If your in business and have been paying attention, you’ve probably notice this huge wave of “transparency” with many businesses. I, myself am going in exactly that direction and I wanted to offer up a few reasons why you should too. If you’re not sure what transparency means or is in terms of business, then you’ve landed in the right spot to learn all about it today!
Transparency is huge these days, well because people are less trusting and more nosey than ever these days. With the rise of social media and reality shows, people feeling privy to know just about any and everything about others as they can find out. We can probably thank the paparazzi and tabloid magazines for these, but it has definitely seeped over into how we live our lives on the daily.
Transparency In Business
So what is transparency in business and why should you make it your mission to be transparent in yours? Transparency is the “lack of hidden agendas and conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making.” (BusinessDictionary.com). It not only fosters good relationships with your clients and customers, but even better ones with your employees. Transparency plays a hugely positive role in maintaining an engaged, motivated work force. (Forbes.com). A happy workforce allows you to better delegate tasks, freeing you up to be creative, manage larger operations and processes, and overall have a business that can operate efficiently and productively.
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Behind the Scenes
I’ve always been that person that wanted to know and see the behind the scenes processes and operations of a business. That might be one reason why I love shows like “How Its Made” and “Unwrapped”. On these shows you get to see a behind the scenes look at how products are created and the backstory on them. Many people these days want to know the same thing when it comes to your business. By showing potential clients and customers how you do business gives you a leg up from fellow business owners in your industry, because its an automatic way to build trust. Giving this inside view allows your prospective clients and customers to see exactly how you’re doing things and allows them to understand it better as well.
People want to know that when they invest money into your product or service that they can trust that you will come through for them. Being transparent creates an environment of less stress and more trust, which is beneficial to everyone. This way you don’t have your clients calling and emailing you every step of the way, because you’re already putting the information out there for them to access freely. They can stay updated while you work, resulting in less interruption for you, and in turn you being able to focus and produce a better quality product or service. When us creatives can do what we do with interruption, we thrive at it. Transparency is a factor that is beneficial to both parties in so many ways.
Certainty Builds Trust
The more information you provide about your business and its processes, the more certainty you instill in your clients and customers. By nature people don’t like risk, so more transparency you can provide the better. They will know exactly how things are going to play out, and can make a proper assessment of risk before they immediately decided not to give your business a shot. I can count numerous times when I didn’t purchase a product or service from a business, due to the fact that I just didn’t have enough information to make me feel comfortable with making an investment and taking a financial risk. You have to show your clients that taking that risk with you is worth it.
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Transparency = Simplicity
If anything, people love simplistic processes. The harder you make something for someone, the more likely they will give up on it. Who wants to struggle with a complex or over complicate process when they can go over to the next guy (your competitor) and experience a streamlined and better process. Additionally, a streamlined process shows expertise, which makes people that much more comfortable in taking that risk with you. Any time people are spending their money, there’s risk involved, because there is a potential to get nothing in return for it. You want to always make sure that your product or services provides a benefit to your clients and that they see it has a good return on investment, no matter how big or small.
Raising Your Value Through Transparency
Research has shown that higher value is given to businesses that are transparent. Again, this is a direct result of building more trust with clients and customers by being transparent. The more reliable you and your business appear to be, the more valuable it is perceived by others. As a business owner, your goal should always be for others to see value in whatever product or service you’re offering. You want for there to be a legitimate reason for it to exists and for people to appreciate it. If they don’t, then you won’t obtain the success or profits you aspire to. For those us that run business that are our bread and butter, its crucial that they see seen as having high value. In this instance, the direct relationship between transparency and value can turn huge dividends and profit for us.
[Tweet ” As a business owner, your goal should always be for others to see value in whatever product or service you’re offering.”]
The major point of transparency in your business is for your actions to be openly observable by outsiders, but that’s not all it has to offer you as I’ve shared in this post. Disclosure, accuracy, and clarity are all of the ways in which you can facilitate transparency in your business, but at the end of the day it comes down to good ole plain honesty. When your honest you don’t have to worry about your practices being questions, and even if they are that’s where you can provide more insight and clarity. Again, this results in potential clients and customers feeling that much more comfortable in supporting your business. People support what they trust, as well as what presents little risk to them. This is the place you want to strive to be in with them, because when you are you’ve won not only their minds, but their hearts.
BONUS: I’ve created a quick reference Fostering Transparency In Your Brand Worksheet that highlights the key ways to implement transparency in your brand just for you! Its a resource you’ll want to add to your businesses branding toolkit for sure.
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Listen to more about this topic on the Branded Bliss Podcast on Soundcloud!
What are some of the ways you foster transparency in your business? – How important is transparency to you in other businesses?