When constructing a positive public image, never underestimate the power of your public profile to influence everything in your company: employee morale, motivation, retention, recruitment, customer satisfaction, sales, media attention, investor interest, and more. Your public image is based on everything you say and do and on your overall corporate culture and philosophy.
Let me outline a few basic strategies that will help your business enjoy the type of respect and loyal following Paychex has enjoyed for forty-eight years from employees, customers, and shareholders. The rest of this list can be found in my book, Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs.
1. Pick the Right Name
The name of your company can say a lot about you, so be careful if you are choosing a name for your new company or you plan to undertake a rebranding process.
Be cognizant of where you think you would like your business to go in the future. Names should have longevity and shouldn’t restrict what services and products you might sell in the future and at what location or locations.
2. Build a Positive Profile at Home
Employees will come and go—that’s normal. Every time a valued employee leaves your company there is a cost in lost production, retraining for the new employee, and an orientation period where the new employee absorbs your corporate culture. Underlying this is the concern that when an employee leaves your employment, they take with them an impression of your company, which they may share with others, and you want to be sure it will be favorable.
The best advice I can give you is to treat your employees fairly and never let difficult situations linger; the longer they linger, the more they escalate.
3. Be Professional
Acting professionally sounds like obvious advice, but many businesses miss this basic principle. They are so busy with all the other aspects of their business they fail to notice the things that customers see when they walk through their doors or call their company.
Your premises need to be tidy, clean, and orderly at all times, even if your clients never visit your offices. If you always appear and act professionally, you will be professional, and that will come across in the very essence of your business.
4. Social Media is Your Friend
Social media is important to every business; an unsatisfied customer can post a detrimental review on any number of sites, and in a blink of an eye it can be read by thousands. Monitoring social media sites frequented by your customer base should be the responsibility of someone in your company, potentially a full-time job, depending on your size.
Your website needs to be professional, easy to navigate, useful to clients, and constantly kept up to date. I know I’m in danger of citing the obvious, but no one looks up your number in a phone book anymore. Those days are long gone.
5. Be Charitable
If your company grows to a point or is already at a point where it can make charitable donations, I suggest you not be totally altruistic with your charitable giving. No matter your motivation for philanthropy, for the sake of your investors, your shareholders, and your own future, I recommend you take advantage of any PR opportunities that are offered or that you can think of.
Of course, be careful not to overcommit. Start slowly and build your support as your company can afford the financial outlay.
Originally published on Quora.
A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs.
Paychex Founder, Tom Golisano shares the hard-won lessons from his entrepreneurship journey in Built Not Born, a guide to growing a company to any size by going against the grain like he did.