Working hard is a requirement when it comes to running a successful startup.
Not only does it take hard work and dedication to get your startup going but you must also begin building a reputation for your business. You have to build a brand in which your customers can associate your company with – something they can trust, depend on and share the message about what it is your company can do for them.
While you are aiming for your customers to associate your brand with positive experiences, there are four mistakes that many businesses make which are ultimately damaging their brand and reputation.
1. Aiming too high. This may be hard to believe, but it is possible to set your goals and standards too high for your products or services. Your customers expect nothing but the best – especially if you begin marketing a product that you title as ‘unbeatable’ or the ‘best product available’. The problem is, if you say you have the best product then you had better have the best product. Customers will always find flaws and issues within your products, so be prepared to have your self-esteem rocked if you really believe your product is flawless. Expecting mistakes will allow you to create a new and improved product and give you the ability to boast about how much better it is than the previous model.
2. Tooting your own horn. Having confidence in your company is obviously important and speaks loudly about your dedication and passion in your project, but going overboard can be annoying. There is no reason to constantly gloat about how awesome your products are or why no company will compare to yours. First of all, it’s untrue because there is probably a brand that is better than yours and secondly – nobody likes arrogance. It’s annoying and unattractive. You want your brand to be easy to relate to; give your brand a personality. Would you want to have lunch with someone who is talking about how sexy and awesome they are? Your audience doesn’t want to either.
3. Having lousy customer service. Do you remember the last time you called your phone company only to be put on hold for twenty-five minutes? Large corporations may be able to get away with that because they’re so successful and are already corporate giants, but small businesses can completely destroy their brand with poor customer service. People don’t want to call with an issue or question and be put on hold or not given direct answers. Your customer service representatives are the basis of a trustworthy company, so investing in having a qualified customer service department is crucial to your brand and its reputation.
4. Speaking negatively about the competition. It’s still true today: nobody likes a sore loser. You will always have competition; a company will always have similar products to yours and there will always be someone who is just a little bit better. Once you have accepted what it is you’re competing for, don’t badmouth the opposing team. Find out what it is they’re doing with their business or what they’re doing that is different from you and incorporate it into your own products and services. Taking in whatever they are doing and implementing your own ideas will give you the best of both worlds.
Creating a reputation for your company is what will help give your customers a reason to give their loyalty to your business. This is essential for running a successful startup. Sign up for your free subscription to Successful Startup 101 to get other exclusive tips and tools for startup founders that you won’t be able to receive anywhere else.