In business, your reputation is one of the best door openers for new business. But it has to be maintained. As Warren Buffet once said, ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’
So, what are the greatest threats to your business reputation? I have found one of the easiest ways to discover those threats is to visualise your circles of trust.
A very simplified example above. Your reputation is based upon the satisfaction of your Customers! Simple as that.
But, the effect that your Tiers 2,3,4 etc sub-contractors or suppliers can be catastrophic to your reputation. Let’s be honest, as far as your Customer is concerned, if something is wrong, then it is YOUR fault. They won’t take into consideration who your sub-contractor is (was), who your suppliers are (were).
It is your responsibility to your Customer to provide the best quality product or service, therefore, it is also your responsibility to manage and verify the products and services that your sub-contractors provide on your behalf.
What can you do to help safeguard your Reputation? Some easy steps to take are:
Use sub-contractors or suppliers you have used in the past and trust
Verify and validate new sub-contractors and then their first-tier suppliers
Re-evaluate your sub-contractors and suppliers annually
Work with sub-contractors and suppliers that have a quality policy and system in place
Carry-out 2nd party audits on your suppliers
For new sub-contractors, take references and check them
These simple steps at the start of any project can help reduce the risk to your business and reputation.
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