Entrepreneurs talk a lot about building their businesses and making a lot of money but very few talk about building their businesses based upon the moral values of honesty and integrity. Recently I have gone to my favorite e-commerce website to make a few purchases. A few business owners on this platform have been falsely advertising their products in order to get sales. I (the consumer) wasted time and tied up my money purchasing a product that wasn’t as advertised. Now I’m upset because I received something that I don’t want, I have to send the product back to the merchant, and start my search and purchase all over again. Why is it that someone will advertise one thing and sell the customer something different? Money! Money entices business owners to be dishonest.
WHAT IS HONESTY and WHAT IS INTEGRITY
Honesty as defined by dictionary.com – uprightness, fairness, truthfulness, sincerity, freedom from deceit, or fraud. Integrity – adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. As mentioned above we are living in times where people need money and will do almost anything to get it. We see dishonesty in leadership, business, finance, etc. Dishonesty is being put in front of us on such a regular basis that deceit seems to be the norm.
DISHONESTY IN BUSINESS
If you are building a business and plan to be around for a long time and want to continue to earn money it is extremely important that you have an honest product or service for the consumer. The world is so small, due to technology, that a business, company, or brand can be destroyed by a push of the send button. The Opinion Page of the New York Times had this to say about dishonesty in business read… It is imperative that new business owners be on the up and up or they will not get their business off the ground. In an environment where reviews are king and word of mouth is one the best marketing strategies, misrepresenting your product, service, or brand can make or break a company quickly.
WHAT IS YOUR PRICE
At what price will you sale or trade your character, morals, and soul? Basically, a business owner that thinks it is ok to shade the truth about his product or service is not hurting the consumer as much as he is hurting himself. When you look in the mirror you want to be able to look yourself in the eye and say to yourself “I have a fair product or service and it is worth what I am charging.” How do you what your product, business, and your self to be remembered? As some scandalous business with a moralless owner or a great business with a great owner? The choice is yours to make based on the actions that you take. Don’t sell out, but rather give in to the idea of giving a great product or service and being a great company and person.
DISHONESTY – WINNR OR LOSER
I recently watched a Frontline documentary about Real Estate Developers that were building low-income housing in the United States. The documentary is entitled Poverty, Politics, and Profit, Taxpayers are paying over a billions dollars for Developers to build low-income housing and the federal government had billions to give to the Developers to build housing for the homeless. Long story short, the developers became greedy, participated in dishonest practices, and got caught. Their reputations were ruined, they lost everything, and were sent to prison. I don’t believe anyone of the Developers said to themselvers, getting the short term gratification, was worth all that they lost.
With my recent experiences, I did not give good reviews nor have I advocated for the business that have misrepresented their product(s). As a matter of fact, I made it crystal clear that these individuals should be put off of the eBay platform.
SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY
I know that times are tough but if you’re going to start a business “say what you mean and mean what you say.” If you are selling a product state exactly what it is. Don’t advertise the product as being something that it isn’t. State all of the costs with your service as opposed to baiting in the client and adding extra charges. No one likes to waste their time being “bullshited.”
Build your business on honesty and integrity. Be honest about your product or service because, in the long run, the main person that gets hurt is you. If you plan to build a long term sustainable business, make honest and integrity your foundation and you are almost assured to achieve that which you desire. Until next week be safe, healthy, and prosperous.