The biggest hidden asset of any business is a good reputation. It will never show up on the books. Yet it may be the greatest moneymaking factor in your business. Here are some specific ideas on how to improve this valuable asset.
The economic crash from this pandemic has hit everyone hard. Capitalize on the spirit of Thanksgiving by sharing a positive message. Reach out to people you work with in one form or another. Doing this is an act of kindness. Building your reputation is also a wise business move.
Before you take any action, develop a comprehensive plan, and prepare your elevator pitch. The plan should address which groups want to contact and how you plan on contacting them.
Once you have your plan, your elevator pitch should be an integral part of all your communications. This pitch is your status update on the current state of your business. Write out a short positive summary you can deliver in no more than 2 to 3 minutes. Read it out loud. Change it until you can speak it clearly and easily. You want to be able to deliver a consistent message verbally or in writing.
You do not need to deliver it verbatim every time. What you do need to do is keep it short and focused. Something short and memorable is how you will build up your reputation. This is not a gripe list. This is where you show how you have managed these difficult times and let them know you have a plan for moving forward.
Here are some tips for working with different groups.
- Give them a call. Start with the pleasantries showing genuine concern for their families, their employees/coworkers, and their business.
- Respond with your elevator pitch and whatever information you feel comfortable sharing in a casual conversation.
- Let them know this is a thank you call. Show your appreciation and assure them you’re looking forward to doing normal business with them again as soon as circumstances allow.
- This is the type of relationship building that ensures your status as a preferred customer. I can guarantee a small effort like this will yield valuable benefits at some point in the future.
Have you had to cut jobs? Or furlough employees? Are you hoping to recall or rehire these people?
Employees are your physical greatest asset. Providing current and former employees with your status update on the business can help everyone. You do not have to have all the answers. Share what information you have about the present and include your hopes, dreams, or plans for the future.
For a group announcement like this, I would recommend a personal letter. Not a business letter or a form letter. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give another person is hope. A letter from you showing that you care and expressing your hope for the future could make a difference in someone’s life.
III) Clients and Customers
The public is the most difficult group to reach. Our industry normally does not communicate with its customers through standard media advertisements. You will have to be creative.
Look for opportunities to contribute to your community. Being active in your community is the best way to improve your reputation. Issue a press release about your participation.
- Do you have food in the warehouse with approaching expiration dates?
- Gathers it up to make a large donation to a local food bank.
- Check with community organizations about upcoming events.
- Find out how you can sponsor or contribute to the event
- Groups are always looking for speakers.
- Create a positive message about your business, our industry, or an upcoming community event your business is involved with or is sponsoring. Offer to speak, virtually or in-person depending on the current circumstances in your community.
Why should you do this?
This is your chance to capitalize on the sentiment of the season. Take actions that show kindness and appreciation. Add to the status and reputation of your company by projecting a positive image during this troubled time.
The best benefit is probably not even business related. Doing the right thing is something you should feel this all the way into your soul. A good personal reputation is the type of thing that will make your mama proud.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone
This may not be the year for a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving celebration, but is still a good time to remember family and friends.