As a growing company, it makes sense that the gut reaction is to always put your best face forward. After all, you want your customers, prospects and even your employees to see the good things you’ve accomplished and as little of your mistakes as possible, right?
But the truth is, while doing your best should obviously always be the goal, being a company with a perfect track record is unrealistic. As a business with big challenges, whether that means deciding your client facing messaging or debating about a big pivot your company is going to make, not always being right on the money is natural. After all, to err is human. So if that’s the case, why is it so hard to let the world know that, at one time or another, we’ve probably made some mistakes?
The age of company secrecy and limited information access is, many would argue, an archaic way of thinking. Let’s be honest— it’s 2015, an era where with a little bit of research, you can find out almost anything about anyone.
With companies included in the mix, this age of tech savviness and information availability makes being upfront about mistakes, as well as sharing the big wins, more important than ever. Let’s face it— creating an environment where information is hard to come by is old school.
So what benefits can being transparent have for you, your prospects and your clients?
Increased Trust: Like any relationship, honesty builds trust. Even more, actions speak louder than words. By showing your audience (whether that means employees, prospects or clients) that you acknowledge your company’s difficulties right along with the great stuff, you build a foundation for trust. Not only can this lend to growth, it can also help to increase revenue in the long run.
Building a Community: Whether you’re a small startup or an established corporation, there are hundreds of other companies and entrepreneurs with similar goals as yours. By sharing your company’s journey, startup story, or even some of the difficulties you’ve had in different growth phases, you’re providing your audience with valuable content as well as building a sense of community. In short, you’re connecting with them by sharing something real— your struggles, accomplishments and wins.
Less Speculation: We’re in a day and age where information is available at the click of a mouse. Not only do most people realize this information is available, they know that they have the resources to find it. By being transparent about the good and bad, you’ll be the one who gets to take ownership of your story. What’s more, you’ll build a relationship with your audience (or even employees) built on the knowledge that if something important is happening or needs to be addressed, you’re not afraid to discuss it.
Being honest, open and taking ownership of one’s mistakes may put you in a position to be criticized or even judged, but hey— this will happen anyway. By being transparent about who you are, the obstacles you’ve conquered and the challenges you still face, you’re not only giving your company a reputation of honesty, you’re giving others (whether its employees, clients or companies) the chance to learn and grow along with you.
Crystal Chavez is currently the Marketing Manager for Hivewyre, a FLAT digital ad co-op in Scottsdale, Arizona. By contributing anonymous data about what shoppers browse, Hivewyre co-op members work together to form a powerful data source of what in-market consumers actually want. For more information, visit www.hivewyre.com and follow them on Twitter at @Hivewyre.
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