Researching a Person’s Online Reputation Before Going Into Business
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These days, employers more often than not are performing a search in one or more search engines for information on prospective candidates. In fact, according to one study, a good 81% of employers are doing so, so wouldn’t it make good sense for you to do the same prior to going into business with someone?
Here, we cite a few reasons why this is a very good idea!
Verifying Information Shared
You want to confirm that you can trust the individual with whom you will be doing business. Make sure that any educational, professional, and other claims that this person has made are true by performing a search on this information.
You will not only be entrusting your livelihood to this individual, but also your own reputation. If you find information that does not seem consistent with what you have been told, be sure to prod further with the person. Trust is everything in business.
You might find that the individual has conveniently left out important information about his/her past. Legal issues could be discovered online, as could complaints from previous employees or employers, or even customers. Sometimes what people omit from an interview can be incredibly important information to know, and you’ll want to be sure to ask any and all questions that you have if you are feeling misguided in any way.
Every potential business partner merits investigation, no matter how trustworthy they seem!
You are going to be spending many, many waking hours with your new business partner. It is critically important that you can work together nicely. If you find online that the individual displays behavior that is inappropriate in forums or other media, or perhaps has complaints lodged against him or her from former employees or friends, it is well worth considering whether this is someone you want to shed blood, sweat, and tears with. Is that foxhole going to be lonely or uncomfortable?
Make sure your future business partner is a good cultural fit – you will go through a lot together!
At the end of the day, running a business with someone is all about being able to trust one another and work together under extremely stressful circumstances at times. You need to be sure you know what you are getting before you commit to something as major as starting a business together, so definitely do that online research before making any decisions.
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