Wed 5 Mar 2008
Each and every small business should have a code of ethics that needs to be implemented and integrated into its culture.
This will not only help your business grow in the long run, but also provide you with the mental satisfaction of doing ‘what is right'.
The Various Kinds of Ethics
In the field of business ethics, there are various sub-categories, such as accounting ethics, marketing ethics, leadership ethics, etc; but the basic fundamental principle of each teaches the same thing - that is, to be honest to yourself and to the person (or business) that you are dealing with.
As a small business owner, you can condense the above into one simple message - you need to be honest in your dealings with your customers, vendors, suppliers and employees.
Your products should be exactly what you have promised to your customers, and the prices should be fair to both of you. In the marketplace, you should not hit your competitors below the belt, but compete with them on a level playing field. This means that you shouldn't bad-mouth them, but strive to emphasize how your products and services are superior.
Following a strict code of business ethics will not only make you feel good, but also keep you out of possible legal trouble. When new employees join your company, you need to explain your code of ethics to them so that they stay within the limits that you have set.
For big organizations, ethics need to be implemented fully so that each department fulfils its obligations to itself and to society as a whole. Greed is usually what corrupts companies - and has led to the downfall of many organizations. You only have to look at what happened to corporate giants Enron and Daewoo for examples of this.
Keep these business ethics in mind while running your small business, and ensure that everybody around you does the same. Proper business ethics are required if you want a long and prosperous business life.