Reputation, in a nutshell, is what people think of you, whether that is true or not.
The audience who can form opinions about your reputation can be your current and future customers, your current and potential employees, executive management, your current and potential investors, suppliers and vendors, the media, competitors and end users of your products.
It is important then, to make sure that your reputation aligns with your values so that the widespread belief about you closely reflect your character or brand.
An overwhelmingly negative opinion can affect your standing in society as well as that of your company in more ways than one. Share prices can go down, customers can turn away from you, partners can refuse to work with you – you can lose much more than just profits if your reputation is unsavoury.
Your reputation is essential for the long-term sustainability of your business as an entity. If you want customers to continue using your services and partners to continue doing business with you, a good reputation is a necessity.