An Honest Business Model is a Successful Business Model

Is there morality in business? Sure, whether it’s called business ethics, business integrity or a moral compass. Organizations that operate with honesty and integrity do so intentionally, and make it part of everyday practice so that it becomes part of the culture.

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Over 4 years ago, I wrote a post regarding integrity and ethical decision making in business, entitled “Leading your Business with a Strong Moral Compass”. As I said then, and still agree with today – When business integrity and moral ethics are present throughout the deepest layers of a company and not just at its surface, it becomes the heart and soul of the company’s culture. The business advantages of moral intelligence may be hard to quantify, but the business costs of moral ignorance are undeniable.

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An honest business model can be a successful business model. An honest work ethic can achieve far greater things than a dishonest one. You must first accept the basic moral principle that fair and honest business practices are the best options simply because they are the right things to do.

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Businesses should strive to do not only ethical things, but to do these things ethically. There is a big difference between the two. An organization may engage in socially responsible initiatives, but their day-to-day business processes should also be ethical if integrity, honesty, openness and transparency are to be achieved. There is no grey area in ethics – we are either ethical or we are not.

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Companies have a moral responsibility to treat customers fairly. One of the quickest ways to alienate a customer is to promise something that can’t be delivered or by lying to them, which can have many negative repercussions. One bad customer experience is enough to cause a business to get a bad reputation. The first line of morality you can develop to ensure customer satisfaction is to treat your clients with respect, honesty and fairness.

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Customers who believe they are being treated fairly, honestly, and justly, will come back. Customers who think they have been cheated, lied to or abused will never come back. Worse, they will tell others to avoid your business. The best customer service policy is the simplest and easiest to implement: honesty. Be honest with your customers and you will win their respect, their trust, and more importantly their business.

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No one can take your integrity away from you. And with a strong moral compass, even if you falter to some degree, eventually you will find the strength to do the right thing.

Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP

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