What Makes a Business ‘Ethical’?

Making money and having ethics are often seen as mutually exclusive, but the good news is they needn’t be.

In fact, making your business more about people than about profits can actually improve your bottom line.

Here are four ways you can create an ethical business.

1. An attitude of service

By focusing your customers’ needs (rather than on how much money you are making), you are better able to provide what they really want. This in turn tends to keep them coming back, and it can also attract new custom to your enterprise. People are naturally inclined to be drawn to a business that they feel genuinely cares about them.

2. Care for workers

Your employees are your greatest resource, so it’s important to treat them as such and care for their health and wellbeing. Doing so also reduces the risk of prolonged absenteeism and staff turnover, in turn reducing your costs. Richard Branson has famously said your workers should come first rather than your customers, as happy workers are more likely to treat customers well.

3. Generosity

Being generous is not just about giving to charity and causes (although this is good) but more about an attitude of going the extra mile in all your dealings. Generosity is often contagious and tends to have a way of coming back to you.

4. Care for the environment

It’s not mandatory to ‘go green’ in business. Companies that do however – such as through sustainable buildings and practices, energy-efficiency, recycling and so on – show that they care about more than just profits. They also save money on their costs and help to create a positive reputation for their business.