Starting a business is hard and risky endeavor, particularly if you really are starting from scratch. Some people prefer to take the less secure approach, therefore, opting to buy into a franchise. Not only is this a lot easier, but it also carries far fewer-risks. Indeed, a lot of scientific and economic studies have pointed to the fact that franchises are far more likely to be successful than an independent SME (small to medium enterprise). Regardless of whether you want to set up a brand new business, or whether you want to buy into a franchise, however, it is vital that what your business offers has been streamlined to what your clients need. And the only way to make sure they know you have what they need, is to build trust. The Better Business Bureau is one of the tools available to you to help you build trust.

Why You Should Consider Better Business Bureau Accreditation:

If you apply to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for accreditation and you are accepted, you immediately increase your trustworthiness. The BBB is a not for profit organization that aims to build trust among businesses, marketers, and customers. It was first started around 75 years ago, and they have been at the forefront of setting acceptable standards and practices to ensure that businesses within its network are reliable.

The main goal of the organization is to ensure that all of its members use principled, ethical, and just practices across their business. They have also become the go-to source of information for consumers. Each year, hundreds of thousands of searches are performed across its database. In many cases, these are performed by people considering becoming a customer with a business that they are not familiar with. This means that they use the BBB accreditation as a benchmark, which is exactly what it was designed to do. Accreditation operates on the principle that all businesses start on an equal footing, and excellent behavior increases this footing, whereas poor behavior decreases it.

What Do You Get out of Better Business Bureau Accreditation?

The main thing that you will get through a BBB accreditation, is credibility. However, there is far more to it than that as well. Once the BBB recognizes and accredits you, you will instantly have access to a wider professional network. This, in turn, ensures that your name gets out there and that your business can grow. As a member, you will be able to access a system in which numerous entrepreneurs collaborate and work together to create and determine what each industry’s best practices are. This also ensures that you are exposed to new potential partners and practices, and that you learn to understand what your consumers are looking for.

Then, there is the fact that you will be recognized as a transparent organization. Your BBB listing will highlight both the positive and the negative comments you have received from others. Showcasing this, once again, is a huge trust building exercise, because it shows potential customers that you have nothing to hide. Not just that, they can see how you have resolved any problems that you may have come across. Very simply put, it will prove categorically that you believe in always following best practices and putting the customer first.

Can Anyone Receive Better Business Bureau Accreditation?

Everyone can apply to become accredited by the BBB. However, not every application is accepted and some businesses will therefore not be able to get in. One of the reasons for this is because the BBB wants to see a significant amount of time and effort be dedicated specifically to be recognized. This takes dedication and hard work, and the BBB wants to see a level of consistency in that.

Gaining accreditation can take as long as a year, as this is the time that the BBB requires to fully clear a new business. But while this may seem like a long time, it is absolutely worth it. When you show the BBB that you are dedicated and that you are conscious of your particular business practices, you will become a far more credible organization overall.

Furthermore, once you have accreditation, it means not just that you meet the standards of the BBB. It also means that you have agreed to minimize the number of complaints that you receive from customers. Additionally, if you have any sanction against you, for instance through the government, this will also be listed on your BBB page. Hence, having accreditation proves to your customers that you will also be fully compliant with all legal requirementss, again further building your trustworthiness.

Only those businesses that meet the highest possible standards will receive BBB accreditation. Even if you do not have a high accreditation, perhaps because you have only recently been listed, consumers will still trust you more. Consumers know that the BBB has very high standards, which is precisely what they are looking for.

Indeed, getting accreditation through the BBB is a lengthy, complex, and highly detailed process. However, the positive impact of doing this is invaluable. You will get the prestige of having accreditation – and perhaps even the prestige of an A or higher accreditation – and it also enables you to create relationships with your customers that are based on mutual trust.

The Importance of Reputation:

In a simple nutshell, what BBB accreditation does is improve your reputation. It is said that a reputation is a business’ most important asset, as this is what tells customers whether or not they should purchase goods or services from you. What the BBB does, is make sure businesses can build on their reputation. But you must recognize that the nonprofit is all about transparency as well. If you get complaints, this will be listed on your BBB page, including what the complaint was about, when it was made, and how you resolved it, if at all. This transparency can be daunting, but it is there to encourage you to always do better, which is what your customers are looking for.