One of the facets of being successful in business is adhering to the principle of proactivity – staying ahead of the game, being prepared, having plans and strategies in place to ensure that when anything happens there is a solution to take care of it.

Oddly enough, the opposite is often a guiding principle for businesses that struggle – reactivity – reacting, trying to put things in order when calamity occurs, scrabbling about making rushed decisions to cope with factors that are external and supposedly beyond control. In essence, an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff.

“A good example that illustrates the difference in reactive and proactive approaches to business is online reputation marketing.”

Mitigating risk is not a complicated science, it really is common sense and businesses that prosper make concerted efforts to analyze risk and implement systems to deal with it. In essence, taking care of things before they happen, as opposed to after – looking ahead rather than behind.

A good example that illustrates the difference in reactive and proactive approaches to business is online reputation marketing. While it has been around for well over a decade there are number of businesses that passively (and sometimes aggressively) resent it.

Online review platforms did not invent the World Wide Web and did not create consumer desire for online reviews, but often they are blamed when negative feedback is posted against a business.

While consumers have invested belief and seek surety in authenticated reviews, solely because the internet is so ingrained and omnipresent in contemporary life, a number of business owners not only fail to see the massive advantages of online reviews, they pinpoint the blame on genuine consumer feedback everywhere but where it should be pointed – at themselves.

“This never works – because it illustrates a lack of transparency and honesty and misses valuable opportunities to create a robust, trustworthy business.”

These business owners, managers, directors, or sometimes marketing managers, are always reacting to what is already there – and what will only get worse – practices and performances that are lacking and have resulted in consumer dissatisfaction. Instead of taking stock, working out how to change their business so the concerns raised in feedback are dealt with – there is an effort to manage the damage by trying to eradicate negative reviews.  This never works – because it illustrates a lack of transparency and honesty and misses valuable opportunities to create a robust, trustworthy business.

In life one of the most sought after qualities we seek in people is trustworthiness – it is exactly the same in business. Nobody wants to be tricked, lied to, sold something that is misleading or sub-standard and they certainly don’t want their concerns brushed under the carpet.

“Being proactive about online reputation marketing is not only the best practice to create transparency and put a reputation in the public domain – it establishes control and lets a business create and foster an essential tool to increase a customer base.”

Over 90% of consumers who place negative feedback about a business do it as a last resort after they feel that they have exhausted every other revenue to seek redress. It is not vindictive, nor is it manipulative and smart business owners see it for what it is – an opportunity to audit their business and make amends to aggrieved customers.

Being proactive about online reputation marketing is not only the best practice to create transparency and put a reputation in the public domain – it establishes control and lets a business create and foster an essential tool to increase a customer base. When anyone (and not always genuine customers) can rate a business on Google or Facebook, it makes sense to commit to a review platform that offers the protection of authentic reviews to ensure a reputation can not be damaged maliciously, Furthermore, It also works to mitigate against another constant in business – boom and bust.

“Proactive businesses have established online reputations that get them through diminished economic times. “

When economies falter, consumer confidence dissipates and spending reduces. Ensuring that a business is in the best possible place when that happens to stay solid and attract new customers is a must.

Proactive businesses have established online reputations that get them through diminished economic times. They have created a tangible online representation of their practices, performances, and consumer satisfaction. They will always do better than businesses with no online reputations that make the classic error or trying to market themselves in a constricted economy – when it is too late – the metaphorical ambulance at the bottom of a cliff – hoping against hope to get through trying times when all they are doing is reacting.

Creating and adhering to a reactive business philosophy is a sure sign of failure and needless stress, worry, and effort. By definition it is being behind – trying to cope with things after they have occurred. In comparison, proactive is progressive, thoughtful, and measured.

Today, there is no sense or point in not having an online reputation and encouraging customers to leave feedback about your business. It is not only an insurance again a dip in the well-being of an economy, it also works to ensure more repeat customers and the probability of new ones.

NoCowboys is New Zealand’s premier online reputation marking platform. To ensure that your business is as proactive as possible – email here.