How To Build Trust In Business

Trust is an important factor in business and is a major determinant of business success. Business experts say that mutual trust must be built with clients because they need to have confidence in your ability to deliver quality products and services at all times.
In the same vein, business managers must also have confidence in their clients’ ability to pay when services are delivered on credit.
Lack of credibility on the part of small businesses poses an obstacle to their access to funds from credit institutions, experts say.
It has been discovered that mismanagement of funds obtained through loans often contribute to the failure of small businesses. As a result, banks are usually reluctant to grant them loans because they often find it difficult to repay.
According to financial experts, one of the things impeding access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises is the absence of information about credit worthiness because they are generally perceived as high risk bearers.
They also note that having information on credit history and status of indebtedness does not automatically guarantee access to bank loans.
The experts say other relevant factors such as provision of acceptable collateral, cost of funds, and suitability of the loan to the enterprise operations as well as the operational structure of the business can still affect access to loans.
They suggest that businesses should endeavour to develop a credible image among their staff members, competitors, clients and even potential clientele because negative word-of-mouth can break a business.
They have highlighted ways of achieving this:
Communicate openly
Experts note that open and honest communications with clients, prospects and other members of the public is a starting point.
According to them, building trust among all stakeholders will help any business to overcome both internal and external forces that may affect business success.
They add that organisations that build a culture of trust by engaging their clients and investors, building relationships with them, sharing information quickly and freely with them and addressing issues promptly when they arise, will thrive.
A business consultant, Mr. Ayorinde Bamgbose, says constant communication gives organisations the benefit of the doubt in situations where they want to be heard, understood and believed.
“When there are mistakes or weaknesses, acknowledging them. To avoid further missteps, always view your company from the eyes of your investors and the industry as a whole because this might help you understand where your company fits in the competitive market,” he says.
According to him, trust is a powerful force that builds loyalty, increases credibility and supports effective communication.
He says business leaders are aware that trust is an essential tool in periods of uncertainty and change in corporate organisations, especially during mergers when there are fears of job losses.
In cases of mergers, he says fears of job losses can easily be assuaged when credibility had been built in the workforce over the years.
Treat your workforce well
The inclusive method of employee engagement has been professed by business owners as an effective means of getting the best out of them.
Bamgbose says treating the staff members with respect at all times, respecting their privacy and rights, paying them fairly, encouraging suggestions from them, listening and taking action on their concerns has proven to be useful in obtaining good reports of their workplace.
He adds that the staff has more outreach into the public sector than the business owner; therefore bosses should ensure that the picture they paint of the organisation is a good one.
Create good content
Professionals suggest winning potential clients over with written testimonials on website, news bulletins, advertising and good corporate social responsibility reporting. They say any business can buy promotional advertising, but actual quotes from real clients establish a lot of credibility in the eyes of potential clientele.
Bamgbose says that maintaining a good composure no matter what happens, and not getting angry at provocations outside the privacy of the home can build integrity.
He says that by creating good content, building trust, showcasing expertise and good leadership, relationships can be built.
He stressed that content creates more awareness for every business.
“Businesses and individuals that are not creating content are missing out on incredible opportunities to connect with people in a way that brings them close to you and your brand,” he says.
Pay your bills promptly and regularly
One way highlighted by experts in building credibility for businesses is by paying bills on time.
They say not only will this build the business’ credit score, but it would also leave a favourable impression among their vendors.
It can also lead to extra benefits, such as additional discounts or vendor freebies, experts say.
In addition, convincing reports from tax agencies and financial institutions can assist businesses in obtaining lines of credit from bank lenders.
Recently, the Credit Bureau Association of Nigeria adopted an alternative data, as a substitute for financial records which can be harnessed for employee recruitment purposes.
The Chairman of CEBAN, Mrs. Mobolanle Adesanya, says that in more advanced economies, alternative data such as utility bills for electricity and mobile communications have proven a veritable substitute for financial records.
She notes that the method was to enable other members of the society who were not already in the banking system, but with other verifiable means of identification for risk management purposes, to have access to credit.
Treat clients fairly
Experts say providing honest services coupled with fair treatment can help in building business credibility.
This, they say can be achieved by addressing problems quickly and in a reasonable manner, even if it is at extra cost.
Bamgbose observes that returnable goods policy as implemented by some businesses and the act of granting a staff member the power to solve clients’ complaints has improved their reliability.
According to him, information is easily disseminated by clients to their acquaintances about the business regardless of whether their experience was positive or unpleasant.
He advises that businesses should be made credible by providing clients with outstanding services which bring referrals.

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