There is nothing more important in a business than its reputation. Its reputation is what will attract and keep customers. While word of mouth is a very powerful tool for spreading such reviews, the Internet has become even more powerful. A dissatisfied customer can write a review online that will forever be available for potential customers to view. That is why it is important to take the steps now to manage your online reputation and not leave it in the hands of fate.
One of the first steps to managing your online reputation is getting your pages ranked within the search engines. Typically this is done through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It helps you put your sites and information where they are visible and will beneficial to your business. This is the part that you have the most control over.
Secondly, online reviews can be a good thing. Most reasonable people will understand that you cannot possibly please every single person that walks into your business. Encourage your customers to write online reviews and you can even offer an incentive, such as a discount off of their next order, when they do so. If you run a good, honest business that works hard to please your customers then you have nothing to worry about and potential customers will see that when they read the reviews.
Every business has a reputation, the question is whether you want to have a say in it or if you want to have it dictated for you.