Is it possible to run a business and hold onto your integrity? Can you make a profit and be the good guy?
Richard Branson’s recent book “Screw Business as Usual” challenges the stereotype of profit being the first and foremost driver for a business. Integrity should be at the core of businesses. For too long, he says, the sole purpose of business has been to make money. However for businesses in the 21st century this is rapidly changing – so much so that companies that don’t respond to the new consumer environment are starting to suffer.
Let me ask you a question.
Who do you like to buy from?
Of course there are lots of considerations that you may take into account when you buy stuff, and these will probably be different depending on what it is you are buying. Food shopping is different from eating out. Buying stationery is different from choosing which golf club to join. However as the UK moves more and more into being service industry orientated, customer’s expectations are changing too. We don’t just want the cheapest or the best. We are becoming more picky not just about what we buy, but from whom we buy it.
There is such choice available to us that we would rather buy from people that we like. From people who care about us. From people with integrity. We check out TripAdvisor before we book a restaurant. We look at reviews and star ratings. We want to get good value, and that no longer just means price. Indeed more and more we are prepared to pay for integrity, for with integrity comes good service, quality and care.
Integrity and your business.
So take a moment to consider your values and how you put them across in your business. Is it the way you greet customers, the staff you employ, the friendliness of your website, or the quality of your service? There are people out there who want to buy from you, if you can meet their need to be cared about.