Your reputation is directly tied to what you say and do. In business, it is critical to think about and plan the messages you send. Smart businesses take charge of the narrative surrounding their company and don't wait for the world to define them. If you don't tell your story, someone else will! That someone could be a competitor, a disgruntled employee, a satisfied or not so satisfied customer. Never just sit back and wait for whatever happens.
Establish a website. Take advantage of the social media channels that make the most sense for your business and industry. It takes work to tell the world about the great things you are doing and what makes you special but the return on investment is well worth it.
Now more than ever, it is so easy for people to get out and review companies. In an article titled Why Your Local Reputation Is Your Biggest Potential Brand Crisis, Afif Khoury, CEO of SOCi, writes that “86 percent hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews. The impact of poor consumer feedback can be detrimental to a business's future sales. Every "star" a business loses will cost it upwards of 9 percent of its revenue.” Khoury give several good tips for getting control of various online channels, responding to negative feedback. Spend a few dollars on the front end, taking control of your brand, so that you don’t have to spend much more later in crisis management mode.
The more you have clearly defined who you are and what you stand for, the more it buffers potentially negative situations that may arise. When a potential employee or customer is researching your business, give them an overwhelming amount of positive information to balance anything that may not be so flattering.