How Family Businesses Can Quickly Be Ruined by a Negative Online Reputation

Every business owner knows that building a good reputation is an important part of long-term success. Today, this includes maintaining a good reputation online as well as with physical customers. A family business relies on building relationships to survive; these relationships can very quickly be ruined if negative articles are allowed to dominate how people perceive the business when searching online.

An astounding 90% of people will choose to avoid purchasing from a company if it has a bad online reputation. For small businesses, this can be disastrous. Building a loyal customer base as a small business is hard enough, without immediately losing up to 90% of potential customers in an instant.

We work with small family businesses to implement a proactive approach to online reputation management.

Building Trust

Consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they trust, and this can be a major advantage for family businesses. Typically, people have more trust in smaller, family-run operations than they do in many large corporations. However, if this trust is lost, business will rapidly go downhill as customers look for a more trustworthy brand elsewhere.

People who have actively chosen a family business — perceiving this type of business as being more loyal and reliable than a larger company — will feel doubly betrayed if this trust is broken and will be unlikely to return. Protecting an online reputation from the effects of any potential negativity is essential for family businesses, and this is easiest to do before negative attention is generated in the first place.

The Personal Implications

Most family businesses will advertise the fact that they are family owned and operated, which usually means the personal names and reputations of the family are also at stake should any bad press begin to circulate. This can have a widespread impact that can be harmful to the named family members, their family, friends and associates, and even future businesses or career prospects.

It can also be easier for press or irate members of the public to personally harass individuals associated with family businesses. One 2018 survey conducted by TripAdvisor found that 97% of business owners in the travel industry believed in the importance of online reputation management for a successful business. Owners of family businesses can run the risk of not only harming their current business, but also their personal opportunities for starting again.

We specialise in helping businesses of all shapes and sizes to proactively manage their online reputation, to avoid the possibility of a handful of negative articles dominating the search results.