“Credibility is a business leader’s currency; with it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt,” – John Maxwell
Every business organization should develop certain attributes, such as market credibility, investor trust, supplier confidence, a sound business reputation, and happy customers. The importance of credibility remains paramount because even though this attribute is a non-tangible, every business organization depends on it. Crucially, credibility in business is linked to certain very human attributes such as honesty, integrity, clarity of purpose, transparency in dealings, among others. We must note that credibility is crucial to the creation and sustenance of human networks and since human beings operate every business that hinges on buying and selling, credibility automatically assumes centrality in the creation, sustenance, and expansion of business operations.
For instance, a small business operator or an entrepreneur should actively inculcate credibility in all phases of business operations. This action is critical in setting up the business from scratch and for sustaining business operations thereafter. The business operator must invest substantial efforts in win the credibility and confidence of its clients, customers, suppliers, and investors. We may illustrate the point here by examining the case of a small business operator, dealing in fashion accessories, trinkets, junk jewellery, among others. We note that, to all appearances, the business bears the hallmarks of a small and medium-sized enterprise but it can gain wings if it chooses to uphold the importance of credibility in its operations. The business operator may work to invest trust, reciprocity, and respect in its dealings with every part of the value chain, thereby establishing a solid business reputation, winning new business, and creating a network of committed clients. These attributes may help the business to win new customers through word-of-mouth customer testimonials and create significant scope for repeat orders.
We must note that the importance of credibility should never be undermined and a business should work to gain and consolidate the said attribute. Every customer inquiry should be treated sincerely and a business must respond fully and promptly to such queries. These actions should be premised on the fact that every inquiry has the potential to translate into a new business opportunity that can boost the business bottom line. In addition, businesses should appreciate the potential of a new inquiry to impart new direction to the business in terms of new product development, the fashioning of new services, and gaining a fresh competitive edge in a crowded market. Further, a fresh query emanating from the market can help the business to gain brand new insights into market trends and emerging client requirements. Therefore, the business should invest considerable energies to address and inform potential clients with alacrity.
The importance of credibility is also underlined by the fact that most clients would consent to engage in long-term business relationships with partners that are mindful of their market reputation and commercial standing. This implies that every business worth its salt should expend energy to project the right image. Consider this: an online social networking operator that depends significantly on online advertisements should maintain a spotless corporate image and business reputation. We must note that the social networking business operates a sprawling online enterprise that remains susceptible to a lot of scope for online malfeasance. The business must actively enforce its hygiene policies to minimise the scope for such malice. This stance should remain a mainstay in its business operations and can go a long way to assure the clients that their advertising dollars are being deployed cost effectively. This reassurance can strengthen business confidence, animate investor interest, and can spark long-term business relationships between the social networking operator and the growing legions of its clients.
Business operators that wish to make credibility a cornerstone of their business reputation should actively pursue the accretion of industry knowledge to enlighten their enterprise. This pursuit of industry/domain knowledge can help investors and customers to develop confidence in the daily business operations of the said enterprise. Knowledge can be viewed as a key differentiator in modern business practices. For instance, a foreign exchange trader, a stock market operator, or a bullion trader should have access to up-to-the-minute information emanating from the relevant markets. We must note that these trades rely heavily on information that can change at very short notice and therefore, the said entrepreneurs should be informed adequately about market changes in any given day. The expert knowledge (combined with discipline and certain skill sets) of these entrepreneurs can boost business confidence among their customers and clientele. We note that this cause-effect scenario underscores the importance of credibility in boosting the commercial fortunes of a business enterprise.
Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are competing heavily with e-commerce business operators in the modern day. This aspect of business competition has emerged in recent times and has intensified in an era distinguished by nearly universal access to the global Internet. We must note that the said traditional business models can seek to compete with new age enterprises by stressing on the importance of credibility. This implies that every traditional business can work to gain a competitive edge in the market by boosting its credibility with clients, customers, and other stakeholders. These businesses typically thrive on face-to-face interactions with customers and therefore, retain the advantage of creating and boosting credibility levels through human interactions. This aspect gains significance, because in sharp contrast, most e-commerce business models excise the scope of human interaction and are driven purely by technology and its myriad applications.
Business leaders and corporate chieftains must stress the importance of credibility for both internal and external customers. This attribute should be assiduously cultivated among teams, groups, business units, profit & loss centres, and all the other functions that comprise an enterprise. Leaders have the responsibility to amplify the message that credibility lies at the heart of the modern enterprise. Every stakeholder should view the business as a living entity that has a distinct role to play in the wider scheme of things. An enterprise with a credible reputation can achieve all the heights marked by successful businesses that graced the evolution of the world of commerce. Further, keeping in view the fact that most modern businesses are enterprise-driven, we must emphasise that, internal processes must be oriented to preserve and consolidate the credibility of a business enterprise. Mechanisms that enforce checks and balances should be finely preserved in an effort to arrest any disruptive forces or incidents that may threaten the balance.
In the above paragraphs, we have surveyed some of the processes and outcomes that hinge on the importance of credibility in boosting business prospects. We must note that credibility is a hard won outcome that cannot be attained in the span of a few short years. Market credibility is won through hard work and dedication; it pays handsome dividends in the form of business expansion, among other outcomes. The loss of credibility can be equated to a business disaster typified by a flight of customers, a dented business reputation, the withdrawal of institutional sources of credit and finance, disappointed clientele, among other negative consequences. That said, we must note that every business must brainstorm the means to consolidate and strengthen its business reputation in the interests of creating a long-term diversified enterprise.