Image by: kev-shine
By Michael Sterling
In order for a business to thrive, ethics are a must. Not only does it define the entire business trajectory, it also sets the standard of productivity. When one doesn’t feel comfortable in their work environment, not only will the company suffer, but the customers will as well. The secret to maintaining an ethical business foundation will always lie in 5 simple points:
#1) Everything Starts Small
In business everything is a domino effect, and when a business fails it is rarely because of a large mistake. Instead, it’s typically from a series of short decisions one had made on the spur of the moment which gradually moved the company in a wrong direction. Very rarely do mistakes happen by a conscious decision.
Details are the most important part of forming and maintaining a business direction. They are the roots which will hold you together and should be paid attention to just as much all major decisions. From the file room to the executive offices, everyone’s role must matter and be treated like it was the most important role in the company.
#2) Be Honest About Your Finances
Cash management is one of those sticky areas that most business owners tend to learn through experience. When you’re short of cash, you have no choice but to make cuts. The question then becomes: do you take it out of the business spending or from your employees’ benefits? As a business owner, it’s your job to prevent yourself from ever facing this kind of decision.
A well-run, well-managed business will rarely face such a dilemma. Internal control over the company’s finances is crucial for planning for the future, and the focus should always be on the profit. Period. Otherwise, you will never meet the company’s ethical obligations to prepare for the well-being of the business, its employees and the customers. Money makes the compnay stay afloat.
#3) The One Who Tells The Truth Will Prosper
It’s obvious that a defective product hiding behind the “buyer beware” defense will never win. Yes you can sell products or services with limitations, defects or expiration dates, but never as first-class or new merchandise. Truth telling is now the law, which has made it harder for businesses to lie. Even the smallest of white lies eventually become self-evident.
Consumers know when they’re being lied to, especially if your business has a physical location. Many times, businesses will deck out their office space in an effort to try and impress their clients. But the truth is clients hire you for your service alone. They care about the ending result much more than anything else. Be honest with them and don’t try to be a phony carsalesman.
#4) Your Business Plan Is The “Map” To Success
If your company doesn’t have a clear image of itself, its present role in the community, and its vision of the future, the more likely you are to experience growth, stability, profits and service. A concise plan allows you to lay all the options on the table to think ethically about the details which are sure to arise, making it clear to see any troublesome possibilities.
It’s the map to keeping in control of everything. You have all the time in the world to create a business plan, and it’s never a good idea to rush through it. The more you think, the more you are able to spot glitches.
#5) Fair Leadership Controls The Ship
In nearly every area of business, a good leader will steer it in a positive direction. They set the tone for everyone’s work environment. The executives and managers have to abide by ethical practices, otherwise the message they’re sending is that cutting corners, deception, and disrespect are acceptable in the workplace.
Staff members will always reflect the attitude of their bosses. They either rise or sink to the level of performance they see modeled above them. In order for a business to have good ethics, it has to start at the top. Fairness, respectfulness, acknowledgment, and honesty are all qualities a leader must have to gain trust. Never underestimate it.