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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Your reputation precedes you

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Entrepreneurs work hard to create businesses and make money in the process.  Their personal traits are part of the business evaluated by others.  Being stingy or ugly to employees is something that eventually gets around.  Treating tentative providers poorly has the same tendency for negative recognition. People REMEMBER bad treatment and eventually your treatment of others comes back to haunt you!

Success is a great neutralizing event.  People treated like dirt tend to minimize the bad and remember the good once they make lots of money.  The problem is that a limited number of startups achieve sufficient success for this to occur.  In addition, the word may spread before the company becomes successful. This means that people will remember the bad treatment and your reputation suffers.  Worse yet, contractors and future employees may shy away from working with you because the reputation becomes public knowledge.

Adopting a solid business acumen and persona does not mean you must act like an ASS!  Careful thought and treatment of others has a value.  People will work harder and spread your praises when they believe you are the type that everyone enjoys being around and working with.  There is no need to give away free money and ignore achieving great deals in your negotiations, but do it with care and thought.  People recognize that business requires maximizing profits, but they resent dealing with poor business skills and lack of understanding.  In addition, they dislike poor treatment.

The sad part is that some people never recognize that they are in the disliked camp.  They never realize or do not care that people are resistant to work with them.  The company develops and gradually faces limitations attracting the kind of staff and contractors they most need to be successful.  In addition, the investor pool will eventually get feedback from outside.  This can create a different set of issues for the business.

There are many reasons to be a solid business professional and run a tight ship.  You have an obligation to keep costs down and ensure solid performance.  In doing so, try to remember that you may lose creditability by going too far and being obnoxious, cheap, or uninformed. 

  Taffy Williams is the author of:  Think Agile:  How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon