Business ethics are not exempt from our lives but so few people apply them. Why is it becoming so hard for us! Being self-employed for serious amount of years I learn to smell the BS, most of the time but still get caught more often that I dare to admit. So here is my guideline when you would like me to be drawn into your business world.
1. Be on time – why is it so hard for people to be at a set appointment on time. With all the technology available at our finger tips at least be civil to call and lie why are you running late. Sorry SMS do not apply.
2. Look like you actually care – I made an effort to look civilized, I put on a dress on some make-up so my wrinkles would not send you to Mars and yes I used soap, deodorant and a bit of perfume. So do not make me look at your untucked shirt, your underwear sticking out, believe me I have no interest in your Garfield boxers, and I do not want to know that you spend the last 2 hours in an abattoir.
3. Don not treat me like an idiot – I have been around the block couple of times, and I do not know it all, but as I extended you the courtesy of my time I am most probably interested what you have to say and would like to know a bit more. Hence if you do not know what I am all about how are you going to show me the benefit of what you have to offer.
And my biggest issue, LISTEN. Majority of business in South Africa is still conducted in person. Business is a two way street, you want my money I want your product. So be nice to my money (ME) as my money do not like being in a company of people that grab and run. By no means this is it, as far as my take on business ethics, the issue of promising me the sun and delivering a BIC lighter hardly will make me brag about you. And yes, the actual customer service!!! Would it really kill people to put a smile on their face and at least pretend that I am welcome. Do not underestimate the little things, as the little things will differentiate your business from all the millions of others. Competition is not something that we should fear, but the questionable business ethics and delivery on our part.