Your reputation is a key factor for business and personal success. Over the years, many business people in particular, have often failed to protect their reputation by thinking they were exempt from the loss of reputational damage. It may be these people felt they were immune to reputational loss through money, status, “smart business strategies”, which were often proven to be not so smart, or by bluffing their way through tough times.
The reality is that this time, especially if you and your business do not have a good at the start of the recession, you are already behind the eight ball, Regaining a good reputation will be an uphill battle and even then, you may find some business people will still not trust or forgive you. If you have had a good reputation in the past, it is of paramount importance that you work to keep it intact.
Make no mistake, we are in for an extended of disruption and trauma not seen since the 1930s Great Depression. The closest we have come in recent times to a depression was the Global Financial Crises (GFC). The learning experiences of the GFC unfortunately have been largely forgotten. Therefore, it is likely for many people who went through the GFC, the same experiences will return like a bad nightmare as the current recession deepens.
Bluffing, using “smart business strategies”, paying outside of agreed business terms and a lack of communication, will therefore not hold up in the long term. You will soon be found out as I repeat, we are entering a whole new business environment once the COVD-19 virus is deemed to be manageable or over.
In the previous blog, I mentioned the importance of quickly closing down your business ethically if you found there were insufficient financial resources to survive a prolonged recession. The importance of taking this action cannot be over emphasised in protecting your reputation. After all, you are not only trying to reduce your financial and emotional wellbeing losses in taking such action. You are also acting to protect your short-term resources whilst acting for the long term and to make a business comeback if desired.
There are less places to hide your bad behaviour these days. If the media doesn’t have a story about you and your business, some other party is likely to have the evidence of your behaviour. Protecting your good reputation will be equal to dollars in the bank for the future.
This concludes the second key factor, your reputation. After a short break we will review the next key factor, cash protection.