The problem with Business Ethics, and how to be more ethical

By Dustin Sartwell

The biggest forms of human interaction all involve exchanging goods and services in one form or the other: business. However, from the conscious cradle of man transacting and communicating, there has been the need for better business practice and inter-person interactions in business.

  • How do customers view my brand?
  • How does my brand relate to the consumer?
  • What drives people to my brand and vice versa…

Questions like this and a hundred others should be on the lips of every employer. There are flaws in the business models. And that is why brands and companies spend thousands of dollars trying to recruit HR, PR managers, Social Media marketers, brand influencers, and so on.

So, why do companies have to spend so much trying to fix their public reputation and business?

Decisions are getting more complex

In previous years, it was easier and clearer to make business decisions. The market was smaller; the shareholders were more analog and moral.

Now, the growing trend of trying to outdo each other, adaptation of technology, and maximizing profit is increasingly affecting business ethics. It goes from the mines in Africa to the poor labor conditions in Asia, and so on.

As a result, business decisions are no longer as simple as they used to be.

Prolonged legal battles

Dustin Sartwell posits that the current business models, justice, and legal systems mean that business legal suits on infringements, bad practices, monopoly charges, and so on, can drag for years.

When there is no prompt and adequate check on such business policies and ideas, the smaller company bow to high legal costs. It makes the bigger companies more brazen and unyielding in their disregard for business ethics.

The play-ground is uneven

The business model of this day is systematically uneven. While technology, IT, and Digitalization is trying to reduce the gap, the divide is just too significant. The current business models mean the rich and powerful business groups will continue to receive more but unfair market advantages and government patronage.

In the end, it leads to the shrinking of smaller businesses, and the market is skewed.

Lots of Bureaucracy

These days it is not uncommon for big conglomerates to lay off hundreds of their workers at a glance. The intricate company structures mean more bureaucracies, paper works, and so on. It is one advantage of the “smart” business model over management.

Too many bureaucracies mean suffocating progressive ideas and encouraging tyrannical business values.

Where a brand gets too big, buying off of other competitors and swallowing the market becomes inevitable. In the end, we are back to poor business ethics.

The goal is consumption, not satisfaction

Are customers satisfied? No, but they sure consume these goods and services. The days are long over when businesses focused on satisfying customers. Now it is a “push to the market” system where consumers get the barest minimum.

Dustin Sartwell, a popular critic of the current business system calls it “fancy quantity over quality”    

How to improve your business ethics

Some never believe that business and ethics can both co-exist. To them, the presence of one begins the departure of the other.

Your business does not have to murder ethics, and vice versa. You can be smart about it.

  • Stay through to your business goals

Is your business objective to sell healthy mouth wash to the public? Stay true. Do not go about lying about the amounts of “phosphorus” or “magnesium” or other ingredients. While these may give you better marketing, it stains your business goal. And this is why having a business goal is important.

  • Employ smart business systems

Why does a crucial memo have to go through many computers before it gets to the top management? Why does employment have to be only about certifications, even where you need skills?

Employ skills where skill is needed, and expertise where needed. Interchanging the two causes lots of problems

  • Customers should always be your goal

Most brands are airily chasing market shares when they should be focusing on their consumers. When you build a satisfied and happy customer base, your market shares will grow exponentially. The old rule of business applies; referrals are the best advertisement.

If satisfying customers is your goal, then you will respect all business ethics.

  • Trust and integrity attract investors

Asides from ROI, dividends, promising stocks, investors want to trust your brand. They want to be sure that their resources are safe with you. It is terrible business ethics to falsify records, balance sheets, or revenue records to attract investors.

These kinds of scams do not last long, and once investigators expose the fraud, your brand is in the drain.

  • Be a good citizen wherever your business is

All this does not go without saying that good business ethics hinges on being a good citizen wherever you are. 

Pay your taxes, avoid unsafe practices near residences, make your employees comfortable, shun slaving and other unfair practices. Doing all these improves your business ethics and brand image.

Why good business ethics?

Why should anyone even bother about good business ethics? Profits are more important, my customers are happy, and so on…

Good ethics help the market longevity in the long run. While your hype may drive customers to you in the early stage, the market will continue to weigh its options and choose the right one at the end.

Good business ethics will attract investors and shareholders faster than a company with the hype. At the end of the day, investors will always make rigorous research about how they throw their dollars around.

Wrapping Up

Dustin Sartwell still believes problems of good ethics in business are not necessarily the big wolves, but the intentions of hidden key players in the market. It depends on things a company focuses on, like:

  • How a brand prioritizes the customer and investors
  • Views the market holds
  • What it invests in
  • The brand associations
  • And many other similar criteria

In the end, the best business model always lasts long.

My name is Dustin Sartwell; I am married to Elizabeth Sartwell. Our wedding day was July 28th, 2012. I have two daughters, Piper Jane Sartwell and Haylee Sage Sartwell. I enjoy the following activities: dirt bike riding, camping, swimming, playing tennis, riding bikes, relaxing, and spending time with my family.  I am a licensed contractor who owns D&M Construction in California who primarily does work on public work projects. My most recent project completed in 2019 was Pacific High School in Ventura. I did gas and water replacement for the entire Campus. I also installed a new relocatable building at Mound School in Ventura. My wife and I own a salon in Thousand Oaks, California called Born Vogue Salon and Spa. We also own the Public Barbershop in Westlake. My personal accomplishments have been opening up all three businesses and raising two daughters with my wife.

Please enjoy the following links to other websites, blogs, and social media of Dustin Sartwell:

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