What kind of priority would you place on your business reputation? I would imagine that it would be pretty high for most business owners — certainly more important than checking the email, going through the daily mail, reading the news on the Web, or having lunch with a friend. Yet if you ask most small business owners, how much time they allocate to assessing or marketing their reputations, they would have a hard time telling you. They focus on protecting their business reputation when addressing the issues presented by a dissatisfied customer and they may try to promote their reputation by donating time or money to community causes, but the great majority of small business owners do not set aside time to build their business reputations or to market their reputations to customers.
If your business reputation is so important, why is it treated as an afterthought? In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about time management in terms of four quadrants of tasks and priorities. Quadrant 1 is urgent and important, Quadrant 2 is not urgent and important, Quadrant 3 is urgent but not important, and Quadrant 4 is not urgent and not important. Working to build and market your reputation is most certainly a Quadrant 2 task along with building relationships, long-range planning, preventative maintenance, and preparation. Covey calls Quadrant 2 the “heart of effective personal management.” Why don’t most small business owners devote more time to this Quadrant?
Covey says that we are often drawn into spending too much time on Quadrant 1 tasks that drain the energy out of us and that we often retreat to Quadrants 3 and 4 to take unimportant phone calls, answer unimportant email, or become involved in trivia. However, Covey says that effective people stay out of these Quadrants.
To really grow your business, you need to make a commitment to allocate more time to Quadrant 2, including building and marketing your business reputation. By setting aside time every week to get quality feedback from your customers, to act on that feedback, and to promote your reputation, you will see your business take off.
I can help you start of process of gathering customer feedback and using that feedback to improve your business, your word of mouth, and your online reputation. Call me at 979-531-8300 or use the Contact form to send me an email.
- Activity vs Productivity (innovationsinpiping.com)
- Habits Make All the Difference (thecoachingsource.com)
- Covey’s Priorities Quadrant System for Startup Product Management (davidcummings.org)
- Getting A Balanced Life in Only Two Steps (zestnzen.wordpress.com)
- Prioritizing What Is Important and Non-Urgent (lisarivero.com)
- Covey on Goal Execution (writersresortllc.wordpress.com)
- Urgent and Important, I (joyfullatinlearning.wordpress.com)