But there are good benefits to a good reputation. A good reputation speeds every business transaction along. Take a magazine, for instance. A magazine with a good reputation for honest, consistent business dealings can make more advertising deals in less time. Just one phone call, one mention of a name, can be all it takes to move a deal forward to a speedy conclusion. A good reputation creates efficiency.
A good reputation also pays off in more business opportunities. If people like your business, they will talk about it, and tell their associates. Word of your work will spread more quickly than you could ever spread it yourself, and others will approach your company first. For instance, if a marketing firm consistently does excellent work in creating a corporate identity and attracting new business to the company, they will be swamped with requests for work.
A good reputation also pays off in increased employee morale. Any good employee enjoys being proud of his or her work, and working for a company with a strong reputation will bring out higher quality work from each employee there. High quality creates higher quality, as each employee feels an ownership of the company's high reputation and a vested interest in pushing it as high as possible. This means that a company with a high reputation can simply ask more from its employees, and even receive more without asking, than a company with a middling or low reputation.
How it's All Made
Now that the benefits of a good reputation have been identified, you might want a better one. It isn't easy to build a good reputation - in fact, it takes years. It is much easier to build a bad reputation, because one major bad event can create a bad reputation that lasts forever. However, with a couple of simple, consistent policies a company can build a strong reputation that comes with all the trimmings above.
There are many ingredients to a good reputation. Honesty is a big part of it. Building a reputation for honesty seems easy - your company just has to follow through on the promises it makes. It doesn't take a lot of words to say that, but it may take a lot of extra effort - a lot of late nights trying to meet a deadline which, in retrospect, seems badly scheduled. So in building a reputation for honesty, it is important to be conservative in time and other estimates of the future. This is the pitfall of many companies, especially those in the IT software sector, which are notorious for slipped deadlines. But honesty can also be made simply by keeping appointments. Making an appointment to meet someone and then not meeting them chips away at any attempt at a good reputation.
Another good way to build reputation is to do good work. This is almost self-explanatory, but often overlooked. A company that does better work not only builds a better reputation, but can justifiably ask for more money, which brings an immediately tangible benefit. Making stronger products, or better stories, or higher quality designs helps any company build a reputation to last.