4 December 2023

Why You Should Care About BBB Accreditation and How to Get It

By Ronald Smith

Let’s talk about something important – getting BBB Accreditation. You might be wondering, what’s that all about and why should I even care? Well, I’ll break it down for you.

First things first, what does BBB stand for? BBB stands for Better Business Bureau, and they’re a well-respected organization that helps consumers like you and me make informed decisions when it comes to choosing businesses to work with.

Now, you might be thinking, Wait a minute, why do businesses need to be accredited by BBB? Great question! BBB Accreditation is like a stamp of approval that shows a business is trustworthy and operates with integrity. It’s a way for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to being fair, honest, and transparent in their dealings with customers.

So, why should you care about BBB Accreditation as a consumer? Well, when you see that BBB Accredited logo, it gives you peace of mind knowing that the business you’re considering has gone through a rigorous evaluation process. It means they meet high standards of trustworthiness, like advertising honestly, providing reliable products or services, and resolving any customer complaints in a timely manner.

Now, you might be wondering, How do I know if a business is BBB Accredited? It’s super easy! Just look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal on their website or ask them directly. You can also visit the BBB website and search for the business by name to see if they’re accredited.

But wait, there’s more! When you choose to work with a BBB Accredited business, you’re not just benefiting yourself. You’re also supporting ethical business practices and contributing to a marketplace where honesty and integrity are valued.

So, if you’re a business owner reading this, you might be thinking, How do I get BBB Accreditation? Well, it’s a straightforward process. Just head to the BBB website and fill out an application. You’ll need to provide some information about your business, like how long you’ve been operating and whether you have any unresolved customer complaints.

Once you submit your application, BBB will review it to make sure you meet their standards. They may also conduct background checks and verify the information you provided. If everything checks out, congratulations – you’ll become BBB Accredited!

In conclusion, BBB Accreditation is a big deal. It’s a way for businesses to show their commitment to fairness and transparency, and for consumers like you to have peace of mind when choosing who to trust. So remember, when you see that BBB Accredited logo, you can be confident that you’re making a smart choice.

Why You Should Care About BBB Accreditation and How to Get It

Deciding whether to become BBB accredited can be an easy choice for some small business owners, but for others, it raises questions. Is it really worth the fee? What does it actually bring in terms of value?

As we explore further, getting accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers numerous strategic benefits.

It boosts your brand’s credibility, building trust with the public and acting as a guiding light that attracts new customers to your business.

Why You Should Care About BBB Accreditation and How to Get It

Have you seen the blue and white BBB logo? It’s a symbol that businesses use to show they can be trusted. People tend to trust businesses more if they have this logo.

This logo helps consumers find good businesses and avoid scams. It shows that a business is responsible and trustworthy.

But businesses can’t just put this logo on their website. They have to earn it. They have to go through a process called accreditation to show they meet certain standards.

This article will explain how businesses earn this accreditation, why it’s important, and the steps to becoming BBB accredited.

What is the Better Business Bureau?

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a big job. It started way back in 1912 and does many important things. One of its most important duties is to connect businesses and the public with information.

The BBB wants things to be fair. They want buyers and sellers to trust each other in a marketplace that is honest and ethical. They work hard to create a space where good and honest deals can happen.

The BBB is made up of different parts. At the top is the International Association of Better Business Bureaus. Underneath that are nearly 100 local groups. They are separate organizations, but they all work together. They cover the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Why You Should Care About BBB Accreditation and How to Get It

Did you know that the BBB, or the Better Business Bureau, has a special branch called the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust? It’s all about promoting good and honest business practices. Pretty cool, right?

