Ethics and values seem to be high up in the news reports at the moment, with Ed Miliband extolling the virtues of businesses that show these traits, and suggesting that they should be rewarded accordingly. Putting aside politics for the moment, and indeed whether any politicians have the right to preach to us about ethics and values (the phrase “people in glass houses” readily comes to mind!!) does he actually have a point.
So thinking about all the businesses I have come across and worked with, I would say that inherently it makes sense to be honest and fair at all times with your clients and your staff, because the majority of people still believe in these values. Therefore by choice, they would tend to want to work with such businesses, which in turn brings its rewards, without the government having to intervene.
If a business looks after its customers well, and treats its staff fairly and consistently, your staff will perform better and increase productivity, and your clients will not only continue to buy from you, but will often be prepared to pay a premium for great service. Furthermore they are highly likely to refer new leads to you. Of course these are always going to be rogue businesses, and unpleasant individuals, but conversely they don’t tend to prosper for long, because they will always be chasing new business, and not getting repeat business, which is far more costly and time consuming.
So do the “good guys” win? Not always I suppose, but for the majority of cases they do, and as a business owner I know that I rest easier at night knowing that I am fair, honest and consistent with my customers and staff, and that ultimately you will invariably reap what you sow.