The Importance Of Transparency In A Small Business

Clare Bochy
min read
November 23rd, 2022

Transparency is about being open and honest no matter the challenges

When you provide this kind of environment within your company you are telling the people around you that you’re not only willing to face the hard work but you’re also willing to find the answers. 

Now as a small business owner there’s more to consider around being transparent because there's an adequate amount of deception with large corporations that people are turning to small businesses for a sense of trust, loyalty, and consistent quality of service/product. 

According to the Cambridge dictionary the definition of transparency is the quality of being done in an open way without secrets.

So, if there is an inkling of doubt about the process, the character, operations or the people running it, it’s the rotten apple in the orchard. It continues to spread until there isn’t any more. A brand who doesn't put forward what their mission statement promises whether that's to provide a better answer, service, and quality of life then...well...people see right through it.

rotten apple with healthy apples

Here’s how you can show up being transparent as a small business owner

Keep Lines Of Communication Open BOTH Ways

This does not mean to say that you shouldn’t have any boundaries in place or set times for when people can reach out to you. In fact, enforcing how crucial that time is and that time spent would be the utmost quality of listening will not only help the customer or client feel supported but heard. This means that whoever is on the business side of the line is also going to respond within an ample amount of time but also have the right information in order to put those in the process at ease.

This is also about having some kind of answer. I believe it’s a red flag when a company says things along the lines of “There are parts of the business you just shouldn’t know about.” Well why? I think if you are providing something that is honest, every step of the way should be transparent.

Follow up on promises

Going above and beyond is one thing but being able to follow up on a promise that you CANNOT keep implies a certain level of respect that any “relationship” should have.  That’s what this is right? A mutual exchange of understanding and respect. If you as a brand can own up to the good, the bad, the ugly, your potential customers are going to notice this about you and infuse a trust they don’t find with competitors.

It’s essential to make sure that things aren’t left open ended or if they have to be you find an honest way to explain that the promise couldn’t be kept. That not only it’s being admitted but that you’re going to find another solution to the best of your ability.

That's HUGE.

shaking hands

Nix The Toxic Positivity

Lastly, Toxic positivity does no one any good. It can flourish in an environment that doesn’t support honesty. I don't know about you but there is something off about a company that’s "good vibes only." This denies people the authentic support they need to cope with what they are facing.

If you're afraid to get uncomfortable, are you willing to stand up for what you believe? If not, who are you really trying to help? You have to ask yourself, are you trying to help your own pockets in the end or are you really trying to better the quality of life? If it's the latter then it should be part of the company culture to speak on uneasy topics.  Being up-front rather than hedging or spinning information, even if that information is unfavorable, demonstrates integrity.

In the end, it just feels better

No one wants to carry things that are harmful to other people even if they’re indirect. It's a shame for customers to find out that the company they know and love is being dishonest. Even if it seems small, that lack of transparency can start a negative conversation that'll be much harder to change if there's deception. Keeping the lines of communication open, following up on promises, and avoiding toxic positivity and bringing a hopeful promises creates a more wholesome brand that will resonate to more people and successful in the end.