Your company’s reputation is important. It may matter far more than you realize. Any threat to that reputation is a threat to the company itself.

In fact, some experts have gone so far as to call reputation a form of currency. You think long and hard about how you invest your money in employees, products, ad campaigns, research and development, and much more. Make sure you also think about how much time and effort you put into your reputation. Those returns must be just as positive as the others for you to see sustained success.

This is even more true in today’s digital world than it was in the past. One negative event can cause terrific damage to your brand and reputation. Information spreads quickly. Consumers are quick to read headlines and make snap decisions that may impact the way they choose to use their money in the future. If they have a negative opinion of your company, it cuts directly into both popularity and profits.

If your company ever faces litigation, it’s important not just to think about the outcome but also to think about the impact the outcome has on your reputation. What does it say to consumers? How will they interpret news articles that they read? Regardless of the quality of your goods and services, will this blow to your reputation undermine everything you have worked so hard for over the years? It can make all the difference in the world.

Take this seriously. Consider all of your options. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take when facing litigation of any kind.