By Orlando Romine
I have had the privilege of working with business owners daily. I’ve found…owners are looking for new customers. Big surprise…right? Many companies are turned to marketing, referrals and advertising. The one thing I find, that they forget about, is establishing some form of accreditation or certification. No matter if you are a start-up or a well-established small business, there is good reason to avoid overlooking this easily missed opportunity.
An article entitled, “5 of the Most Surprising Statistics About Startups“, found in the October 2015 edition of Inc. Magazine, stated that 50% of all new businesses fail within 5 years. Failing to build a foundation was one of those cited reasons. A foundation is built by creating a customer base, building a reputation, and being set apart from competition. This can all be nurtured by business accreditation/certifications.
The great advantage of aligning with an organization like the BBB is being able to show your customer that you have earned an endorsement from an established brand. That brand recognition is key in gaining customers. Many of the other benefits also aid with lead generation and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and community involvement.
Your reputation is another part of your business that would benefit with accreditation/certification. Many of the organization such as the Better Business Bureau have ways of vetting a business mainly to know exactly who they are connecting too. This in-turn helps your reputation because the customer will let their guard down and give you a chance.
Lastly is the competitive edge that accreditation/certifications gives. Your work, talents, and customer service is always going to set you apart in business, however having something bigger behind your name always helps. For example, I spoke with law practice recently, who’s been in business for two years and looking to expand into other types of cases. They have all the information needed to supply their customers with their mission and purpose. But since they wanted to show their customer base reviews to deem them as ethical practice and the fact that they are minority owned – they decided to have the MBE and BBB accreditation to bring that value to their business.