4 Steps to Avoid an Online Reputation Crisis in Your Small Business

4 Steps to Manage an Online Reputation Crisis Plaguing Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you know it takes months — and even years — to earn the trust of your customers. Losing credibility, however, takes very little time — and its impact is far greater.

Negative Online Reviews: A Bigger Risk for Small Businesses

A scathing review posted online is often enough to hurt your growing business. It could be a negative review on your Facebook page or a Google review that potential customers see when they look you up. That’s what data from reputation management firm ReputationManagement.com seems to suggest.

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Research shows businesses are at risk of losing 22 percent of their business when potential customers find just one negative article on the first page of their search results. It goes without saying, negative comments are something businesses in general and small businesses in particular cannot take lightly.

Steps to Avoid an Online Reputation Crisis

Luckily, there are some simple things small businesses can do to mitigate the damage of negative reviews.


The first step to avoiding business loss caused by negative reviews is to monitor what customers are saying about your business. You must pay special attention to niche review sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor where negative feedback has greater ramifications.

Be Proactive

Do you have a team of social media experts to take care of your digital footprint? If not, it’s probably a good idea to hire some specialists now.

Social media experts can help you monitor your online reputation and create comprehensive plans to achieve a more positive brand image.

Take Action

It’s important to respond to online reviews — regardless of whether they recommend your brand or not. When responding, be patient and tactful to engage customers.

Review and Learn

Constant evaluation of the reviews you receive online can help you analyze the efficacy of your plan. It can also help you recover public opinion.

To know more, check out the infographic below:

4 Steps to Manage an Online Reputation Crisis Plaguing Your Small Business

Images: Reputation Manamagement


Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

3 Reactions
  1. Being proactive has its perks. It allows you to counter negative feedback about your business so that you can instantly pick yourself up from a setback.

  2. Great infographic. I absolutely agree with being PROACTIVE. This is the first step in taking control of your online reputation. Something we train our restaurant clients in. It’s a powerful and effective action.

  3. Very well said Shubhomita. Research shows that 16% of consumers expect a business to respond to an online review within 1-3 hours. Most small businesses realize the importance of being proactive about their online reputation when it is a bit late.

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