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Acquiring a small business but I want to start fresh with no reviews

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I'm purchasing a small business. I'm renovating and upgrading it with new management. 

I want to start fresh with no reviews. Is that possible or do I have to re-brand/re-name the business entirely?

I'd like to keep the name because it's located a small town and it's familiar. 

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Here's the clinic I'm purchasing:

 

https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Devon+Family+Dentistry/@53.3651386,-113.7323241,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1...

 

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Acquiring a small business but I want to start fresh with no reviews

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi @Laheeb Q,

 

As long as you aren't changing the name of the clinic, there's nothing that you'd have to do apart from claim the listing.

 

 

You can do this by following the on-screen instructions here: Devon Family Dentistry -> Google My Business Claim URL.

 

Also, in case you weren't already aware, you can find detailed guidelines on rebranding here: Google My Business Help -> Guidelines for representing your business on Google:

 

"Rebranding

 

If you change the name of your brand or any of your locations, update them by editing your business information.

Businesses are eligible for rebranding if:

  • The business name changes, but the business category, management, and ownership remain the same. 
  • The business acquires or merges with another business and changes its name. 
  • The business has multiple locations and changes the names for all of those locations. 

Businesses that make significant identity changes (e.g. hotel or fast food establishments that switch franchise affiliations or car dealers that specialize in a different make of car), are considered new businesses and aren’t eligible for rebranding. If your business is ineligible, first mark the existing business listing as permanently closed, then create a new listing using your new business identity."

 

Thank you.

Acquiring a small business but I want to start fresh with no reviews

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks @Time Lord

You wrote "As long as you aren't changing the name of the clinic, there's nothing that you'd have to do apart from claim the listing."

Does that imply that once I claim the business, the existing reviews will go away? That's exactly what I'm looking for (because the current reviews aren't so great). Can you confirm that that's what would happen?

Acquiring a small business but I want to start fresh with no reviews

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

Hi @Laheeb Q,

 

Apologies, I should've said "As long as you aren't changing the name of the clinic, you can proceed to claim the existing listing, if you'd like to".

 

No, I'm afraid that the existing reviews will not go away once you claim the listing.

 

But by claiming the listing you do get the ability to flag the review as a business owner, using Google My Business, as described here: Google My Business Help -> Flag inappropriate reviews in addition to the way you would as a normal user on Google Maps: Google Maps Help -> Write reviews and add ratings of places.

 

But, the final decision as to whether the review is removed or not, depends on whether Google finds the review to be in violation of their review policies: Google My Business Help -> Review policies.

 

You also gain the ability to reply to the reviews: Google My Business Help -> Read and reply to reviews.

 

But, just as an FYI, in case you were thinking of this, creating a new listing with the same name as that of the existing business, just to get rid of the reviews is not allowed as per the guidelines.

 

So, in summary, the only way that you are allowed, as per the guidelines, to close the existing listing is if your business does not qualify for rebranding: Google My Business Help -> Guidelines for representing your business on Google:

 

"Rebranding

 

If you change the name of your brand or any of your locations, update them by editing your business information.

Businesses are eligible for rebranding if:

  • The business name changes, but the business category, management, and ownership remain the same. 
  • The business acquires or merges with another business and changes its name. 
  • The business has multiple locations and changes the names for all of those locations. 

Businesses that make significant identity changes (e.g. hotel or fast food establishments that switch franchise affiliations or car dealers that specialize in a different make of car), are considered new businesses and aren’t eligible for rebranding. If your business is ineligible, first mark the existing business listing as permanently closed, then create a new listing using your new business identity."

 

Thank you.