When you're running a business, cultivating and maintaining your brand (what you are known for) is very important. But once you've built your brand, it's important to be aware of problems that can arise, some within your control and some not, so you can combat them.

1. Obscurity

In reality, often the biggest threat to your brand is simple obscurity, which is a problem whether your business is new or established. If customers don't know you exist, then you are not likely to be successful.

Exposure via advertising, social media, events and more can ward off this potential problem, especially when you're just starting out. You must always be making an effort to remind customers that you are still in business , whether that's through more traditional advertising methods or frequent social media usage.

2. Bad PR

Every company's worst nightmare, bad PR can do serious, irreversible and even fatal damage to your brand. Bad PR can come from just about anywhere—an employee handles a customer interaction poorly or a promotional event goes horribly wrong, and it can be exceedingly difficult to placate angry customers.

Sincere apologies, positive distractions to mitigate the negative and immediate action usually help. Study how other companies have handled PR crises and formulate general strategies for how your company will respond to any of your own.

3. Lawsuits

Whether or not you are at fault, lawsuits can certainly take a toll on your brand and your customers' views of your company. Even when your company did nothing wrong, a lawsuit can still plant seeds of doubt in the minds of customers. Litigation can also drag on for years and cost your company significant amounts of money.

From the moment your company is formed, you should have contact with a business law firm that sets your business up properly and can help represent your company in case of litigation. Lawsuits can be for a number of things, including but not limited to breach of contract, fraud or employment and labor law violations.

4. Shoddy Products

Another serious threat to your brand is the launch of a shoddy product. If your company has built its reputation on quality, which it should be doing, having a new product or a new run of an old product that is not up to the standards your customers have come to expect can do serious damage to your brand.

Have rigorous quality checks in place and do what you can to avoid cheapening up your products. Customers will notice and usually respond unkindly.

With all of these potential threats to your brand, you can't afford to leave the reputation of your brand up to chance. Take the necessary steps to plan your management of a reputation crisis and you should be in good shape if your business finds itself in the middle of one.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here .