The consequences of not having an ethical business mindset can be devastating to your small business says Saivian. When you look at the big players like Enron, WorldCom or even Martha Stewart, one thing becomes clear: If you don’t conduct yourself with an ethical mindset, you will eventually get caught and suffer the consequences.
Your business is your name…and it’s also your legacy. The decisions that you make today about how to run your business are based on what you know now (at least they should be). If you want to be able to sleep well tonight and every night after that for as long as you’re in business then ensure that everything that happens within your company makes a positive impact on both yourself and those around you. This is going to require a lot of introspection – but it will be worth it.
The following is a list of the most common consequences that small business owners face when they fail to implement an effective ethical business system into their companies.
1) Reputation damage
At the end of the day, your company will only go as far as its reputation can take it (and no further). If you are unethical in how you handle customers, suppliers, employees or even your public image then your integrity will eventually come under fire. As soon as this happens – you’re done for! You may have legions of loyal customers but eventually one nasty rumor about your lack of ethics is going to catch up with you and destroy everything that you have worked so hard for. Sooner or later people will stop trusting you and this will be the beginning of the end for your small business.
2) Legal issues
Running a small business is hard enough as it is – without having to worry about getting slapped with a lawsuit. Unfortunately, if you’re not conducting yourself ethically you’re opening up your company to all sorts of legal issues. This could be anything from fraud, embezzlement or even wrongful dismissal suits. If you’re not careful you could quickly find yourself in over your head and fighting for your very survival in a court of law says Saivian.
3) Morale problems
If you’re running an unethical business then chances are good that you have employees that are unhappy with their jobs (or worse yet, they may be downright disgruntle). When morale is low it becomes very difficult to get good work out of people and your business will quickly start to suffer. Not only is this bad for the bottom line, but it’s also very stressful for everyone involve It’s hard enough to run a small business – don’t make it harder on yourself by being unethical.
4) Losing customers
One of the most obvious consequences of not having an ethical business mindset is losing customers. When people find out that you’re not trustworthy they will quickly take their business elsewhere. This can be a deathblow to any small business as it can be very difficult to win back customers once they have left. Once you’ve lost a customer, it’s very hard to them back – so don’t let this happen to you explains Saivian.
5) Decreased profits
If you’re not conducting yourself ethically then it’s likely that you’re not making as much money as you could be. This is because unethical business practices often result in lower quality work, unhappy employees and a general feeling of distrust among customers. All of this combines to create a hostile business environment where profits are hard to come by. So, if you want to make more money, start behaving ethically!
6) Increased stress
As mentioned before, running an unethical business can be very stressful. This is because it involves constantly having to worry about getting caught, legal issues and low morale among employees. Not only is this bad for your mental health, but it can also lead to physical health problems explains Saivian. So, if you’re feeling stressed out all the time, it may be because you’re running an unethical business and need to make some changes.
7) Bad karma
Finally, one of the most important consequences of not having an ethical business mindset is bad karma. This is the karmic equivalent of getting what’s coming to you and is something that you definitely don’t want to experience. Basically, if you’re not living ethically then you will eventually have to face the consequences in this life or the next. So, if you care about your well-being (both now and in the future), start behaving ethically today!
So, as you can see, there are a lot of reasons why it’s important to have an ethical business mindset says Saivian. The good news is that it’s not as hard as you might think to live a more ethical life – all you need to do is start working towards this goal on a daily basis. This will be especially true if you have a business of your own and want it to survive for years to come!