Extra Mile Writing

Extra Mile Writing

5 Reasons Business Ethics are Paramount

hand holding compass

Now more than ever, businesses who know right from wrong will thrive. 

A business owner’s ethics have always been absolutely critical, but these days we’re all more tired of being poorly treated than we used to be. 

We’re more wary of businesses that aren’t worthy of our trust, and we choose who we support more carefully. 

We don’t want to support businesses who look like they might do us over. 

We don’t buy from businesses that treat us like we’re an annoying inconvenience, or worse, treat us with contempt. 

Without business ethics, a business is like a towering tree without roots.  It’s only a matter of time before the tree will die from lack of sustenance, or the next wind will blow it over.

And let me be clear, I’m not talking about a dusty code of ethics tucked away in a policy manual at the bottom of a desk out the back somewhere.  I’m talking about business ethics that are lived everyday by the owners of the business.

Essentially, the ethics of a small business are more important than anything else because:

1. Business Ethics Anchor the Business

roots of large tree in forest

As mentioned above, business ethics anchor a business like the roots of a tree.  The roots both sustain the tree and guide its actions as it grows, as well as allow the tree to weather the strongest storms in the best way possible.  Ethics sustain the tree because they create a situation where customers and staff are always treated well and that anything that goes wrong is swiftly and lovingly resolved, which feeds the business and results in financial growth.      

2. Ethics are the Basis of a Business Brand

silhouette of a man in front of sunset

At the end of the day, small business is all about what you stand for.   I think this is one of the most beautiful aspects of small business, that you get to choose what you stand for and what you will and won’t do based on the values you choose.  The fact that we want to live our lives based on what we believe in and who we are is the reason many of us are in small business.  A brand is by definition the way a business differentiates itself from other businesses and our ethics and core values are foundational part of this. 

3. Business Ethics Ensure Customer Trust

waiter talking to customers at cafe

Operating in an ethical way develops trust with customers and clients, which is essential to the success of any business.  Not only that, but operating on the basis of clear and solid values creates fastidiously loyal long term customers, who enthusiastically spread the word about the business to everyone they know.

4. Business Ethics Help you Attract the Right Staff

happy female worker at front door of business

Staff with a strong sense of personal ethics and a desire to serve customers well are magnetised to businesses that demonstrate strong ethics.  Staff who are treated ethically themselves will also serve a business with their whole heart, will enjoy an environment free of disgruntled unhappy customers, and will be longer term and higher quality employees. 

5. Business Ethics Create Long Term Profitability

piles of coins in ascending height

Most importantly, business ethics are absolutely critical for short and long term profitability.  Ethics guide the approach to customers, staff and the entire community around a business, regardless of external circumstances or the economic environment.  They keep a business on course and oriented to respecting their customers and delivering for them, which keeps the tills ringing.  Even in the worst possible economic circumstances, businesses that have solid business ethics keep a healthy bottom line. 

If I was asked to invest in a business, I’d look for one run by someone with clear personal and business ethics.  I’d look for someone who knew that how their business treats customers, staff, suppliers and everyone else around them matters.  These businesses are the ones that are hugely successful, and the ones that achieve spectacular financial heights over the long term. 


© Annemaree Jensen