Every business is established on pillars. These pillars are the supportive structures of the whole business proposition. You cannot do away with them without risking the ultimate collapse of your business structure. Two such essential business pillars are honesty and integrity.
Without honesty and integrity backing up your claims, your USP (unique selling point), or your customer-friendly approach; you cannot hope to operate successfully. If business owners think that dishonesty if undiscovered is fine, then they are deluding themselves. If integrity does not back their claims, ultimately they will lose the clients they gained and fail to win new ones.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, 'integrity is the firm adherence to a moral code or values'. This means that if you claim to provide quality services, then that is exactly how your services will be.
Quality should be your hallmark. Or if you claim to take a stand against bribery, then you must refuse to take or give bribes, even if it costs you a contract. The company Shell is known for its honesty and integrity in business. They have zero tolerance for bribes and fraud in their commitment to crush corruption in society.
Meaning of honesty is 'fairness and straightforwardness of conduct'. One practical application of honesty in business is in the area of accounting. Conduct regular internal and external audits for your own good. Pay your taxes on time and honestly.
Never short change your customers. On the other hand, go out of your way to give them value for money. Honesty also involves 'telling it as it is.' Never mislead your customers, beat around the bush, and sell a product that is actually not suitable for them, or does not meet their specific need.
Tried and True
A quality of both honesty and integrity is that these pillars can only be tested in real time. Having honesty and integrity printed in your code of ethics or core business values will not ensure that you will act in that manner at all given opportunities.
These are character traits that are essential in any individual for successful living. If you are honest and true to your family and friends, then why not conduct your business relations in the same vein?
Over time, your reputation of practicing honesty and integrity in business will spread and you will gain clients who likewise seek to maintain such qualities in their own respective fields. This will stand you well while bidding for government contracts.
Your reputation will always go before you and people will feel safe doing business with you. In other words, you will reap trust in the business circles.
Whether you are employing a few people or a large work force, you will enjoy better employee performance when you uphold honesty and integrity in your business. An ethical work atmosphere sets the stage for high performance. Integrity and honesty are the mark of leadership in any field. These two pillars are a business' primary networking tool and will take you from obscure places to stand before kings.