The Importance of Transparency

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As a business owner, it is important to be transparent to our customers and the community. This will enable us to build trusting relationships with those that come in contact with our businesses. To be transparent is to basically be upfront with people. For example, based on information a client gives me to prepare their taxes I give them a quote that I will stand by. However, if there ends up being more work than expected I will tell the client this is the case and charge accordingly. I try to gather as much information as possible before I quote so I do not end up in that situation.

Here is an example of a business not being as transparent. The business is doing all the things mentioned above, however, they are giving away returns for free based on the number of paid tax returns that sign up for their new service. The free returns are for those in need based on their own criteria. On the surface it looks like they are giving back to the community but what happens the following year come tax time? Will all of these signups stay on for future years? There seems to be a hidden agenda as they will take a small hit this year for big gains in the future. Tax return preparation is a recurring revenue stream which is different from a lot of other products or services being offered by businesses.

There are ways of being more transparent when it comes to giving as mentioned in my previous blog. As well, being personable helps. You can be extremely personable face-to-face but what if that customer has never met you? If they research your business via social media or google and all they see are posts that don’t educate and focus on selling, not many people will buy from you. I am not saying you can’t sell, but it needs to be a balanced approach. For example, I like to provide entrepreneurial tips on my social media posts. When I add personal images to them people start to relate to my business and me as the owner. Yes, there is a selling element. I am selling myself and my brand by educating others and not constantly giving calls to action.

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