Originally published in the startup business column for “startup right with Harmony” in the Business & Financial Times Newspaper
STARTUP BUSINESS ETHICS; DO YOU NEED TO PRACTICE IT?
The life of an entrepreneur is filled with temptations to do wrong, most especially the rising startups. Startup business ethics practices have more benefits than you could ever imagine.
In several decades, ethical business practices seemed more prevalent than ever. Investors, consumers and business stakeholders are more about the ethics of a business than the profits in recent times. Businesses have come under criticism over unethical business practices of consumers, community, employees etc. Being a “good business” is more popular and very profitable as the consumer market and entrepreneurs themselves are beginning to accept the need for such movement.
Starting an ethical business involves embedding details about your core values into your business plan. As you organize and structure your business, set up a code of ethics that includes standards for business conduct. By developing policies and procedures that guides your team or employees, you ensure that employees or your team realizes of being personally accountable for their actions.
Startups have lost the essence of business ethics in their recent over populating era. They have moved from being honest and spreading the truth about their actual businesses, breaking laws and business regulations, unethical behaviors to many other things.
There are unavoidable ethical issues in every kind of profession and industry. But Startups or perhaps, entrepreneurs faces these shortcomings which are more difficult to manage mostly. Nevertheless, Some entrepreneurs take the ethical path. But they seem at times to be the weird ones out.
The highly sprouting Startups actually have no infrastructure to manage these ethical challenges, even worst, startups entrepreneurs have no time at all or have any idea whatsoever to build these ethics alongside their business or even focus on monitoring their own ethical behaviors. Their focus are on building successful businesses and making all the money forgetting that basis of their successes is built on excellent business ethics..
The typical startups are wholly consumed into their jobs; spending 24/7 striving to achieve success. The stress which strains their personal relationships and social lives, leaves startups less focusing on morals and ethics of their businesses. Who can blame them? Their lives become more clouded the moment they take up the cross of startup entrepreneurship. But is it worth it? Even after all their strives, most startups don’t lead to be wealthy or get to be wealthy. So then what do they lose in doin the right things?
BUSINESS ETHICS IMPORTANCE
The importance of business ethics go far beyond just the employee codes of conducts and loyalty, management, and business service. The ethical operation of a business is directly related to its profitability in every step of its growth.
Several factors play a major role in the success of a company that are beyond the scope of financial statements of the startup business. No matter the size of your startup business, your market competition, consumer market or the business profitability; your operations, management ethics and organizational culture have a long term impact on how your business performs.
How many startups have an organizational structure, codes of ethics in place from scratch of their setups? I doubt if most of them consider it as an important element that needs to be developed and implemented into their startup business right from the word go?
The reputation of your startup business from the loyal consumers you earn for yourself, the community in which you operate, your potential investors is dependent on your business ethics and whether your business or company is worth the while. With a consistent ethical practices, startups businesses would grow an increasingly positive public reputation, major investment opportunities (ethics has become a yardstick for investors) and the loyal customers or consumers. Startups need to establish operational ethical foundations as it’s relates to many factors such as fair market practices, regards for environmental policies, consumer loyalty, pricing fairness, employee wellbeing and the entire business operations.