One of the most important elements of your success, if you run a small business (or are the manager of a business), will be the way in which the public views you, as a positive view of your company will cause consumers to align themselves with you, while a negative image will cause consumers to turn away. While the way your employees act when they are away from work is pretty much out of your control, there are certain things you can do to make sure you and your business maintain a squeaky clean public image.
Stay neutral: Especially if you are running a small business – where you come to know a number of your customers, and come to be viewed as a “part of the community” – it can be easy to get your business mixed up in “opinions” regarding politics and other issues in your city or town. But while you certainly have a right – as an individual – to express your views, you should also remember that the purpose of your business is to make money, and as most issues split public opinion just about in half, you should always keep your business on that line in between the two sides!
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Know where to align yourself: On the other hand, there are certain places where it is not only okay to align yourself, but where it is good to align yourself; if there are any important charities or causes in your area that you feel compelled to stand behind, it will be smart to jump in with both feet!
Know who you are hiring: Even though you cannot control what your employees do when they are away from the office, you do have the ability to control things on the hiring end. This is the most important point of all if you have a small business of your own, as everyone in the town or city will know who works for you, and you will want to make sure that those who you hire are representing you properly while they are away from work!