I sometimes wonder when business owners and managers are so immersed in the details of their business operations how often they think about the importance of maintaining a positive business reputation.
It’s not that they do not care about how others view their organization, but it seems seldom do events or circumstances arise that causes them to focus on this issue.
From the recent issue of RiskSmart Tips, by Charles Wilson of RiskSmart Solutions, he makes the point about how valuable a reputation can be to the success, customer, supplier and vendor relationships and provides examples how to protect this “intangible asset.” He also asks you “Where is that ounce of prevention?” and states, “Prevention is an essential investment in your reputation.”
As usual to Charles’s style, he gives you a short and easy read, so I encourage you to access it through this link: Is Your Reputation Important?
This article reminded me of a situation that could have greatly harmed the reputation of my employer and its ongoing success, if it had not been for the adherence to high ethical standards and a concern to maintain an excellent reputation.
I recall several years ago when I was a stockholder of this firm that provided all the usual risk management and insurance programs an employer would be inclined to purchase. Our firm also provided additional services to employers, and their employees who used Health Savings Accounts to fund the high deductibles of employer sponsored group medical insurance programs.
Our brokerage established a relationship with a vendor to collect and manage the funds for Health Savings Accounts (H S A) online that was convenient and easy to use. When our CEO TJ Ryan learned about the vendor’s owners stealing employee’s H S A funds for their own personal lifestyle, he shared with us what was occurring. We knew we had a serious client relations problem even though the thefts were beyond our control.
I recall our CEO saying to our staff and shareholders, “we recommended clients use this service and if we do not make good on the funds lost, our excellent reputation and client relationships will be gone forever. We will probably never recover our reputation if we ignore this issue and not provide a remedy. Even though the lost funds will hurt our earnings, and temporarily decrease the financial value of our company, we must reimburse each affected employee for the loss they sustained.”
It was a financial “hit” of hundreds of thousands of dollars to our bottom-line, and because of taking this step we were rewarded with grateful clients who felt we exceeded their expectation by making them financially whole for someone else’s misdeeds.
For additional information how to plan for a serious problem or a disaster, download a copy of How to Succeed After a Disaster, by clicking on the title. My team and I created this free guide to make it easy for you to address important topics and areas of your business, so you can make decisions how to continue your business operations, retain your suppliers, vendors and customers after a disaster strikes your organization.
Contact me for additional information about this topic, or other RisksNThreats that may affect your business and your employees in the following ways: email: email@example.com; office phone: 800-346-6216 ext. 8758; mobile phone 925-285-6790.