Being authentic and ethical matters in business


Being authentic and ethical has always been important, and right now, more so than ever. Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) have a massive opportunity handed to them on a plate!

The disproportionate influence corporations have on governments, regulators, and the media makes us increasingly skeptical about their motives. High profile scandals repeatedly show us that corporations can be untrustworthy and, in some cases, criminal in their actions.

In Australia, we have seen examples of this in the car industry, banking, franchising, and aged care.

The motivation of some corporations is simply power and greed. Consequently, some CEOs appear to be psychopaths, with no moral compass, and embody the win at all costs attitude.

The brands in question do not appear to be authentic and ethical, as a result of their actions.

Politicians seem fixated by a handful of big business names and put them on a pedestal, maybe because they cannot relate to smaller businesses.

SMB Business owners seem less valued than corporate CEOs.

Big businesses and their industry lobbyists know how to buy influence through political donations.

A few oligopolies collect and control the colossal volume of our data, and we are skeptical about how they will use that data. We know their goal it is to manipulate us into being better consumers and social media advertisers.

Many politicians around the world have lost credibility and cannot answer “yes or no” questions. Some have significant issues with truth and transparency.

“The end justifies the means” seems morally acceptable to some politicians.

The internet and social media have played a role in opening our eyes to this.

Ordinary people are nauseated by big ego’s being disproportionately rewarded.

Gender pay gaps and care for the environment seem second to profit.

Social media and the internet have radically changed some aspects of society and business in the last decade. Opportunities are now open to small businesses that were unthinkable a few years ago. At the same time, social media and the internet have increased “noise” in the market place with many finding it hard to get noticed.

A quiet revolution is underway

This increasing skepticism might cause a quiet revolution toward businesses that are being authentic and ethical. A great opportunity exists for those who can focus on people to people relationships.

As we become increasingly skeptical about major brand names and their lack of authenticity, we are seeking more honest businesses to buy from.

There is an opportunity to secure customers who seek an alternative experience or product to the established brand names.

There are incredibly successful businesses which achieve a massive competitive advantage and yet are also fantastic employers with ethics.

While they understand business and finances well, they have not made money their only meaning as their ethics and authenticity are real values.

Ironically, some can’t count their money fast enough!

People 2 People

Business is often portrayed and taught as a cold subject of accountancy formulae and ratios.

Business news channels reinforce this by the massive attention given to share markets.

This business news seems disconnected to many smaller business owners who know that business is actually about People2People (P2P) relationships.

No amount of accounting will correct a poor relationship. Businesses that focus on P2P can achieve massive success. Remember that owning a business is all about relationships. People buy from people, and people work for people.

Building a sustainable competitive advantage can happen by being authentic and ethical.

Demonstrating that “win at all costs” is not part of your business culture just might set you apart.

Building meaningful relationships founded on honesty will not go out of fashion.

In Episode 2 You-360 “what do I really want”, we help you explore your values and beliefs together with how these will influence your business culture.

Understanding Business Ownership

Success is not just about skills and business plans but also the knowledge, motivation, and mindset.

Understanding people and how to build relationships is an essential part of the success equation.

Being authentic and ethical matters, however big or small your business.

Brendan Barrow Co-Host

The Should I Own A Business Podcast-Listen Before You Leap.