It’s not surprising that ‘transparency’ is a trending term in business today when it’s become another marketing opportunity. It’s a word that means a more trustworthy foothold as clients and prospects get the chance to see more what they are going to invest in. Who can blame them? Getting them to pour in hundreds of dollars should at least entitle them to a little look and feel.
In the base sense, business transparency is intended to present you as a clear and honest organization. (Although, there’ll always be skeptics who’ll see more to it than that.) This meaning however gets muddled when you factor in the time, the level, and the facts presented when it is supposedly ‘exercised.’
For example, suppose an outsourced company behaves in a way that adds unnecessary additions to its costs, but doesn’t share this problem until it’s on the verge of being exposed. That is not transparent behavior.
While there are still those who insist on either a stoic or flim-flamsy approach to transparency, it is only a symptom of the very problem and not a cure. It takes away its simple and humanitarian objective (that being showing a business for what it really is). Hiding things like poor decisions that have disastrous consequences (e.g. loss of jobs among employees) does not soften the blow it will also have on prospects and clients.
You don’t handle transparency by putting make-up on an ugly truth. Chances are you’ll either just distract prospects from the issue or make it even worse than it actually sounds. You handle it by being honest about what your business really is.
One way to start is just being honest with every entity that comes in contact with your business. Let them know the people who actually run it. Don’t depend too much on overused stock photos, professional actors, or paid referrals.
Give people a real glimpse of your organization. Who assembles the actual products or performs the actual service? Organizations have every right know the ins and outs of a company’s operation before they begin outsourcing.
When something’s wrong, don’t wait until someone else finds out. Get to the heart of the matter and make sure that the people who have entrusted you to do your job know you’re on the case. Transparency isn’t just another chance to more marketing success. It’s a chance to succeed as human beings.