Business Ethics and Purpose

English: Findlay, Ohio, September 20, 2007 -- ...

The purpose of business is to generate maximum returns for its owners and shareholders. So therefore should the business pursue all activities that enhance profitability and increase the value of the business for the owners and / or shareholders?

I also believe that a business should behave ethically in achieving the above purpose. It is not right just to operate within the letter of the law. Businesses should also try and serve their local community and help its employees lead better lives. They should examine every decision they make based on profitability, long term business value and social responsibility.

By having real policies in place that take care of your employees and the local community it might be argued that long term this will enhance your business brand and over time lead to higher profitability.

By constantly training members of staff and wherever possible promoting from within the organisation will lead to employees that feel empowered to work harder and make better decisions. Having regards to the true well being of your employees will lead to a healthier and therefore happier workforce.

By reducing waste and promoting recycling at every opportunity, overheads will be reduced and in the longer term lead to better shareholder value. It is staggering how much resources including energy are wasted by larger companies. Having a regular energy audit and investing long term to reduce demand can only serve to make the business more efficient.

Many businesses try to serve their community by supporting local charities and sponsoring local people to better their lives. There are many ways to do this including education, sports and the environment. In the short term there will be very few perceivable benefits in terms of profitability but these actions will serve to enhance the business brand and increase profitability over the longer term.

Greed is no longer good and focusing purely on profits is unacceptable to your existing and potential customers. By embracing business ethics and social responsibility the business can benefit from increased goodwill.

The Best Policy

A business of any kind, whether online or on-site (“real world”), can be like navigating a mine field, especially where ethics are concerned, so some knowledge of law and a certain degree of fair-mindedness are necessary to conduct business professionally and equitably.Ethics keep business practices well-grounded and focused on what is really important; that is, the customers’ needs and wants come first.

Entrepreneurs must keep themselves informed on the terms of service and the interests of the population. This will allow customers to make informed and therefore confident purchases. No one likes business ventures that are oblivious to what is going on around them or that are behind-in-the-times; shoppers are not likely to feel comfortable with the judgment of those who have absolutely no clue or are doubtful regarding what’s expected and required to satisfactorily answer shoppers’ questions. Deception, or “pulling stuff out of one’s butt,” will not suffice; businesses are likely to be more successful when they stay on top of the research so they can offer honest and current feedback to everyone who needs it. Business representatives who can’t assist shoppers are useless. Taking this extra effort shows shoppers that businesses really do care about the customers.

Fair prices are always the best way to go. Despite what many business owners might think, providing services and merchandise at higher rates will not necessarily guarantee a profit; on the contrary, such outrageous costs will only drive the shoppers to go elsewhere and the business will ultimately lose money. When businesses compare given products offered by various competitors and then set appropriate prices, customers see that said businesses are cognizant of what typical shoppers are able and willing to to pay. In the long run, operations will be consistent or gradually growing, and profits foreseeable.

Honesty is the best policy, as the saying goes. Many think that’s a crock, but, in actuality, it isn’t. Those who are open and straightforward about their intentions and offer quality services and merchandise will inevitably find themselves in a successful venture. Why? Simple: shoppers and returning customers will know that businesses that play honestly and fair value them, and the trust factor is increased exponentially. Customers are not stupid, and so they should not be treated as such. Eventually, all underhanded schemes are discovered one way or another, and the scarred reputation that businesses acquire from such bad dealings will eventually lead to a downfall.

There are many ethical situations that lead behavior in business every single day. Knowing what they are and letting them lead the way through every circumstance will make interactions easier and more fulfilling. Such honesty and integrity will always leave a pleasant, trusting and indelible impression on everyone involved.

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