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Thursday, February 7th, 2013 by Ryan Weyers
Marketing Coordinator Ryan Weyers had his article, ‘Business Ethics: The ‘X’ Factor of Reputation,’ featured in January’s issue of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine. Below are scans of the article. If you would like an issue please contact the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce.
Business Ethics: The ‘X’ Factor of Reputation
As you already know your business has a reputation; the question then becomes how tuned in are you about its public perception? A business’s reputation is arguably one of its most important assets yet it’s the easiest to lose and the most challenging to maintain. You may be asking where does one begin when examining the core of reputation and I would tell you that it starts by looking at business ethics. If the reputation is suffering, you may want to take a hard look at how aligned employee’s personal and business ethics are with the company’s mission statement, particularly when interacting with customers, employees and vendors?
Some may attest that only large companies need to be concerned about their employee’s ethical conduct, as they may be a more magnified brand and would be more susceptible to negative backlash. I will disagree and say that it is even more imperative for small businesses and sole proprietorships to have ethical conduct policies in place to guide themselves or their employees. According to the 2011 Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah MSA, 93 percent of businesses that have locations in the Fox Cities area report as a “small business,” meaning they employ less than 100. This statistic makes it even more of a necessity to focus on ethics because living in this small community allows for word of mouth experiences to travel faster. There are three important aspects that I believe serve as a solid ethical foundation:
When I say the word trust, I’m essentially asking do you deliver as promised? It is commonly said to under promise but over-deliver. If you shine when unexpected and deliver on your word, you’ll forever solidify credibility with others.
2) Honesty (Integrity)
Let me ask, how well do you handle adversity? No person or business is perfect. Most people or businesses who you do a great job for will call it an even transaction, their money in exchange for your service or product, but how do you respond to the few who do say something negative? Do you ignore their phone calls? Place blame on outside circumstances for issues that arise? Or do you respond in a timely and courteous manner and do your best to make what is wrong right.
You can’t demand respect in business but rather it’s something that is earned or created and serves as the glue that holds together many business (and even personal) relationships. Basically, it comes down to “The Golden Rule,” do you treat others the way you would like to be treated?