Honesty and business – oil and water or strawberries and cream?

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(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

Have you felt ripped off by any business lately? Doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Why should honesty and business go together?

Businesses whether small or large play an important role in society despite the harsh and hostile environment. The small business owner plays a very important role in his or her local community. They provide valuable products and services and employment. Some people say large cities provide the basic social construct or infrastructure and are important to society. But I believe it starts in local communities. So when a local business person is dishonest he or she hurts the local community.

Small business owners have much potential to do good. They contribute to local communities in many other ways that the giant corporations don’t. But given this immense power to do good – to help people, to employ people and to contribute to local communities through charities and other good deeds – is a power that needs to be tempered by honesty.

In a few very large companies we have seen how top executives have been implicated in dubious practices. In one such company the CEO had to fall on his sword because of the sordid illegal practices under his watch. It’s little wonder that honesty and integrity eventually won the day given this person’s past.

All I want as a consumer of any business whether large or small is a product that is free from defects and if it isn’t I should get a replacement or refund. I expect costs to be shown to me upfront, not hidden away. I expect service contracts not to jump up astronomically each year as the business recoups costs because of its own inefficiencies and lack of productivity. I expect the businesses staff to be straight shooters and honest dealers. Not to hide important things from you when you are buying products or entering into contracts.

In the long run, any small business owner will realise that you can’t engage or do business with people you don’t trust. It’s a truism, but honesty pays.

If you are dishonest, you might not land up at the bottom of the sea with the fishes but eventually customers will sense the foul smell of dishonest practices and take their money elsewhere. Small businesses who uphold business trust in their local communities show us how business and honesty can go together like strawberries and cream.

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