clear of legal issues

Legal hassles are one of the most common reasons why any business may face reputational damage. Startups are at a higher risk because they aren’t aware of the issues they may come across, from intellectual property breaches to founder disputes, workplace discrimination and more. The legal risk can be unexpected, like personal injury cases from customers and third parties. The injured victim will probably get a law firm offering top-notch legal solutions to represent them for a compensation claim. While lawsuits have financial implications, the loss of reputation can be a bigger issue. So you must do everything you can to steer clear of them in the first place.

Get the basics right

Besides avoiding specific legal issues, getting your basics right is equally important to protect your reputation as a startup. This is something that a majority of founders overlook and end up paying a heavy price. Double-check your calculations while doing sales figures, financials, and taxes. Go the extra mile with product design safety and testing and avoid service errors that may bring bad reviews. Do everything possible to keep customers happy because a single bad review can send your reputation plummeting. Even if you do get a negative review, address it immediately and try winning the customer’s favor.

Grow at an optimal pace

It may be great to experience booming growth and have a huge customer base quickly. But an unrealistic speed of growth can actually lead to unrealistic expectations that you may not be able to handle in the long run. Your efforts should be to move ahead at a consistent yet optimal pace, focusing on long-term relationships rather than only immediate revenues and profits. Keep a close eye on your growth graph and ensure that you are always on the right track. The processes you have in place should be scalable and reproducible with other people, rather than being dependent on only a few people.

Your reputation depends on your business and it works the other way around as well. So it becomes important to follow the best practices and be committed to giving the best to your customers. Avoid every small slip and admit your mistake even if you make them. A proactive approach towards resolving issues goes a long way in giving you a healthier reputation.

How to Build Your Brand Successfully

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Build your Brand|How to Build Your Brand Successfully Starting a business comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges, but it can be one of the most satisfying experiences you’ll ever have, especially if it becomes a success! Of course, anyone starting a new business venture has such intentions, but there are some key elements that entrepreneurs must get right to succeed.

One of these things is the branding of a company and building brand awareness. If this is your first experience with a start-up, here are some top tips to help you build your brand successfully


Every step of starting a business will require you to do thorough research and to help create a top brand. To do that, assessing the market is where you will need to start. First of all, see what brands appear to be most popular with consumers and ask yourself why that is. Looking at other successful brands and how they operate is a good way to plan your business model. You must also make sure your brand stands out from other companies, especially ones that are offering similar products/services to yours. Always keep yourself updated on consumer’s demands and trends in the marketplace to keep your brand relevant.


As most consumers search for businesses online, it’s essential that your company has a fully functioning website with a professional finish. If you’re selling products via your website, make sure you have top-quality, secure e-commerce tools incorporated into your website functions. It should be clear what your company does, and including a blog is another great way to interact with customers and keep them updated about your business and industry news. For the best results, ask experts such as Preface Studios who can develop your website and assist with digital marketing strategies.

Social Media

Social media marketing is another essential tool for businesses in the modern era. These platforms have evolved far beyond keeping in touch with friends and relatives and now play a pivotal role in building brand awareness and connecting with consumers. While you should utilize as many of these platforms as possible, make sure that the ones you choose are relevant to the kind of business you’re setting up. This way you will be reaching the right audience and will see better results.

SEO & Other Digital Marketing

SEO tactics, email marketing and pay-per-click advertising are all great examples of additional digital marketing tools. Like social media, these tactics have become essential for businesses to market their products and boost their brand visibility. You must get your website to appear in the first 1-2 pages of web search results for consumers to discover your brand, as the majority do not bother to look beyond those pages. Either learn how to master these tactics yourself or hire a professional agency to do this for you.

Get Involved

Another great way to increase your brand awareness is by getting involved in local community projects or events on a larger scale. This is a great way to give back and will help to promote a positive image for your business, making it more attractive to consumers.
As an entrepreneur about to embark on their first business venture, use these timeless tips to help build your brand and see results.

Build Your Small Business Brand in 10 Easy Steps

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

1. Define what your brand is

Find your niche in the market. What are the special requirements or problems that your customers have and how can you help them to solve that. In order to do this effectively, you need to find out about brand competitive analysis and why you need it. This will establish what makes you unique.

2. Personify your brand

Think of your brand as a person who has their own distinct personality, opinions, beliefs and look. This helps you to build a picture.

3. Emotive brand positioning

Who does your brand hero-worship? This will shape your identity in all of your brand materials and communications.

4. Play the long game

Establishing a brand is a sprint and not a marathon. Dedicate some time to the planning stage. Make sure that you can deliver what you promise. This helps you to build long-term trust.

5. Be consistent

Experimenting with styles may be fun but it is confusing for the client. If you are consistent it will reinforce your brand character and people will know exactly what to expect.

6. Do not be boring

Whilst consistency is a good thing, being boring is not! Don’t just say the same thing over and over again. Instead, you should stick to the same message but find innovative new ways of stating it.

7. Coping other brands is not acceptable

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but this is not the case in the business world. You can get into serious legal trouble by copying people. It also does not make good business sense. Consumers are on the hunt for brands that are original and authentic. They are looking for something that matches their beliefs and lifestyle. Many of the large brands have picked up on this and are trying to look like small independents.

8. Be bold and seize the day

The beauty of running a small business is that you do not have layers of bureaucracy to wade through when you want to make a change. This makes you supremely flexible and adaptable and enables you to react to changes in the market quickly. This gives you the edge over big business.

