By Brian McKay
What’s the aim of the business? Financial success? Fulfilling a passion? Personal empowerment? If that’s the case, it might be tempting to take shortcuts and see the fastest way to that success. To cover up the tracks of mistakes like an animal hiding its mark or to even take full advantage when the opportunity arises. But it’s not how you end up successful in the end. Businesses can prosper and fall, but the integrity of the owner lasts forever.
How you treat other people comes first and foremost. Fulfilling promises to customers makes you all the more likely to see repeat business. Honest negotiations and collaboration with others in the industry offer a lot of opportunity for future gain. But everyone is going to be paying attention to how you treat your team, as well. The more flexibility you offer, the more respect you have for the needs of the staff, the longer you retain them. You might save some money in the short-term by refusing to spend on further training. In the long term, you lose the valuable asset that is someone who knows the business inside and out and can provide perspectives you might otherwise miss.
As important as doing right by other people is doing right by the law. Without the right kind of due diligence and eye on fraud and other illegal practices in the business, it becomes a den of snakes. Without paying attention to the kind of steps taken by Ten Intelligence to keep the interior of a business safe from corrupting presences, your business isn’t just in legal danger. It’s a place where only the most ruthless can excel, meaning that everyone trying to do honest work can only get penalised by that ruthlessness.
Not all the threats come from inside the business, of course. Cybersecurity teams like Xyone stop data from falling into the hands of hackers. The security of the business isn’t just important to you but to customers too. This data might very well contain sensitive customer information. Fail to protect that, especially financial details, and you risk losing your customers a lot of money. Moreover, it’s a lot of money you may be held accountable for.
It’s important, more than anything else, to own up to your mistakes in business. It’s a hassle when you admit something went wrong, when you let a customer down, or were the target of a crime. It’s a nightmare level of a scandal when that information is uncovered later without your business owning up to it. For the lighter mistakes, showing that you learn from your mistakes and even using case studies to improve the business can actually have a positive effect in nurturing trust in the business. Don’t just pay lip service to honesty and repentance when you do wrong. Make your mistakes clear and make it clear what you’re going to do about them. Apologize in vagaries and no-one will believe them.
As it lasts forever, integrity is all that really matters. With integrity, it’s not the end of the world is you stumble. People will trust you to get back up on your feet. Without integrity, you will become a pariah, sooner or later.