In news today a financial blow to a huge company has brought to the forefront of business owners’ minds the volatile nature of profit gain and profit loss.

JD Weatherspoon’s has suffered a 2.7% profit drop taking in £34.8m in the first half of its fiscal year. The drop is due to increased taxes and labour costs: not from lack of custom, with the company’s sales actually increasing due to cheap deals.

If JD Weatherspoon’s, one of the biggest, most widely-known businesses in the UK, can suffer a loss like this, smaller businesses are bound to feel extremely vulnerable. This loss has actually come for Weatherspoon’s at a time when business is ‘booming’, with the business opening 865 new pubs over recent months.

This goes to show that business can suffer financially from a variety of different angles. It is therefore important to remember, as a business owner, to have all possible influencing factors covered when it comes to ensuring maximum business potential. One of these is the management of your online reputation. Reputation management is an invaluable aspect of any business. The failure to manage the online reputation of a company could, and has for many, lead to a significant and unnecessary decrease in customer interest and, therefore, profits.

Internet reputation, unlike tax payments, is something that can be managed. This means that to neglect it would be, to put it simply, a massive waste of potential profits. People are relying more and more heavily on internet reviews of businesses when they are looking for goods, services, holidays… you name it. To have a page one results page in Google that features even just one bad review (and they happen – even to the best businesses), is to allow your business to be seriously compromised.

Removing negative content from Google is not possible, but pushing it out of site is, which is great news for businesses suffering a particularly nasty attack – perhaps from a competitor.

The message here is to do everything you can to avoid potential loss of business. Some things are out of our control, but online reputation is not one of those things and should be monitored and controlled to avoid any nasty financial losses.