“The current recession has become a rallying call for looking at how we do business ethically.!”
All 3 recessionsvhave three things in common; they caused businesses to tighten up and look closely at how they operate their organisations, they forced businesses with poor customer service records to re-think how they treat customers and clients, but most importantly the current recession has become a rallying call for looking at how we do business ethically.
Everybody is affected and the fact that credit to businesses is being withdrawn as well as funding options begs the question as to how many businesses will survive.
Web businesses are equally affected as are any other type of ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses. The challenge is not just about money but about how we will do business in the future. There was a time when many businesses looked the other way in order to get the sale through the door. This approach is no longer possible due to the overwhelming consumer sentiment that has seen through the various tactics employed by business to drive through the sale.
I believe we will see the ‘desperate’ tactics on one hand continue and those who realise that we are approaching the end of an era and the beginning of a new era in ethical trading.
Ethical trading does not mean being tree hugging enthusiasts it means simply that building your business requires a system that is consistent, based on sound ethical values and that is about long term relationships based on trust. These can be between businesses and consumers, business to business or businesses that are regulated.
One has only to look at the business landscape now to see the enormous wreckage strewn over it by organisations who have traded in the belief that whatever they do they will never be found out – Lehman Brothers, 159 US banks shut down, Royal Bank Scotland, Northern Rock, 112 UK Construction companies fined for collusion, BP’s disastrous oil spill, the list is endless.
In the business environment we now live in being innovative is a massive part of being successful however we also need to consider the way we undertake business and how we develop our business relationships. Relationships develop over time and are built by people who deliver on what they say again and again. Applying short cuts might get you’re the deal but ultimately destroy your reputation. Your reputation is your greatest asset without it you can shut up shop as no one will trust you.
Acting ethically might be require hard work and great patience but ask yourself this question: Will the legacy you leave in your business be one of great values and successful trading or will it be one mired in controversy and distrust? Which would you prefer?