As a CEO, I am responsible for the public image of my company. It takes years to develop a brand within any industry. With trade professions, reputation is everything. How a business is perceived can make or break a bid. This brings me to my next point. The work environment that you create will affect your company's public image.

A cut-throat culture will have employees fighting with each other  stressed out beyond believe, and not exactly operating with a moral compass leading the way. However, companies who take pride in winning bids ethically have a great public image and employees who can reflect this image.

How your employees feel about your company's culture shapes and molds how your business is viewed. Many construction and electrical contract bids are through referrals, while the rest tend to be awarded on reputation.  Public image is everything when it comes to both referrals and reputation.  Do you know where your company's public image stands? Have you won bids lately? Are you getting referral business? How do your employees really feel about the company's culture?

If you're not asking yourself these questions right now, chances are you are not involved in the game- and you probably could care less about public images. Your company is doomed. You need to care about the company's image and the people who make up your business' culture.

A recent study within the construction industry reviewed Bid-to-Hit ratios.  The numbers are outstanding, and I believe a direct reflection of public image issues. Here they are:

General Contractors Bid-Hit Ratio

- Public Works 10-2

- Private Bid Work 24-15

- Negotiated Work  10-3

- Design-Build  12-1

Private bids are usually awarded based on what we discussed, reputations and referrals.  Take some time this week to really sit down and assess how your company is viewed. What are people saying about you and your employees? Are your employees writing negative things about your company on the Internet? What is the overall culture like? Once you can gauge what the public image is, you can make adjustments and improve how much business is sent your way.

Remember, take time this week to assess your company's public image.  Addressing company issues will also help solidify you as a leader  improving your public image.