9. Don’t look cheap and desperate

It is always a good to offer discounts to attract customers but it is possible to overdo this. You risk diluting your brand positioning. As an alternative to cutting prices, you could offer more for the same price. This adds value without looking cheap. Promotions should be targeted and short-lived.

10. Try not to be too obvious

The days of printing your logo on everything and hoping for the best are over. Generate some intrigue and be a little more subtle and mysterious.

Women Are Today’s Brand Champions

Women have been long known to be holding the purse strings when it comes to the majority of household purchases. According to Monique Nadeau, President and CEO of Hope Street Group, “Women overwhelmingly hold the consumer purchasing power in our country, whether we’re talking about individuals or households. Their understanding of the market allows them to start businesses with a high degree of insight about both their potential customers and competitors.”

Then, you might wonder why so many companies are getting it so wrong when it comes to how they market to them. They are so far off base that one recent article noted that 91% of women believe that advertisers simply “don’t understand” when it comes to the female consumer.

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About the Author

Michelle PattersonVisionary and lauded business accelerator Michelle Patterson is President of the Global Women Foundation and The California Women’s Conference – the largest women’s symposium in North America that has featured esteemed First Ladies, A-List Hollywood celebrities, and high caliber business influencers. Michelle is also the CEO of Women Network LLC, an online digital media platform dedicated to giving women a voice and a platform to share their message. Michelle may be reached at

Are you the dominant brand, or is your brand bland?

What’s the difference between you and all of your competition?

Are you different from your competition, or do you just THINK you are? Are you different from your competition, or do you just tell customers and prospects you are?

Or are you different from your competition, and others CLEARLY perceive you as both different and better?

REALITY: It’s not what you think or believe, it’s what your customers do and say.

REALITY: If I ask you what the difference between you and your prime competition is, and your answer is ‘our people’ or ‘me,’ you’re in serious trouble.

REALITY: If you asked your customer what the difference is, what would they say?

  • “Cheaper?”
  • “Closer to my home?”
  • “I dunno, been using them for years.”
  • “Six of one – half a dozen of the other.”

You’re in trouble.

Your reputation is a reality check of where you actually are versus where you think you are:

  • What’s your customer reputation? NOT A SATISFACTION SURVEY. A face-to-face talk. NOT A PHONEINTERVIEW. A face-to-face talk where you ask 100 of your customers what they really think of you, and why they buy.
  • What’s your social reputation? As posted on your business Facebook page by your customer, or as recommended by customers on their social media accounts?
  • What’s your industry reputation? How do both leaders and vendors perceive you in your industry?
  • What’s your community reputation? If you had a town hall meeting of the community, what wouldthey say about you?

Here are more painful ‘reputation’ questions about your company and your products:

  • What are you doing to build it?
  • What are you doing to innovate it?
  • What are you doing to change or enhance your customer’s experience?

Apple is the classic example of a brand, with products that back it up. Their competition is ‘me too,’ and often mentions Apple in their ads. If you brag that you’re ‘just like Apple,’ personally I want Apple. The experience I have in Apple stores is in perfect harmony with the brand they’re portraying.

In the computer industry, the smart phone industry, the tablet industry, and the music player industry, everyone has to start with some sort of comparison to Apple – just like, better than, cheaper than – whatever they say, they mention Apple. Only Apple stands alone not comparing themselves to other products unless it’s a joke. They don’t have to talk about their competition – Apple is the innovator. And they do it at their price.

What’s up in your world? Are you the dominant brand? Are you Amazon? eBay? Jello? Kleenex? Kellogg’s Corn Flakes? Jacuzzi?

HARD QUESTION: Are you comparing your products to the competition, or differentiating yourself from the competition?

HARD QUESTION: Are you trying to justify price, or does your quality reputation precede you?

OUCH QUESTION: Is your brand, product, or service market superior, and you haven’t elevated yourself to that position?

NOTE WELL: Then there are the brands that USED to be #1 and have fallen to #2 or lower. Either by inferior products, inferior service, or disgraced reputation. Blackberry, American Airlines, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, and Tiger Woods to name a few.

Here are 5.5 interviews you need to do to get the TRUTH from people who are willing to give it to you. In order to get better tomorrow, you gotta know where you are today.

1. Interview customers who love you. They’ll tell you the good stuff.
2. Interview customers who left you. They’ll tell you why, and how to improve.
3. Interview customers who said no to you. They’ll tell you why they chose someone else.
4. Interview loyal employees. They’ll tell you why they love you.
5. Interview departed employees. They’ll tell you why they left you.
5.5 Interview industry leaders. They’ll give you the big picture you may not be able to see.

CAUTION: Leave PR, marketing, and advertising out of the equation, or you may NEVER get to the truth. My recommendation is hire an outside branding company, and at least get a new perspective on the outsideworld (your customers and the marketplace) and the inside world (your people).

After your interviews, here’s what to do:

  • Be realistic as to outside opinions, and how you can create improvement.
  • Create internal excitement about innovation and new ideas.
  • Train and teach attitude, self-belief, and creativity.
  • Give people paid days off just to think and create.
  • Create a sense of self-pride in your people by listening to their thoughts and ideas.
  • Praise and implement new ideas.

RESULT: A new, market dominant, more profitable you.

If you want to learn my secret for long-term brand, name recognition, and loyal customers, go to, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word NAME in the GitBit box.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].