If you run a business or small firm sooner or later someone is bound to be unhappy with your work
It’s bound to happen sooner or later. If you run a business, small firm, or work as a freelance content creator, one day someone is going to be unhappy with your work. This can be both rational, irrational, justified and unjustified. No matter what your opinion of the matter is, it can come back to hurt you and impede your chances of getting a job in the future. This can be difficult for some small firms to get to grips with.
Over time, in the pursuit to take on more and more jobs, you might find that you stretch yourself too thin. You might find that you make a mistake on a job that is hard to recover from. Inconsistencies in jobs completed a long time ago might have just started showing, and despite your warranty given prove to usurp the professional image you have crafted thus far.
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It’s important to understand just how simple it is to overcome these issues. Even with the most vindictive client who completely blows the issue out of proportion and seems to have taken it upon themselves to discredit you at every turn, you have actions you can take to ensure your reputation is somewhat preserved.
Covering yourself with indemnity insurance is among the most important way of protecting the investments you have placed financial and from a labor perspective in your firm. A setting out engineer working as a contractor can benefit from this, as can a small firm with a strong and growing job presence. The most harmful aspect of negative press from a client is that it can prove to separate you from your money through lawsuits, future commission losses or wasting money on materials that might not have been suitable. This insurance can protect you from the worst of mistakes made, and the worst of accidents that occur.
Having a strong online presence, where people can write reviews for your firm as they please is a mixed bag. Someone who is pleased by your work can write a positive review and this serves as free marketing, while a displeased customer can leave negative reviews and taint public perception of you. However, the strength of having an online presence resides in your ability to respond to those negative reviews.
A well thought out, respectful and professional response to these negative statements can help your firm look like one that’s worth of communicating with. Detailing why, how and when the job went bad, what you did to fix it and any gripes that you can professionally voice against the client might go some way in helping you defend yourself as a business. They say that the ‘customer is always right,’ but sometimes they aren’t, and sometimes you need to defend yourself. There is no shame in doing this, despite the difficulty you might picture occurring.
Photographs & Documentation
Taking photographs of every job you complete from all stages of the process can go a long way in proving you have taken the steps necessary to do the correct job. Documentation that details communication, invoices, payments, material costs among others can help you seem legitimate and can prove a useful resource when defending yourself against litigation. Even if you are found to be in the wrong by the judge presiding over the case, you will have presented your case to the best of your knowledge and professionalism, and that is always useful.
These tips should help you weather the worst of subcontracting or small firm storms.