Transparency has become a buzzword used by many businesses, a marketing opportunity to build trust with their audience. How many businesses do you think actually live by it? It’s become increasingly easy online to show “fake transparency”. Look at stores hosted on Shopify as an example. Shopify store owners have the ability to hide any review they want on their products. This leaves the opportunity to highlight all their positive reviews without being transparent towards their negative reviews.

As a result, people are now questioning the credibility of businesses they shop at online. How many of the reviews are legitimate? Are these ALL the reviews?

What Is Business Transparency?

Business Transparency is simply being clear in what you’re offerings are and have unhindered honesty in the way you do business. Business transparency is much more than simple honesty.

Transparency depends on the degree and timeliness of your honesty. As an example, if a business engages in something that ends up costing its members money, but doesn’t admit the loss until months or years later, that is not business transparency. Even though the truth ended up coming out, it took years for it to occur and the damage had already been done.


Now it’s important for us to remember the purpose of business transparency. As business owners, it’s crucial to get around the sometimes negative stigma of credibility and business transparency. Get into the mindset that your business is an extension of your personal reputation. How do you want to be viewed in the business community? How do you want clients and your audience to view your reputation? Business transparency can be a part of your personal identity/reputation.


include business transparency with clients and your audience


Think of the saying “you’re the face of the company”. That right there creates a personal attachment to your brand. Which in turn, means your business transparency should be a part of your personal reputation. The true purpose of transparency is not to meet regulations or increase profits. It’s a great bonus when business transparency lands you additional clients and more trust with your audience. However, this isn’t (and shouldn’t) be your main purpose for having business transparency.

A business that is truly out there for the sole purpose of increasing your growth and insuring you are well supported, they’ve got nothing to hide. When you’re providing high quality products, services, and support to your clients, it becomes increasingly easy to be transparent.

Now you may be feeling that transparency towards some of your internal operations and/or company culture is overwhelming and scary. I get it! In today’s economy we see it everywhere that brand perception can often tackle the quality of whatever is being offered. It’s a troubling thought that being TOO transparent may cost your brand perception and not reflect the perception of what it is you’re selling.

Change your mindset into a more positive one by looking at it as a way to provide more value for your clients and audience. Providing more value in turn will increase your brand awareness and profitability. 


Don’t fluff it up


Be authentic. People will be able to tell when you’re providing them with “fluffed up” business transparency. You know, like those commercials of people working but you look on their face and can tell their smiles are forced? People can tell. Adding in needless fluff will distract people from your message or worse, directly harm your message and brand. Give people an authentic glimpse of your business.