While there are some things that you should certainly keep private, there are also certain things that you should be open and honest about regarding your company. Transparency is a highly-respected value for businesses and, in addition to being honest with prospective consumers, it fosters an open environment among competitors.
Being open about your company’s happenings (both good and bad) is understandably tough, but is also very important for fostering positive relationships with industry peers, as well as clients. In fact, we have had cases where we have gained clients simply by telling them we were low on bookings when other companies were already booked for their date. You would be surprised at the opportunities that come with honesty!
Conversely, transparency also means being open about company changes and other things that may affect your network—be it competitors, clients, or your target market of prospects. This includes any major transitions, including new products and/or services, mergers, and even new hires.
Believe it or not, two competing companies can collaborate to help each other succeed independently. However, in today’s society, competition is often met with tight-lipped resentment. By being honest instead of being unkind, and working together with your competitors can actually help you learn more about the industry and improve your own business.
“It’s important to realize that your similar interests and shared values greatly outweigh the chance of losing a client to someone else.”
In our market, we actually have a group of planners who meet quarterly to discuss goals and share things that have helped. It’s important to realize that your similar interests and shared values greatly outweigh the chance of losing a client to someone else. There will always be another engaged couple to book!
With that in mind, there are still certain things that are best kept to yourself especially when things begin to get personal. For example, if you’re having issues with a troublesome employee or you received a not-so-nice message from another vendor, it’s important to keep names out of it. Spreading rumors and potentially damaging someone’s reputation is no way to be honest! Other situations like financial hardships or personal relationships are also topics that are best left to only your closest friends.
A commitment to transparency speaks volumes about a business owner and his or her company’s values. Keep this in mind as you navigate changes within your network—everybody appreciates a bit of honesty.
Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui. She is also the creator of The Taylor’d Plan, a self-administered class for wedding planners to grow and improve upon their skills.