It isn’t always a business’ reputation that matters. Because the internet has allowed businesses to become more transparent, often business leaders become representatives for the values of their organizations. Thus, entrepreneurs must be mindful of their personal brand and reputation, as much as their businesses’.

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As Warren Buffet said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Maintaining a positive personal reputation can be difficult, especially as millions of consumers watch your every move on traditional and social media.

If you want your impeccable name to rub off on your business, you need to consider the following advice for developing and keeping a stellar reputation:

Cultivate Personal Integrity

The foundation of a good reputation is integrity, and you can build integrity by having a history of making good on positive intentions. For example, if you have spoken about improving your business leadership skills, you should be willing to enrol in courses to better yourself.

You can continue growing your business and gain respectable credentials by enrolling in an online MBA program that requires no GMAT.

Even if you make mistakes, your inherent integrity should be strong enough to preserve your good reputation.

Control your character

As you and your business gain popularity, you’ll slowly but surely lose control of your public image. The media loves to weave stories, true and false, about important figures. Even hardworking entrepreneurs aren’t safe from vicious media attacks. It is important to remember that even though you can’t control what the media does, you can control what you do.

As long as you always do what is right — for your business, for your employees, and for your customers — the media will have an especially hard time painting you with the bad reputation brush.

Be utterly transparent

Secrets are the greatest enemy to a good reputation. Usually, disputes arise and rumors circulate due to misunderstandings, which can be dispelled completely through full disclosure.

Your priority should be keeping everyone who works for you informed on the goals and efforts of the business. When employees understand what is happening at all levels, they are better equipped to solve problems efficiently and successfully.

You should also take pains to inform your audience of goings-on at your business, so they can lend appropriate support and feedback as necessary.

Be completely accountable

It’s unthinkable that you can enjoy a long, fruitful career without making a single mistake. Many (typically unpopular and unsuccessful) entrepreneurs play the blame game, unloading their failures on their subordinates in a desperate attempt to maintain a positive reputation.

People will like you much more if you own up to your problems and work diligently to solve them. As the leader of the business, you will likely bear the brunt of more than a few failures, but you must strive to keep yourself accountable for things you do wrong.

To blunder is human.

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Imitate your idols

Ideally, your idols are business personalities who have made it big without compromising morality — like Oprah or Bill Gates. If this is true, you should analyze their personal brands and determine how they manage to maintain such stellar reputations.

Somehow, they inspire loyalty, support, camaraderie, and even love, and by evaluating their actions, you might learn how to elicit such feelings in your audience.

If your idols are less praiseworthy — perhaps more likely to follow the line of a certain sitting American president — you should consider changing your business standards and goals for a more moral system.

Use your opportunities

Business opportunities often arise in manners you least expect. Sometimes, negative attacks on your reputation can be used to enhance your business — and your personal brand — in unique ways.

For example, if your business’s social media receives a post or two berating your service, you shouldn’t react unkindly or ignore the message (which is perhaps the worst option). Instead, you should see the post as an opportunity to convert a detractor into a supporter.

Outlast the haters

Unfortunately, not all haters can be turned. Anyone with even a modicum of renown experiences negative attention, and often, these haters want nothing more than to see you crash and burn. Those people intent on destroying your reputation are a waste of your time and energy.

Instead of addressing each comment — especially when it is not a specific and fixable problem, like a complaint about service — you should simply endure them until public opinion of you is so lofty as to drown out the hateful voices.

Put your reputation to use

In conclusion, turning all of these ideas into actions can help you build a reputation that will allow your business to thrive.

Building an outstanding reputation with the public, your customers, or even your employees can help you go a long way. Not only will it keep your employee turnover low, but repeat customer numbers can grow tremendously.

Control your character, hold yourself accountable, and do not let the haters get to you, and before you know it people will only have good things to say about you and your business.

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