Vancouver Island’s Better Business Bureau is set to launch its 2014 directory as part of a year of change for the organization.
The bureau publishes its listing of accredited businesses on Vancouver Island annually.
“These are the businesses you want to do business with,” said president Rosalind Scott, who is based in Victoria. “Put it right next to your phone book. It’s like a little bible.”
A business must go through a detailed vetting process in order to be accredited – it is not as simple as just joining the Bureau.
In order to qualify, a business must have been in operation for at least a year, have no complaints logged against them, have established a positive presence in the marketplace and have a good rating with the Bureau, based on specific criteria.
One criteria focuses on honest advertising and making sure companies make promises they can keep. Advertising as “the best” in an industry doesn’t fly with the Bureau, same with other unverifiable claims.
“It kind of backfires on a business when they do that,” Scott said. “So we work with businesses to help them have good advertising practices.”
There were significant changes for the Bureau in 2013. The biggest perhaps is the Canadian Bureau’s integration with its U.S.A. counterpart, creating a North American Bureau. The two organizations can now share resources and information about businesses on both sides of the border.
“We retain our Canadian identity, however we become part of an amazing brand,” Scott said. “That was huge for us, a wonderful transition.”
In order to get in, the Canadian Bureau had to be accredited, just like any other business, a process which was complex, but ultimately successful. “Me and my staff are very proud,” said Scott, who was elected chair for the Canadian region.
The Vancouver Island-specific “Did You Know?” campaign, started in 2013, will continue this year, helping consumers learn more about the local Bureau and what it does and doesn’t do, through bite-size facts, disseminated through a variety of platforms.
The new year will also see the introduction of enhanced ratings for businesses, which will allow for more detail for people looking for information about a business. Specifics are being saved for the launch of the changes.
“We’re the good guys and we look at ourselves long and hard everyday, trying to make everything that we do better,” Scott said.
See vi.bureau.org for more.