Manage both public image and digital perceptions!
How is your business is seen by customers, suppliers, and recruits? The Federation of Small Businesses' Dave Stallon explains why you should care
Many smaller businesses understand the need to successfully manage their traditional ‘public image’, but are not as clued-up when it comes to how they are perceived online.
Now, for the first time small and mid-sized businesses can fully explore their ‘digital persona’ thanks to a new service offered to members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The new service – FSB Business Profiling – is a unique tool that allows you to assess how the world sees your business on five measures, including web presence and customer satisfaction.
The insights provided by FSB Business Profiling are crucial ways of benchmarking your smaller business against others. The innovative tool scores your business in a number of key areas, so you can see where weaknesses need to be addressed and take appropriate and suggested measures over the next 30 days. If you do, you could see your score go up when the next report is run.
How profiling your business helps
The information this groundbreaking tool pulls together is taken from an FSB member’s website and social media accounts, but also includes financial and credit information available online, plus customer reviews and feedback. Trying to collate all of this yourself would take a considerable amount of your precious time each month.
What appears on your FSB Business Profiling dashboard may be hard to face, but it is essential information that no business can afford to ignore, whether it has a website, or not. The digital age is one in which anyone can express a view on you, but also derive a view of you, no matter how long you have been trading.
The people using this information to form opinions about your business, or take decisions on whether to work with you or not, could be customers, suppliers, prospects, financiers or potential employees. It could also, of course, be your competitors.
The power of perception in business
FSB Business Profiling is already empowering FSB members, who are all entitled to two free reports and who can choose to continue the service for a very small monthly charge, as well as credit-check up to four other businesses a year.
One FSB member, Rebecca Aldridge, managing director of Balance: Wealth Planning in Nottingham says: “My business finds the majority of its clients online, so we use FSB Business Profiling to see how we are being perceived. We quickly took charge of our online reputation and, worked on our search engine optimisation, as the scores we received in that area motivated me to focus on that.”
While the tool is essential for all businesses operating in this digital age, start-ups could find it even more beneficial. Being able to better control perceptions early in a business’ life is hugely advantageous and could help a start-up business flourish. Whilst there is a small cost involved, it could be well worth exploring.
FSB memberships starts at just £130 per year, plus a £30 registration fee in year one. This gives the member access to comprehensive support and a suite of compelling services. Visit www.fsb.org.uk/benefits to discover more.