  • First off, the BBB keeps a huge directory of over 5 million business profiles. This is super helpful if you want to do some research on a particular company.
  • If you ever have a problem with a business, you can file a complaint with the BBB. And guess what? The BBB also gives those companies a chance to respond. Plus, they even offer mediation and arbitration to help sort things out. How fair is that?
  • If you’re someone who values their opinion, you’ll be happy to know that the BBB lets verified consumers leave reviews about vendors on their website. Your voice matters!
  • Now here’s something interesting – the BBB rates businesses on a scale of A+ to F. It’s based on a 17-point scale, so it’s pretty thorough.
  • Lastly, the BBB has something called accreditation for certain companies. It’s like a special stamp of approval that shows they meet certain standards. Talk about being a cut above the rest!

But what does BBB accreditation really mean?

When your firm earns BBB accreditation, it means you’ve met all the requirements set by the BBB and received official accreditation status.

Getting accredited involves filling out an application form, providing the necessary information, undergoing a comprehensive review of your business operations, and meeting the BBB’s strict standards.

In addition to meeting the requirements, accredited businesses need to pay a fee and renew their accreditation annually. Once you’ve completed these steps, your BBB accredited business will enjoy exclusive marketing privileges and other beneficial provisions.

The Impact of BBB Accreditation

Credibility and Trust:

    Did you know that having BBB accreditation can make a big difference for your business? It shows your customers that you are dedicated to doing things the right way and making sure they are happy. This can be a major factor for customers when they are trying to decide between different businesses.

    One of the great things about BBB is that they offer dispute resolution services. This means that if a customer has a complaint, you can work it out on a neutral platform. This is really helpful because it can help you keep a positive relationship with your customers and protect your business’s reputation.

    Increased Visibility and Standing Out:

    By getting BBB accreditation, your business will be listed on their online directory. This can make a big difference for your online visibility, as customers often see the BBB as a trustworthy source. Their high standards for accreditation make your listing more credible than other online directories.

    When you display the BBB seal on your website and marketing materials, it sets you apart from all the other businesses out there. This is especially important in industries where trust and credibility really matter.

    Figuring Out if It’s Worth It

    Analyzing Costs and Benefits:

    It’s true that there’s a cost associated with getting BBB accreditation. But you have to think about whether the potential benefits outweigh that cost. By becoming accredited, you can gain more trust from customers, boost their confidence in your business, and even see potential growth.

    Matching Your Business Values:

    It’s also important to consider how your business values align with the principles of BBB. If your target market values credibility and ethical practices, then getting accredited could make a big difference in your business.

    Accreditation connects your business with the BBB’s Standards for Trust. It’s like a guidebook that helps you uphold high ethical standards in your business. This partnership can make your business even better by promoting fairness, transparency, and making customers happy.

    The BBB offers lots of helpful resources for businesses, like webinars and workshops. These resources can teach you how to improve your business and give great customer service. With accreditation, you get access to all these tools and knowledge to help your business grow and succeed.

    Being accredited by the BBB also means you can be part of a network of other businesses. You can connect with them, learn from them, and even get involved in your community. It’s a great way to build relationships and make a positive impact.

    Overall, getting accredited by the BBB is a smart move for your business. It shows that you care about doing business the right way and gives you access to valuable resources and opportunities.

    Why Connect with the BBB?

    Interested in growing your business and becoming part of a supportive community? Well, BBB events and forums are the place to be! By connecting with other accredited businesses, you’ll have the opportunity to network, collaborate, and build valuable relationships.

    But that’s not all! Participating in BBB initiatives can also give your business a boost in visibility within your local community. By engaging with the BBB, you’ll enhance your presence and make a lasting impression on potential customers.

    Aligning with Your Goals

    Now, let’s think about your business goals. If you’re all about building trust and providing top-notch customer satisfaction, BBB accreditation is a game-changer. It’s a stamp of approval that shows your commitment to integrity and excellence.

    Take a moment to reflect on where your business stands. Are you looking to take it to the next level? If so, accreditation might be exactly what you need to elevate your reputation and make a bigger impact in the market.

