On a recent rainy Sunday afternoon, while navigating an online news site, I came across this weird link that took me on an adventure I hadn’t planned on embarking on.

The link was about an enigma you might have wondered about: What’s actually in a Slim Jim?

I couldn’t help myself. I clicked it. I have been known to ingest a Slim Jim or two and figured this might be some good info to have. If you are a Slim Jim fan, you probably should stop reading right now.

Turns out, these tasty meaty snacks aren’t the type of meat you would normally purchase and put on your grill for a Saturday afternoon friendly barbecue. According to various sources, there are supposedly three levels of beef used: Utility, cutter and canner. Along with the famous mechanically separated chicken parts, there’s some pork, corn and wheat proteins, soy and more than a little bit of sodium.

And then I came across a video of meat snack production, and after a few seconds, had to kill it. Kind of gross. I mean, what if I want to eat one in the future?

It got me thinking: Something so popular and accepted isn’t always the best choice on a variety of levels. You are walking through a grocery store, and the marketing and packaging of these tasty tidbits looks attractive. You peel back the plastic to eat one, and it smells pretty good. And tastes pretty good, too.

Here’s my application of discussing Slim Jims. The ability of consumers to investigate what they are buying gives them power. Years ago, before the availabilty of the research options now available online, you would have to visit the library, make phone calls and do some serious digging to get to the bottom of what was in a Slim Jim (or any other burning question you might have). I was able to get the down-low on all the Slim Jim facts I wanted in just a matter of a few minutes.

For you cleaning and restoration business owners, the ability of consumers to investigate you, peel back the wrapping of your company and sniff out who you are and get to know all about you before actually using your services is powerful.

It’s why concentrating on building trust, getting referrals and — more importantly each and every day — landing those valuable, positive online reviews can’t be ignored.

Don’t leave it up to chance. Ensure your company looks its best when consumers do what they do more and more of each year — search online for the best.