Make the right Business Connections – with ethics in mind
As a business that cares about ethics, every decision you make in your business could help to promote your ethical efforts. For example, if your business cares about the level of pollution in your town, and you commit to your customers to help reduce your company’s impact on the environment – but then use a supplier who regularly transports large fuel guzzling trucks along the roads, then this confuses your efforts and shows them to be quite transparent.
You want to be open, honest and have integrity with everything you do. So when it comes to choosing a supplier, supporting an event or working with another business, you’ll need to look into whether it is a good match for all business purposes – including your ethical standing point.
Have face to face meetings
When you are considering working with someone new, meet them face to face. You can tell a lot about people in person rather than over email and it can help you to explain your ethical standpoint more clearly. Research your options and think carefully about how you want to proceed – get other team members on board to help with the decision. Take your time – Forbes says you should check out blogs, websites and so on to see how their customer interaction takes place (and how this compares to your own.)
If you’re looking for someone or some event to sponsor, choosing a charity can be a good place to start.
Charities are likely to have strong ethics – as long as you choose a reputable one. These can go hand in hand with your own and show your company to be one that really does do its best, rather than just talking the talk. For instance, Fruitful Office, a fruit company that delivers baskets of fresh produce to offices across the UK and Ireland, recently sponsored The British Transplant Games. The Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of organ transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain their fitness, whilst also increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register. Fruitful Office have high ethics in terms of eating well, healthy living and knowing your body – which this event all helps to support. The two appear to be a great match and are beneficial for both parties.
If you’re talking with another company, that business might do something you’re not entirely happy with – but perhaps they want to change. Give them a chance, negotiate and get the best deal you can for your company. Have follow up conversations and be proactive.
But don’t compromise
Your company ethics are important and should not be compromised. It takes a long time to build a brand and to get customers acknowledge your efforts, so don’t back out on them now. You should know when to say ‘no’ and walk away from a business decision or partnership.