    Using BBB Accreditation to Your Advantage

    Imagine having the BBB logo as a powerful marketing tool for your business. It’s a symbol of trust, reliability, and credibility that instantly boosts your brand’s reputation.

    By becoming accredited, you’ll have access to a range of marketing opportunities, from featuring the BBB logo on your website to showcasing your commitment to ethical practices. It’s a powerful way to stand out from the competition and attract more customers.

  • Using BBB accreditation in your marketing efforts is a great way to show that you are committed to doing business ethically and satisfying your customers. It can help you attract new customers and keep the ones you already have.
  • Make sure you let people know about your BBB accreditation by sharing it on social media, in email newsletters, and on your website. This will make a bigger impact and reach more people.

There are many advantages to getting BBB accreditation for your business. It shows that you are trustworthy and care about your customers. It might require some work, but it can really pay off in the form of customer trust, a good reputation, and overall growth.

Why should you get BBB accreditation?

If you become an accredited BBB business, you will get many benefits. Some of them are:

Trust is Key. When businesses earn accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), they gain the endorsement of a trusted brand. This means that I can confidently associate my business with the BBB brand, which is widely recognized as a symbol of trust. For instance, I can proudly display the BBB accredited business logo on my front door, website, and other prominent places. As a consumer, you know to look for this seal when making choices.

A Competitive Edge. Accreditation sets my business apart from the competition, giving me a unique advantage. Out of the millions of businesses out there, only around 400,000 have received accreditation from BBB, making up less than 3% of all companies. This means that by achieving accreditation, I can truly stand out from my peers and show customers that I am committed to upholding the highest standards.

Managing Your Reputation. When businesses become accredited, they earn extra points towards their BBB rating. It’s important to note that ratings and accreditation are separate. However, by going through the accreditation process, the BBB can directly assess a business’s trustworthiness and potentially award a higher score.

Boosting Your Online Presence. Once your business is accredited, its status will be highlighted in the BBB directory. You’ll have the opportunity to claim your online profile and enhance it with images, videos, and other valuable information. Additionally, you may receive leads directly from the BBB.

Learning and Growing Your Business. The BBB offers a variety of helpful resources to support you in successfully running your business. These include webinars, newsletters, and additional educational materials.

Why You Should Care About BBB Accreditation and How to Get It

How to Become BBB Accredited

Applying and Going through the Process

  • When you want to become BBB accredited, your business practices will go through a thorough review. This examination can help you find areas where you can make improvements in how you run your business and take care of your customers.
  • Preparing for accreditation is a chance for you to refine your business policies and practices, making sure they meet the highest standards in your industry.

Getting accredited is not difficult if you have a trustworthy company, but you need to follow these five steps to apply for BBB accreditation:

1. Check if You Qualify

  • Make sure you have all the necessary licenses and bonding required for your industry.
  • No violations of government ethics should be found.
  • You must comply with all obligations dictated by the government and any contracts you have.

To ensure privacy and security when selling online, it’s important to have a clear privacy policy on your website and use secure technology.

2. How to Apply

There are two ways you can apply for accreditation. You can start the process by visiting this page.

Another option is to directly contact your local BBB office. As a small business owner, most of your interactions will be with your local BBB office. To find the appropriate chapter for your location, you can visit BBB.org and explore the BBB organizations operating in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

After identifying the right chapter, you can initiate the application process in different ways: calling, emailing, or using the application form available on the local chapter’s website.

3. Providing Information

When you apply, you need to give some important information about your business. The list of details you need to provide isn’t everything, but it’s really important that they are accurate.

The key facts include your business’s official name, the address it’s registered at, how many employees you have, and other relevant information. These details are the heart of the information you give.

It’s really important to be precise when you give this information because it helps the review process go smoothly and has a big impact on whether you get accredited or not.

4. Get Reviewed

After you submit your application, the BBB chapter for your area will review your business in detail.

When I review your business, I’ll be checking public records and gathering information from different sources to assess how trustworthy and honest your business is.

