Brad Hurlock

Web Design & Marketing Sales for Addison Technologies.

Business Ethics 101: Principles, Practice & Why it Matters

Brad Hurlock

Web Design & Marketing Sales for Addison Technologies.
12/9/2019

It was the video that almost broke the internet.

Who could forget when Elon Musk, the founder of Space-X, smoked a joint on Joe Rogan's podcast?

The small incident wasn't well-received by NASA. The ordeal resulted in mandatory safety and culture audits for Boeing and Space-X.

That joint cost Elon and taxpayers $5 million.

Are you looking to avoid making a similar mistake? If so, then you need to understand the importance of business ethics. So, what are business ethics, and why do they matter?

Read on to get our full guide.

What Are Business Ethics?

Business ethics is the study of how businesses should conduct themselves. Companies aren't bound to a moral code but displaying ethics is important.

The goal of acting in an ethical manner is to build trust with customers. As a business, you want and need the public's approval. Often, that means you'll have to navigate around difficult issues like:

  • Social responsibility
  • The environment and sustainability
  • Insider trading
  • Corporate governance
  • Bribery

All businesses need a competitive advantage. Companies must gain this advantage in a way that's legal and ethical, though. Why does your business need to care about these issues? Find out below.

Why Business Ethics Matter

When Elon smoked marijuana, he displayed poor business ethics. After all, marijuana possession is a crime on the federal level. That's the tip of the iceberg, though. Elon has government clearances that prohibit drug use.

So, what should you take from this story? Business ethics matter because customers and clients care about your perception. If your business gets viewed as immoral or shady, then customers don't want to invest in you.

Are you still not convinced? Take this story into consideration. Last year, the founder of the successful Papa Johns Pizza restaurant resigned. Why? He made the mistake of using a racial slur during a conference call.

Sales immediately plummeted, so Papa John got forced out of his own company.

The moral of the story is that if you display poor business ethics, you won't be in business for long.

Steps to Success

As a business owner, you want your company to display proper business ethics at all times. So, what types of principles do you need to promote? Here are seven principles to help guide you:

  1. Remain honest with your customers
  2. Keep your commitments and promises
  3. Stay loyal to your customers
  4. Maintain a culture of integrity
  5. Display genuine concern for customers
  6. Respect all customers and employees
  7. Remain fair in your business practices

These principles should guide behavior across the board. From management to social media engagement, you want to act as ethical as possible. By following these tips, you'll ensure your brand is reflecting your ethical values.

Recognizing the Importance of Business Ethics

All business representatives must learn to accept the importance of business ethics. These ethics must get incorporated into every aspect of your company. A business ethics disaster means bad publicity. It also means less profit.

Follow our tips for success to ensure your brand stays ethical every step of the way.

Are you working towards building an ethical marketing strategy for the new year? Be sure to read our guide on what to expect for 2020 before making any decisions.