For small businesses, personal credibility is their brand image



For small businesses, especially those in their early stages, the personal credibility of the business owner or founder often becomes closely intertwined with the brand image of the business itself. This is because, in the absence of an established business reputation, customers rely heavily on the personal credibility of the individuals behind the business to make judgments about the brand.

Before we move on, let’s ponder: what’s credibility and reputation anyway? Credibility


Credibility refers to the trustworthiness, expertise, and believability of a person or business. It is about being seen as reliable, knowledgeable, and capable in a specific domain and being trained to deliver the job well. Credibility is often associated with an individual’s or business’s competence and expertise in delivering products or services.


Reputation is the overall perception or evaluation of a person or business based on their past actions, behaviours, and interactions. It is based on the collective opinions, reviews, and experiences of those who have dealt with the business already. Reputation is built over time and is influenced by factors such as customer satisfaction, brand image, and public perception.

What matters more for a small business?

When a small business is just starting, customers may have limited information about the business itself. They may not be familiar with the brand’s name or its track record. In such cases, the personal credibility of the business owner can play a significant role in building trust and attracting customers.

For example, imagine a small bakery that has recently opened. The business owner, who is a renowned pastry chef with years of experience and a strong reputation in the culinary industry, decides to start their own bakery. Despite the bakery being new and lacking a well-known brand name, customers may be drawn to it because of the personal credibility and expertise of the owner. The customers may trust that the pastries and baked goods offered by the bakery will be of high quality due to the owner’s reputation.

In this scenario, the personal credibility of the business owner becomes an essential part of the brand image. Customers associate the owner’s expertise, skills, and reputation with the quality and reliability of the bakery’s products. The owner’s personal credibility serves as a foundation for building the brand’s reputation over time.

However, it is important to note that personal credibility alone may not be sufficient for long-term success. While it can initially attract customers, the business must consistently deliver on its promises and build its own reputation through positive customer experiences. Over time, the business’s reputation should ideally grow independently of the personal credibility of the owner.

It’s worth consider that while personal credibility can be a valuable asset for small businesses, it is crucial for the business to establish its own reputation separate from the owner’s personal reputation. Relying solely on personal credibility may limit the scalability and sustainability of the business. Therefore, small businesses should aim to build a strong brand image that encompasses both the personal credibility of the owner and the reputation of the business itself.