If you took the time to ask everyone in your team what they thought on the topic, you might be surprised by what they are saying. It is also important to note that what they say is what is communicated internally and externally to friends, customers and other stakeholders.

It has a direct impact on how your business is perceived and influences your company's reputation. The perception of what your company does is not necessarily the truth, but it is that person's reality that becomes the opinion that is communicated to people around them.

At your next team meeting, why not ask everyone to take a few minutes to write down what they consider it is that the business does. Here are five reasons why it is so important to be clear in your offering:
  1. If you are fluent at what you do, it is so much easier to explain it to someone else and for them to understand and welcome it.
  2. Knowing exactly what it is that you do makes it a lot easier to identify opportunities that you want to focus on that are aligned to your core services.
  3. You will feel a lot less guilty saying 'no' to work that does not fit into your core offering.
  4. Being clear in your direction helps you to identify growth opportunities.
  5. Your reputation is built upon what is communicated internally and externally. When everyone sings from the same hymn sheet and consistently sends out the same message, you are all building your company's reputation.
Keep in mind that reputations are all about consistency; you are either consistently good (building a positive reputation) or consistently inconsistent (building a negative reputation).

If your core message is inconsistent and all over the place, your service offering will most likely also be all over the place. Everyone has their own version of what they should be doing. The more consistent you and your team are, the more solid your reputation will be.

It is also a good idea to review your communication material and check that everything aligns in describing your business. Additionally, remember to check your internal messages and don't neglect your induction pack for new employees.

Consider finding out what your other key stakeholders think your business does, because it will help you to know if you need to re-align key messages and identify gaps in your communication initiatives.

For more information, visit www.reputationmatters.co.za or contact [email protected]. You can also follow Reputation Matters on Facebook.