There is a price to pay when you own and run your own business. This price is a big investment of time, money, energy and more. But making money at any cost is damaging. Is your business founded on integrity?
Every day we face challenges to our business integrity. Whenever we make a business decision that involves compromising on what is right to support the choice that makes the most money, we need to be careful to also consider the cost of honesty, kindness, morals, trust, important relationships and/or fairness.
In business, integrity is one of the most sought-after qualities by customers and vendors and by its very nature it can’t be faked. A lack of integrity is one of the easiest qualities to detect in people and businesses, so have a think about how you treat your team, customers, suppliers and those near to you—particularly when you are after a sale or have a big workload.
One area to pay particular attention to is your marketing and PR, as this is where many people fall for the lure of the slick campaign over honesty. Are your marketing and PR activities and materials honest, trustworthy, original, authentic, and based on integrity?
Finally, are you consistent in your standards of work quality and in meeting expectations? Do you respect your customers and those involved in your business enough to tell them the truth?
Saying ‘no’ to a prospective client because they do not fit with your moral code or because you know you cannot give them what they really need, is difficult to do. But long term, your business will prosper when founded on integrity, and you will benefit when your choices are made with integrity.
Running a business with integrity starts with you. As your business is constantly judged by the quality of its people, organisational culture, its work and performance, integrity is one of the most attractive qualities you and your business can have.
A reputation of integrity is one that gets people talking and attracts clients and brings out the best in your team. How does your reputation stack up?