How to protect your brand & reputation
As a business owner, damage control is part of the everyday running of your company. Whether it’s a disgruntled customer, or unplanned sickness (you or a family member) how you react to those situations can protect or damage your brand.
At the time of writing, Manchester has 5 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. One is in Tameside where I live. Although my business is pretty much all online, I am aware of the indirect impact it could have on my business. So here are my 5 tips on protecting your brand during Conronavirus or for any issues that may occur in your business.
Unfortunately it may be inevitable that Coronavirus is going to impact businesses. But regardless of the issue just be honest with your customers. Yes, you might lose some of them but some will be grateful for your honesty. Giving your customers as much warning as possible will help them decide what they would like to do. For me, if my sons’ nursery and school closes it could have a significant impact on the time I have to work. If it is looking likely I will be notifying my customers of their options.
In relation to Coronavirus: if you do a lot of face-to-face interaction look at alternative methods of communication, options to rearrange or cancel.
2. Don’t be a d***
This is mainly in relation to Coronavirus: I’ve seen the panic buying for soap and masks, along with the ever increasing prices. If you sell these items don’t be that business that tries to boost their sales. It could have a real negative effect on your brand that could last long after its gone.
In addition, if you want to share information about the disease please use trusted sources. The best place is the World Health Organisation if you want further information.
Everyday is a learning day and when you have an issue arise (business or personal) it is a great opportunity to learn. What steps did you put in place that worked for your business? What steps didn’t? Remember to keep a note of it for next time!
4. Look for Opportunities
You can still look for opportunities without being a d*** (like in point 2). Perhaps you can still provide your services in a different way. Or even look at outsourcing some of your business until you are back on your feet again.
If there is nothing else you can do the best thing is to plan. Plan what your business is going to do in the next 6 to 12 months. Analyse the impact that this issue has had on your business – what can you do to rectify it? Could you prepare a mini relaunch when you are back up and running? This is something that I did after having my little (little) one.
Unplanned incidents are part of life. However, through damage control you can significantly reduce its impact on your business and brand.
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