“Ethics must begin at the top of an organization. It is a leadership issue and the chief executive must set the example.” – Edward Hennessy
To keep it simple, ethics refer to a code of conduct or the principles which guide and tell us what the right thing to do is. While operating any business, big or small, following strong ethical values becomes a source of establishing a good image in front of the public eyes. When a company just enters the market, what makes it known and popular are not its distinct products and services as much as the ethical concerns followed by it. After all, a company is bound to lose all its customers and loyalty if it fails to match the ethical standards of society. Thus, ethics secure a very important part in the functioning of organizations especially the smaller ones which have started very recently. Have a look at the 5 basic ethics which entrepreneurs should keep in mind while manufacturing and selling their products and services both in the online and the offline market:
- Respect each one’s efforts:
It is a basic ethic to show respect for the work done by others. As a young entrepreneur, you will have workers who could have worked elsewhere but chose to stick with your organization instead. Respecting the smallest of efforts put in by each of your workers acts as a sign of motivation for them and also feels them welcomed and appreciated at the organization. When the employee feels emotionally engaged with the organization, his efficiency to work and serve the firm in a better manner is positively influenced. If as a leader you fail to recognize, reward or even appreciate the tiniest of efforts done by your workers, then you prove yourself as a selfish leader, who considers people as commodities, not at all showing regard for the hard work and sincerity which they have put into their respective jobs.
- Keep the customers in mind:
As an entrepreneur, you have the decision making power in selecting what to produce, how to produce and when to produce. All your decisions should be customer-centric because the customer is the one who dominates and controls the market. If you do not manufacture goods which are demanded by the people or fail to offer the products and services at the best price, then you are making decisions which revolve around your personal interest and gains more than that of the customers, the people whom the organization ultimately has to serve. Keep in mind that if the customers are dissatisfied with the product/service being offered by you or the price being charged, then you can easily lack behind in the race due to existent market competition.
- Do not compromise with ethics for profits:
We all have heard about the various scams which have occurred in the past. All the scams occurred because someone at some organization decided to breach certain ethical concerns for their own personal benefits. For example, a customer trusts the architect who has been granted the contract to build his house. However, if the architect decides to part away with some of the token amounts, promising good quality cement but using an inferior quality one instead so that he can have a personal gain of himself, then he is being unethical towards his clients. While doing a business, there will come several opportunities which will let you make millions of money only if you do away with certain ethical values of the firm. Be a strong-headed leader and resist all such evil temptations. The customers pay you a price for your products and services; you rather serve them as per the established quality standards or run the risk of losing your market reputation as well risking the lives of thousands of people through your unethical decisions.
- Be honest and fair in your dealings:
Customers trust you when they buy your products. So do your shareholders who convey their trust in your venture through their investments. At any point of time, you should not do anything or misinform the customers or the shareholders which is unethical in nature. All the products and services which you produce should inform the customer of all the pros and cons of using it, highlighting any adverse consequences or side-effects of its use especially in case of medical or beauty products. It is not a favor but your moral responsibility of making the customers is aware of both the good and the bad about the goods and services which you produce.
- Abide by the law:
Lastly, abiding by the law is also a matter of being within the ethics of the organization. If your firm does not comply with the laws or do not follow them, then your firm is cheating society. The products and services should be produced in a manner which is not illegal and there should be no production or manufacturing of products which are otherwise prohibited to be produced or sold. Even while advertising your products or services, keep in mind not to hurt the sentiments of any community or offend them through your advertisements.