When it comes to reputation, business magnate Warren Buffet said it best. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” Buffet once remarked. “If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” It’s true that reputation is a big part of our lives — both professionally and personally — so what you do with it will dictate how you do things and how others view you.
Reputation in the industrial construction industry is no different. Your reputation is both a reflection of your past work and an indication of your future success. If a concrete floor contractor does a job right the first time, for example, they’re more likely to attract work from other industrial facilities. Similarly, if a design-builder contractor doesn’t follow through on his or her promises, it can affect their bottom line. Basically, a good reputation leads to trust and trust leads to success.
If you’re a design-builder contractor, do you think your work is good? Of course you do. Do you think your work is perfect? If you said yes, it might be time to separate your internal reputation from your external one. You see, there can be a big difference between how you view yourself and how others view you.
For example, if someone says in an online review that your project took too long to complete, you have two options: get angry, defend yourself and berate the customer or do something positive to fix it. The latter — obviously the better choice — is easy if you politely address the reason for the discrepancy or simply focus on an area to improve for next time. Ultimately, your internal reputation is only important for your self-esteem; your external reputation is what affects you financially.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “your reputation precedes you,” you know how people can have both good and bad preconceived notions of you. The same goes for your business. New customers are almost always attracted to businesses with positive reviews, glowing testimonials and prestigious awards. They’re also more likely to pursue businesses with positive word-of-mouth exposure from friends and family, as we’ll discuss later.
Developing a one-on-one reputation is particularly important. People can be swayed one way or the other depending solely on their experience with a single business professional. Even if your online presence isn’t the best, you can win over a new customer with great customer service and quality work. For design-build construction projects specifically, it’s important to maintain good communication and keep your client in the loop about any changes. Finally, keep in mind that no reputation is a bad reputation.
This is the ultimate reason why a good reputation is more important than ever before in the industrial construction (and all other industries). According to the 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, 83 percent of people say the most credible form of advertising comes from people they know and trust. That’s the highest percentage among the most trusted advertising formats, such as advertising on branded websites, online consumer opinions and emails. It’s not just for customers, either. Building a good reputation and trust from the other members of your design-build team is equally as important.
As you can see, your external reputation is crucial for success in industrial construction and all other industries. Work on building yours and you’re sure to see real benefits for your business in no time.
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