In the past few years of my personal growth, one thing I have learned to live by in whatever the circumstances are, is to treat others the way I will love to be treated. Now, in such a self-centered and progressive environment that we find ourselves, it is quite a heavy principle to live by. Nod it away; it is not an absurdity that humans will put themselves first before anything else.
People care only about themselves and businesses likewise care about how much profits they can make. It is the reality, but, does not imply that there are no honest individuals and businesses who gives genuine thoughts about people.

A mentor once shared this about honesty with me. He said “honesty will cost you, but being honest has never cost anyone a dime”. I can imagine a subtle grin on your face reading that. I had a bright one myself when he first said those few words to me, it enlightened my conscience.

Here’s the big clue to what he meant-
For anyone to decide to be honest, truthful and have integrity in all their endeavors, is a trait of a strong character. To have a good character, it must not seem to be a luxury and just anyone can possess or have one. But being honest in your business deals, being honest with your team, with clients, customers etc can cost your business some good fortunes; because not every business practices this ethics.

How Does Honesty Translate Into Business Success?

Firstly, what is honesty? In plain English, it’s the art of being truthful. The type of art you never mastered.
But, the right question is; does honesty play any importance in building a successful business? It’s like asking if virtues have any values or importance; the answer is yes.

“It is difficult but not impossible to conduct strictly honest business.
What is true is that, honesty is incompatible with the amassing of a large fortune.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Honesty is one of the many forms of business ethics. Some examples of business ethics are
a. Integrity
b. Commitment
c. Transparency
d. Core values
e. Reliability
f. Social responsibility
g. Connection
h. Trust
Doing what is right because it’s ethical is essential as practicing it.
Honesty in business will not literally translate into success and profits but practicing it has enormous positive consequences. Knowing what is right and not doing it also has negative consequences. Either ways, every actions yields an outcome.
As a business owner, you are obliged to perform some responsibilities. You have certain commitments to fulfill too –
a. To your business
b. To your employees/team
c. To your customers
d. Competitors and
e. Various stakeholders
Honest business practices will impact all business activities and stakeholders in the long run, possibly, even in the short run.
– Treating your employees right in every levels of employees and employers relationship; – will inspire and motivate them to drive your business forward.
– On levels of ethical practices, customers, investors, colleagues, networks; – will build solid foundations of trust for various business activities.
– Honest practices; filing tax returns, social responsibilities etc –


1. Trustworthiness
Being true to yourself and with others ignites a positive drive to always do what is right.
Zig Ziglar said; “if people like you they will listen to you but, if they trust you they will do business with you.”
This is a big deal. These days, many startup businesses are successfully running because of business or network recommendations and referrals. It’s not going to be enough to just be liked by colleagues or industry players to give you a shot. Trust comes in very handy here.
Proving yourself worth of the opportunities, means you must exhibit a good trait of a good leader. A good leader above all is honest – and honesty is by far the most important assets of an entrepreneur.

2. Builds Business and Customer Trust
In recent times, businesses no longer cares about the welfare of its customers.
Trust is an extra cost many businesses cannot afford.
To foster a healthy business and customer’ trust, businesses must begin to tell customers the truth about their products, its true benefits and keeping to their words. A satisfied customer is said to be the best business strategy of all.
A customer’ trust is not built in a day, it’s a combination of many things the business needs be and offer. It takes months and lots of investment to find loyal customers, and only a couple of seconds to lose one.
If you want your small business to grow and succeed, remember truth builds trust. Be opened with your customers about your services, products and offerings, its benefits and disadvantages.

3. Deepens Business to Business relationships
Businesses do not only have a relationship with customers and clients but also with other businesses. Honesty is the best policy in international relations, interpersonal relations, labor, and businesses because, truth is the only thing that works and the only foundation on which lasting relations can strive.
It is the best medium to grow success. It creates an enabling environment in which businesses are authentic, considerate of targets needs, adequately meets them, and committed in adhering to the best business ethics and policies in their operations without engaging in dishonest practices..

4. Creditors and Investors Confidence
Creditors and investors express confidence by funding company’s development and consumer confidence.
For instance, when a creditor trusts you will pay back borrowed money in time, they are not afraid to give you more because they know you are honest and can be trusted to honor your debts. Startup owners needs great deal of money to take major growth leaps and to sustain their operations and increase profitability.

Default payment of loans to creditors or exhibit dishonesty in dealing with investors, and they are certain it is likely you will not hesitate repeating it.

Integrity and honesty should be one of your business’ hallmark.

5. Business Credibility
If you want your small business to be successful, your customers must perceive you as reliable, helpful, respectful to their emotions and needs, responsive, credible and honest.
A business’ reputation is built around
a. Honesty
b. Trust
c. Integrity
d. Honor
e. Values
f. Transparency
g. Products and services

What are your customers and clients saying about you?
Also design a brand that creates credibility for your business. But first, build trust. “I believe fundamental honesty is the keystone of businesses.” –Harvey Firestone.

6. Competitive Edge
Customers are sure no fools. They are highly discerning individuals who knows a business’ goal is to be profitable –and to also set the pace for market competition.
They can tell from products and services that are only developed to exploit them, from products and services that genuinely meet their needs. Regardless the prices, customers will stay loyal to products and brands, if businesses will be honest with them.
Honesty will give you the edge over competitors if your business stays true to your customers.

“To give real services, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is honesty and integrity” – Douglas Adams.



The Startupreneurs is an exclusive startup and small business subsidiary of Commec Ghana Ltd - A Business Development Company. All articles are originally written and owned by the Startupreneurs. Want to start a business, or already in business? Find the inspiration with us, access membership only deals, business packages and discover the enormous supports to help you grow and sustain your business. We are your best solution !

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