We are all a product of our life and business experiences. Along the way, many things are learned and adapted to be successful in business. It’s what makes each of us, as CEOs, presidents and business owners, unique in our business perspective and ability. When growing up, your parents most likely told you to always do everything as well as possible; to be honest; to do whatever it was in the right way; and to always keep your word, no matter what. By doing so you were given a set of values to serve you well throughout life and in the business world.
Being in business today is challenging. It can be really difficult some days.
As I often say:
It’s the easiest of times to start a business; the hardest of times to remain in business.
There is much upheaval of the status quo yet many things in business still remain the same only updated more appropriately to the business times we live in. There is disruption within industries and product categories. Changes in business are happening faster than ever. It’s vitally important to know what’s best for your company yet, at the same time, not get left behind. It’s critical to stay two steps ahead of the competition – which is becoming more and more competitive each day, whether you realize it or not. In addition, there is the constant barrage of the news media cycle and social media to contend with in your good business practices.
That’s why now more than ever it’s important for CEOs, presidents and business owners to:
Keep your word.
It’s essential to your business success to have a reputation people absolutely can trust and feel comfortable with.
- If your customers don’t feel, even the slightest bit, able to fully trust you and your company, they likely will look elsewhere at the very first opportunity.
- If your employees sense a lack of trust in the workplace culture, company turnover will be higher than average for your industry.
- Even vendors and other business service professionals will not seek or continue to do business with you.
In today’s business world, with the ever increasing popularity of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., if you or your company do or say something even remotely perceived as wrong or incorrect including and most importantly, keeping your word, you’ll be contending with public relations issues spreading faster than your organization can handle. Even harder to get your trusted reputation back.
That’s why it’s important to make certain whatever is said by you, the CEO, president or business owner, or any of your employees can be relied upon as credible information; that it can be backed up, accounted for and verified in some way or another. When you do it right in business you’re making promises that can be kept – or if necessary, easily rectified to the satisfaction of those involved. This applies to customers, employees and vendors you work with every day.
Keep your word in business.
Maintaining trust + your business reputation = Business Success.
As a CEO, president or business owner, one of the most valuable assets you can have as a business person is a good or excellent reputation. It all starts when you keep your word.
- If a work project for a client is promised to be done by a mutually agreed upon date and time, keep your word.
- If during an employee review you promise a salary raise, keep your word.
- If you say to a client you will get back to them by phone or email, keep your word.
- If you make a business appointment for a specific time, keep your word.
- If you owe vendors money, keep your word.
- If you always bring to the office donuts on Monday morning or order pizza for employees on Fridays, keep your word.
As a CEO, president or business owner, who else do you need to keep your word with for continued business success? Essentially everyone. But more specific, consider:
- Your bank and/or the bank manager. Important to pay on time each month those bank loans or if you ever want an increase to your line of credit to grow the business.
- Your insurance company and/or insurance agent. Be upfront about the real value of company equipment, buildings and vehicles.
- The CPA or tax accountant. Make certain profit & loss (P&L) statements are up-to-date and factually correct line-by-line. Your company accountant can assist not only with business taxes but also information when securing credit lines; as well as if and when you decide you want to sell your business. Accuracy with company numbers is critical throughout the years of operating a business.
Let’s take a moment to look at your company’s marketing. Do you keep your word consistent through all the company marketing channels? If your company cannot keep its word, is bragging or over exaggerating but can’t deliver fully on the marketing claims, it will ultimately destroy the business. That is a fact. Always be able to back up what you say in any business medium.
Before social media…
Before the internet and the world wide web…
There were business people and companies who got away with unfavorable business practices and did business in a wide geographical area. But today that isn’t the same situation in business. It’s not just word of mouth that gives a business a bad reputation in a town or a city spread by the local residents. Now the concept of “everybody knows everybody” is far reaching due to technology with smartphones, Google search, videos and cameras at our instant disposal to tell an unfavorable story. Word travels fast. In today’s business world, any bad business practices with customers, employees and vendors can’t be hidden.
What do you do if you or the company you lead makes a business mistake? Admit to the mistake. No matter how small or how large the mistake may be. Don’t try to gloss over the mistake. Don’t push the blame to someone else. Admit to your role in the mistake. People will appreciate and find the honesty refreshing in today’s competitive business world. Turn the mistake around for the future greater good of your company and all those affected by the mistake. You’ve probably heard this before but it’s true: Learn from your mistakes. Then keep moving forward with the newly gained business knowledge.
As a CEO, president or business owner, I am asking you to think through everything you:
- Advertise, Market or Produce
Guard your reputation. It can be shattered in a moment.
Understand that if you…
- say the wrong thing
- do the wrong thing
- tell an untruth
…it potentially can take mere minutes to flash it around the world. Then you will be in defense mode and crisis management trying to “clean up” whatever it was for an undetermined amount of time. Something you definitely don’t want to experience with personally or with your business.
- Words have meaning.
- Words are powerful.
- Words are important.
Always choose your words carefully; with thought and genuine intent.
Make sure your words are the right words at the right time; saying the right things to the intended individual or audience.
Deliver an honest and as positive a message as possible so people will want work with you and do business with you.
Never do or say something in anger during the business day no matter what the situation. Most likely, you will only regret it later – but it may be too late to reverse course or apologize for your words.
That’s why it’s more important more than ever to keep your word for business success.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide variety of industries, to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business people trust Howard’s vast business knowledge, intuitive insight and objective perspective to solve business problems and issues. Get MORE from your business. Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.
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