Most people are familiar with the Better Business Bureau, but not everyone knows exactly how they can use this organization as a tool to help their companies succeed. In this blog entry, our business litigation attorneys talk about what it is the BBB actually does, and provide some tips on using the Better Business Bureau as a resource for your company.
What the Better Business Bureau Does
To begin with, let’s address what the Better Business Bureau is: a non-profit organization, established in 1912. Today, the BBB is comprised of over 100 sub-organizations scattered throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada, with headquarters located in Virginia.
As the BBB itself states, there are more than 30 million businesses in the United States today. According to the Small Business Administration, in a single month, over 500,000 new businesses will open, and in the same amount of time, just as many will close their doors forever.
With so many companies constantly bursting in and out of existence, it can be a Herculean task to keep track of pertinent information like reviews and listings. The BBB functions as a data hub, consolidating huge mines of data into a single, reliable source.
In addition to serving as a trusted database, the BBB also handles disputes between consumers and businesses, and posts warnings about scams. But most importantly, the BBB allows companies to apply for BBB membership and accreditation. Just like universities, businesses also benefit from obtaining accreditation.
How Can the Better Business Bureau Help My Company?
The Better Business Bureau is trusted by millions of people. If your business earns the BBB’s stamp of approval, what it’s really earned is a nationally recognized seal of excellence.
This is because the BBB imposes rigorous standards of quality, and accreditation is only granted to applicant companies which meet those standards. To become accredited by the BBB, companies must:
- Work in good faith to resolve any consumer grievances.
- Have been in business for a minimum of one year.
- Be licensed and bonded in accordance with the rules of their jurisdiction.
- Demonstrate the use of ethical business practices.
- Advertise in accordance with industry standards and local, state, and federal laws.
These are just a few of the many standards which the BBB requires businesses to meet if they wish to become accredited. But, once you do earn accreditation, not only do you earn more trust from consumers, you also gain access to numerous resources offered by the BBB itself.
For example, BBB accredited businesses in Pennsylvania are eligible to receive:
- Marketing Services. The BBB can provide PR, ad campaigns, and help organize events.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). IT support for better page rankings with Google and other search engines.
- Tax Deductibility. Because the IRS recognizes BBB fees as a business expense, membership dues are tax deductible. Contact a tax attorney to learn more.
- Conflict Resolution. The BBB offers mediation and arbitration services and promises a quick 48-hour turnaround.
- Increased Exposure. Your business will be linked into the BBB Accredited Business Directory, which is free to the public.
If you would like to speak to an experienced employment law attorney about ways to make your business grow, contact the law offices of Berkowitz Klein online, or call us today at (610) 889-3200 (ext. 1).