Never underestimate the cost of a poor reputation

“Managing your business reputation online begins with knowing the popular opinions on your products and services. This enables you to respond quickly to minor, yet potentially dangerous, situations before you lose control. The challenge most business owners have is monitoring the numerous venues where you could be discussed, like influential blogs, chat rooms and other forums, or social sites like Twitter.

Let’s face it, it’s your business on the line – don’t let a malicious comment or misplaced complaint damage your reputation forever…

It can happen in a heartbeat. One day you have a thriving business, and the next, you’re battling a nightmarish reputation problem that threatens to ruin everything.

And if you think that only happens to huge companies, think again. Small business owners are especially susceptible to the effects of negative reviews, stolen domain names, and even simple branding errors.

One well-known attorney nearly lost her business when someone managed to steal her domain name, and another local business owner recently lost nearly $100,000 in sales when a hacker destroyed his website. Both of these business owners spent thousands in recovery costs, and countless hours managing the many rumors and social media stories about the incidents.

Learning early on that there are complaints about services can alert you to upcoming problems with either the product itself or the service your consumers are receiving. It can also help the company prepare for any potential PR disasters in the making. Quickly reacting to comments or queries in addition to sending out emails clarifying the matter to current clients and providing rebuttal ads can put out any fires before they start.