During this process, I may need to meet with you personally or talk to you on the phone to get a better understanding of how your business operates. After that, your application will go through a review by the local BBB board of directors. This can take a few weeks.

The board is made up of people from the business community, and they meet regularly to review applications. With all these steps, it’s best to expect the whole process to take at least 3 weeks.

5. Pay the Fee When You’re Approved

Once you’ve gone through the strict approval process and your application is successful, you’ll need to agree to the BBB’s specific terms. This means you’ll have to pay a fee known as Accreditation Dues.

It’s important to keep in mind that this fee doesn’t guarantee a certain rating. Instead, it is used to cover the BBB’s expenses for running their organization.

These expenses include processing applications and taking care of day-to-day operations at the Better Business Bureau. As a business owner, you know that running an organization comes with various costs such as staff salaries, rent, and utilities.

Once your application is approved, you’ll receive a comprehensive welcome packet from us. This awesome kit includes a Membership Certificate, a bunch of marketing materials, and lots of other useful resources.

On top of that, we’ll send you an email with your login details for your new online profile. This marks the beginning of your journey with BBB accreditation.

Staying Committed

  • Once you’re accredited, it’s important to follow the BBB’s standards and guidelines. This means being proactive in customer service and practicing ethical business.
  • Renewing your accreditation every year shows that you’re dedicated to these standards, building customer trust over time.

Why You Should Care About BBB Accreditation and How to Get It

The Cost of BBB Accreditation

Have you ever wondered how much it costs to get BBB accreditation for your small business? Well, I’ve got the scoop for you. The fee for accreditation usually falls somewhere in the hundreds of dollars range. However, the exact amount depends on two important factors: the number of employees you have and the fee schedule set by your local BBB office.

Here’s the deal: every local BBB office has its own fees, but they generally stick to a similar range. Some offices even make their fees available online, like the St. Louis office. Let me give you an example of their published fees:

St. Louis BBB Fees:

  • 1-9 employees: $425
  • 10-49 employees: $600
  • 50-99 employees: $725
  • 100-249 employees: $875

Of course, these fees might not be the same for your local chapter. To get the real deal, you’ll need to contact your local BBB office to find out the actual fees they would charge you. The good news is that they usually offer payment plans that allow you to spread out the cost over a few months or quarters. So, you don’t have to worry about paying everything upfront.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, Do I have to pay the same fee every year? Good news! The accreditation fee is charged annually for renewal. This means that once you’ve paid the initial fee, you’ll need to pay the same amount every year to maintain your BBB accreditation. But here’s the exciting part: the fees you pay to the BBB are considered a business expense and can even be claimed as a small business tax deduction. So, it’s a win-win!

Did you know? Sometimes, local business bureaus have special offers. Right now, the South East Florida BBB is giving a discount for a limited time and 90 days of free online advertising.

Who Benefits from BBB Accreditation?

Any business that interacts with the public can benefit from BBB Accreditation, no matter how big or small or what industry they are in. This means a wide range of organizations are eligible.

While many small businesses are accredited, it’s not uncommon for local branches of big companies, like banks, to be accredited as well.

Businesses from different industries can seek accreditation, except for unlawful industries like online casinos or industries that the BBB sees as problematic, like payday lenders.

According to the West Florida BBB, the biggest concerns from people like you and me are about businesses like roofing contractors, A/C contractors, insurance companies, home builders, used car dealerships, general contractors, plumbers, pool companies, and collection agencies.

While the list might differ depending on where you live, it gives us an idea of the kinds of businesses that the BBB’s approval can really sway our decisions for.

These specific types of businesses could benefit a lot from having BBB accreditation.

What about Online Businesses and BBB Accreditation?

Sure enough, online businesses are allowed to apply for and get BBB accreditation. You might wonder why this is even necessary, but the reason is simple. In this digital era, building trust online is more important than ever.

