Ethics & Social Responsibility for Small Businesses
Economist Peter Drucker said “management is doing things right: leadership is doing the right things. Every small business owner needs to be both a manager and a leader. The key to small business success is to do the right things in the right way.”
Let’s define the term Business Ethics: Business ethics is the study of appropriate business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial subjects including corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility, and fiduciary responsibilities.
When discussing business ethics, what a business owner is doing is creating policies and procedures that reflect his morals. Every small business should have a code of ethics.
Social Responsibility goes beyond meeting basic legal and ethical standards. It includes functioning as a strong community citizen that shows concern for the public. The following four items serve as a platform for fulfilling this responsibility.
· Honesty: This, in my opinion, serves as the foundation for building a solid business. This includes everything from your marketing message, to your relationships with customers and prospects.
· Community Involvement: Social Responsibility is best demonstrated by your involvement in your local community. Small businesses represent a local community and should take an active role in civic and charitable organizations that directly benefit the community.
· Give: Staying with the local community theme, a small business should have in their budget funds to give to local nonprofits every year. Please identify prominent, respected organizations in your community to partner with. Don’t worry about the amount you can afford to give, that will grow as your business grows.
· Environmental standards: This has become a key word of major concern to the general public. It makes sense to promote and to participate in environmentally friendly activities.
While there are many foundation building steps for a small business to consider, ethics and social responsibility are often overlooked. Make it a point, today, to incorporate all of these four points into your current business practice.
Tips & Advice by Nick Petra, CFP – Founder of Strategic Duck and BizQuack
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