In business, the nice guy doesn’t always win. In a perfect world, ethical businesses succeed while those who follow unethical practices fail. The real world doesn’t work like that. Unfortunately, we all know that there are unscrupulous businesses that make money regardless of their bad business practices. In the corporate world, this is fairly widespread. That doesn’t mean you should do the same. I believe that solid and sustainable businesses must follow ethical business practices in order to build long-term success.
The difference between legal and ethical
Of course, everyone must follow tax laws and wage regulations. These laws are concrete and not subject to interpretation. Your business must follow the laws no matter what, but there are issues that are not covered by law. Business owners are responsible for how they decide to act. Even in grey areas, business owners are expected to act ethically and try to do the right thing.
Employees are the basis for success
Unfortunately, it’s still common for some business owners to treat employees poorly. This is a common, well-known problem in large businesses, but it doesn’t stop there. Regardless of the size of your business, it is important to treat you employees well. Pay your employees fairly, and don’t ask them to do work for which they will not be compensated. Don’t force employees to work overtime or assign tasks that is not in their job description. This constitutes abusive behavior, and will not be tolerated by most workers. Some business owners may believe these practices will help the company save money, but there are often unforeseen negative results. High employee turnover often ensues, and disgruntled employees can affect company morale.
Reputation defines the quality of the people
Your reputation is one of the most important aspects of your business. Of course, larger companies may have bad reputations yet still make big profits. Don’t be fooled, such businesses still suffer from that reputation; they may still succeed to a point, but they’ve limited their own success. Small business owners don’t have the resources to take a profit loss due to a bad reputation. You can develop a good business reputation by delivering quality products and maintaining excellent customer service.
Daily ethical practice necessary for sustainable business
The term “ethical business practice” encompasses so much about your day-to-day activities and interactions with both employees and customers. There are countless methods you can use to create sustainable success within the framework of an ethical business. There is not enough space to outline them here, but online resources and fellow business owners can help point you in the right direction.
The term “sustainable success” is used intentionally, because business owners should focus on a lot more than short-term success. Anyone can achieve short-term success. Businesses may achieve some success by using unethical practices, but it’s usually cut short when these unscrupulous methods catch up with them. Eventually, these businesses will lose their staff and customers. Larger companies may take longer to fail, but inevitably they must conform to a code of ethics or die.
On the whole, a healthy and sustainable business must center on ethical business practices. Although this may seem difficult, the energy and effort will be worth it in the end. A wide variety of issues will face you as a business owner, but acting responsibly and for the good of your customers will lead you in the right direction. Risk is always a part of business, regardless of your industry, but ethical business practices give you a competitive edge. Consistently doing the right thing will come out in your reputation, and that will lead more quality people to you.