Starting a new business is an incredibly exciting adventure for any entrepreneur. But how do you stand out from the crowd? Well, being an ethical company will certainly make a difference, both with your customers and your competitors. Here are five great tips to make that happen.
1. Think of the environment first
We are all more aware of the damage we are doing to our beautiful planet and if you are starting a new business you have a fantastic opportunity to make a difference from the outset. Start by setting up a clear commitment to recycling paper – if you can recycle one ton of newsprint and other paper, you will save one ton of wood. And ultimately why not aim to make your business entirely paperless? An incredible 40% of global industrial logging is used to produce paper, and this is anticipated to reach 50% in the not too distant future. Try to make a difference.
2. Be Trustworthy
The world of business is often described as being ruthless and cut-throat, but if you really want to establish a reputation for being an ethical business then set out to be straight, honest and trustworthy. If you always do what you say you will, you will build a reputation as someone who can be trusted, and your business will benefit hugely from more people wanting to deal with you.
3. Become Involved in Your Local Community
What better way to show you’re a company that’s a force for good than by making a difference in your local community? You could make volunteering part of your staff’s obligations and give them Friday afternoons off every week to allow them the time to give something back to local charities or good causes. It will give your company a huge sense of pride and build your reputation as a business that is trustworthy and run by good people.
4. Use Your Moral Compass to Lead
Leadership sets the tone in any company. If you can impose a strong set of morals and values on your staff, ensuring they always treat each other and customers as they would like to be treated, you will be on to a great thing. Not only does this kind of behaviour inspire staff to look for a higher purpose in their work, it also ensures they take pride in what they do.
5. Be Consistent
The Institute of Business Ethics was established in London in 1986 with a view to helping all businesses behave more ethically. They say the key to running an ethical business is consistency. It can’t simply be something you do well for a week, a month or even a year. It needs to be at the forefront of the decision-making process. So, before you make a speech, write an email, or make a decision, try to ask yourself if this is true to your company’s values. Once you do that, you have a fantastic chance of embedding ethical practices into your business.
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