Making an informed decision as an investor is critical to your investment success. When considering companies to invest in, there are many factors one should weigh before making a decision. One of these important factors is the company’s online reputation.
The ability to search for information on companies and their founders online is a fantastic tool for investors that should absolutely be taken advantage of. Here, we’ll cite five great reasons to run a thorough search on a company’s internet reputation before making a decision on whether or not to invest in that company.
You want to know the founders and what they stand for.
Have the founders had any negative press that comes up in search results? What did they do before they started this business? Does anyone in the company have a negative voice or negative interactions in forums that could give the company a bad reputation?
Find out if there is any negative legal history associated with the company.
It’s always important to understand if the company or founders have been associated with any litigation. Usually this information is public knowledge and is available online.
Note that sometimes there will be peripheral involvement in a case (perhaps they were a witness), and there may be no cause for concern. Regardless, understanding what legal issues the company may have been associated with will give insight into ethics and values in many cases, and into whether the money you invest could ever have the potential to be invested in legal proceedings.
Check to see if the company has been involved in legal proceedings before investing.
A negative online reputation can equate to loss of business.
A report from Fleishman-Hillard indicates that “89% of consumers turn to Google, Bing, or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases.” If a company has negative press about it that is high in search results, potential customers can be turned off, and might turn to a competitor instead.
You want to see if there are any news articles on the business.
News articles written from an unbiased reporter can be affirming for you that you are making the right decision – or just the opposite, can have you turned off of your potential investment. Some people say any press is good press, but that will ultimately be your decision! Regardless, it would be great to see if the business you are investing in has reporters interested.
A glowing reputation might actually have you considering investing more.
If a company seems to have a strong sales trajectory, seeing that they have a positive online reputation and that customers and employees are pleased with the business might incent you to invest more money in the company. It might otherwise simply serve as affirmation that you are making the right decision, because you have a fuller spectrum of knowledge about the business.
Before you invest your hard-earned money in a business, research their reputation online
In general, it’s always a good idea to research companies online to see what kind of reputations they have before you finalize an investment decision. Be sure always to look beyond just the first page of search results when doing your research with a search engine. Very often businesses with negative online press will employ tactics to suppress negative links beyond the first page or two of search engine results, as the majority of people don’t look much beyond that.
Cara Aley is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of topics from managing your internet reputation to health and wellness. Cara has a BA in English from Stanford University, and has spent most of her career in digital marketing and project management, but most recently co-founded a social venture with her brothers.
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