by Isa Maria Seminega of Noisette Marketing
As part of Business Ethics month I wanted to discuss how you can be sure the companies you use to help and advise your business are ethical. There seems to be marketing gurus, experts and business coaches springing up all over the internet willing to help you take your business to the next level. Whilst many of these are trustworthy, there are people out there who may not have your best interests at heart.
So how do you find someone reputable to help you with your business?
Check out their credentials. What experience do they have? Have they studied Marketing? Have they worked in the field? If not, maybe they’ve started a successful business and have the knowledge to show you how to do the same. Do your research and check things out so you can so you can make an informed choice.
Talk to them. Send an email or introduce yourself on Twitter. Ask them questions and see if they respond accordingly. If they ignore you or take weeks to reply to your email, is this someone who you want to do business with? Will they have your best interests at heart? Ensure they understand your business, how you work and even you as a person. Most of my clients come from people I have developed a relationship with, sometimes about business related things but often about other things, our children, our love of coffee or beautiful fonts! We talk, we interact and I learn to understand who you are and how I can best help you.
Do you feel comfortable with them? Maybe you have a question and are too afraid to ask in case you look foolish. If your potential business coach is not approachable then they are not the right coach for you.
Read testimonials and get recommendations. A legitimate company will be happy to direct you to their happy customers or case studies. Use a search engine to check out some of the companies they say they have helped. Do they exist? Are they thriving? Are they similar to you? People have been known to make up testimonials so take some time to dig around. Your business is worth the extra time this takes to make sure you are about to invest in working with the right people.
Are they still learning? In the age of Social Media, things are changing on a daily basis. Marketers and business experts should be continuing to learn from the best in their field and staying up to date with latest developments. If a person is selling themselves as being an expert, they need to go beyond sharing the same information you can find anywhere on the internet and add value by contributing something different. Read their blog, Facebook page, or newsletter for news on what they are doing to increase their knowledge and how they will filter this latest information down to you, the customer.
I hope these tips go some way in helping you feel more confident in choosing who you will take business advice from. Making a mistake can be costly and damaging to your business. It is worth it to take a bit of time to do your research, after all your business deserves it.