I found a fascinating study by Nielsen, which the BBB quoted. It turns out that 60% of people like to check the BBB before buying things online. Can you believe that? It just goes to show how important it is for e-commerce companies to have BBB accreditation.

So, how can you find out if a business is BBB accredited?

Well, there are two main ways to do it. The first way is super easy – just look for the fancy BBB Accredited Business Seal on the company’s website. It’s like a special badge that tells you they’re legit. Pretty cool, right?

But if you want to dig a little deeper, you can visit the BBB.org website and search for the business there. The business profile will have all the info you need to know if they’re accredited or not. Easy peasy!

If you’re having trouble finding a business, the first thing to check is if you’ve spelled the name correctly. If you still can’t find their profile, it means that they don’t have BBB accreditation.

Why You Should Care About BBB Accreditation and How to Get It

Why Doesn’t a Business Have BBB Accreditation?

  • Maybe the business decided not to apply or chose not to renew.
  • They might have relocated and temporarily lost their accreditation, like what happened with USamerica.US Media when we moved to another state.
  • A business could lack accreditation if it’s in an industry that the BBB considers suspicious or problematic.
  • Accreditation can also be taken away. MyPillow is an example – they had their status revoked and their rating lowered because they violated the BBB’s advertising code.

What Are the BBB Trust Standards?

The Better Business Bureau keeps a close eye on accredited businesses to make sure they follow eight important principles, which are called the Standards of Marketplace Trust.

    In order to establish trust with you, I want to make sure that I am honest, transparent, and responsive in all of my business practices. Here are some important principles that I follow:

    1. Build Trust: It’s crucial for me to have a positive reputation in the marketplace. I strive to maintain a track record that shows I am trustworthy and reliable.

    2. Advertise Honestly: I always adhere to established standards when it comes to advertising and selling. I want to make sure that everything I say about my products and services is true and accurate.

    3. Tell the Truth: I promise to honestly represent my products and services. This means that I will provide clear and complete information about them, including any important details that you need to know.

    4. Be Transparent: I want to be open and transparent about my business. This means identifying the nature, location, and ownership of my business. I will also clearly explain all of my policies, guarantees, and procedures that may affect your decision to buy.

    5. Honor Promises: If I make any agreements with you, I will stick to them. I believe in keeping my word and fulfilling any promises that I make, both in written agreements and in any verbal representations.

    6. Be Responsive: If you have any issues or disputes, I will address them quickly, professionally, and with good intentions. I want to resolve any problems that may arise in a fair and timely manner.

    By following these principles, I hope to create a relationship of trust and honesty with you. Your satisfaction is my top priority, and I will do everything I can to ensure that you have a positive experience with my business.

    When it comes to running a business, there are a few important principles that I should keep in mind:

  • Guard Privacy: I need to protect any data I collect from my customers. It’s important to handle their information carefully and only collect what is necessary. I should also respect their preferences on how their information is used.
  • Embody Integrity: I need to approach all of my business dealings with honesty and integrity. This means being fair and transparent in all of my transactions and commitments.

By following these standards, I not only maintain my BBB accreditation, but I also create a strong foundation for running my business. These principles guide me in making ethical decisions and building a good reputation with my customers.

You might be wondering, Should I get my business accredited?

So, you might be thinking: is the Better Business Bureau (BBB) really worth it? Well, let me tell you, the BBB has had its fair share of controversy. I remember writing about it over ten years ago and being pretty surprised by the response it got. Then, a few years later, CNN came out with a series of negative articles about the BBB, which led to some changes being made.

However, despite all the drama, I still believe that accreditation from the BBB is valuable, especially for local small businesses that cater to consumers like you. Just to be clear, I don’t have any financial interest in whether you choose to pursue accreditation or not. But here’s the thing: a lot of people out there put their trust in the BBB.

And let’s face it, if potential customers see that a business has BBB accreditation, it carries some weight. After all, at the end of the day, what really matters is the customer.