Manage Rules In Outlook How to Run an Ethical Business

I want to address the subject of the damage we can do to our business unless we diligently follow ethical practices and treat our clients as our first priority.I have noticed that clients appear to have been relegated to ‘nuisance’ status in some companies – people either to be ignored or put on hold until a more convenient time. I am not talking about the many businesses that are started with the sole objective of making profits, with no concern for the people or planet. These businesses were never ethical in the first place, and by virtue of their damaging products and/or services probably never will be. I am talking about businesses that started because of a passion, that wanted to make a difference, but through lack of thought, or bad management, have fallen off the ethical ladder and are now a source of frustration and disappointment to those that deal with them.It makes me wonder what went wrong within these companies, why they dropped the ball. It doesn’t make sense to mistreat or undervalue clients – they are, after all, the source of income. No clients, no money, no business!My experience of dealing with such companies has really clarified what not to do in my own business. This is what I have learned about how to run an ethical business.Remember that You Are Just One Link in the ChainBusiness dealings are rarely confined to just you and your client. If you supply products you have suppliers, and your client will also have other businesses and people linked to them. When you let a client down you are often letting down a string of other people of whom you aren’t aware. You could also be responsible for your client being perceived as unprofessional, as they couldn’t deliver on their promise because you didn’t deliver on yours.


For example, I recently purchased an item online. The order went through, payment was taken but nothing was delivered. Nobody contacted me and I eventually ended up phoning them. They weren’t aware that my parcel hadn’t been delivered. The firm they had contracted to deliver it had apparently tried twice – they didn’t leave a card either time, and I was actually at home at the times recorded. As a result I ended up cancelling the order. It would have turned out very differently if:

The seller tracked all their orders and confirmed delivery

The delivery company had tried harder to deliver the parcel or left a ‘You Weren’t at Home’ card

The delivery company had notified the seller, so they could contact me themselves

As delivery wasn’t treated as a priority by either company, it didn’t happen. They each acted as disinterested individuals, rather than as a team with a common goal.CommunicateCommunication is so important. Answer phone calls, emails and questions – don’t leave your clients wondering what’s happening, and potentially cause them stress and worry. Some questions might seem trivial to you, but they obviously aren’t trivial to your client or they wouldn’t have asked them.If your company is one that gets asked the same standard questions time and again, make sure you have a list of answers ready.The problem with lapses in communication is that trust gets eroded, and you could end up dealing with some very angry and frustrated clients. Believe me – that will take up much more of your time than if you had kept in touch in the first place.You are running a business, not the Secret Service, and your clients need to know!Tell the TruthAlways tell your clients the truth, don’t string them along. If you don’t have the product they want in stock, or you can’t provide the service they require right now, tell them. Yes, you may lose their business in this instance or they may be prepared to wait, but you are leaving the decision up to them and that’s where it belongs. The important thing is that they will remember your honesty and could send other business your way. If you tell them lies in order to keep their business, that might be the only business you’ll ever get from them – and if you’re really unlucky, your shortcomings could end up doing the rounds on social media.Don’t Forget that Your Clients have Lives TooThis is particularly important to remember if you have a company that impacts other people’s businesses in a big way. That without your product or service the business can’t function. It is a good idea from time to time to think about what effect your actions are having – are you uplifting your clients so that their lives are enhanced by their association with you, or are you pushing them towards bankruptcy?Have a Back Up PlanLife is uncertain and full of surprises, so protect your client’s interests by giving them an alternative contact in case you are unavailable.If someone has paid you for a service, then it is only polite to let them know when you plan to be away from the office, if it is likely to affect them in some way. An email after the event, apologising for not being in touch because you’ve been off skiing, is not likely to be received very well.Keep to DeadlinesDon’t pull deadlines out of thin air because that’s what you think your client wants to hear. If you can’t finish the job by Friday, don’t tell them you can. Look at the facts and figures, understand what is possible and, if you can, add a day or so just in case of hiccups. You’ll then get brownie points for being ahead of schedule.


Tell them if something crops up which will cause delays. Don’t pretend it’s of no consequence. You don’t know what impact the delay will have on your client. If they are aware of it, they can deal with it in a timely fashion at their end.Good Intentions aren’t EnoughYou might be the nicest person in the world, but your charms will fall on stony ground if people know that you can’t be relied upon, and that your word doesn’t mean anything. Don’t forget the saying ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’. The only way to run an ethical business is to back up your words with positive and timely action.In ConclusionI believe it is crucial not to underestimate your importance and impact on other people’s lives. If you focus on your clients’ needs, rather than seeing them from just a monetary angle, I truly believe that your business will flourish and become a thing of joy.I recently watched an episode of ‘Undercover Boss’ on YouTube. It was about a chain of convenience stores which also sold hot food and drinks. ‘The Boss’ visited the store which outdid all the others on coffee sales, in order to see what it had that the other stores didn’t. What the store had was this amazing lady who knew her customers by name, was genuinely interested in them, and always had time to have a laugh and a joke. People visited the store because that lady brightened up their day – they could have bought coffee anywhere. I think that says it all.*********************

A Latin Impact on the Finance Industry

Financial Institutions are a fantastic business model to learn from when considering ever changing market conditions. Their traditional target markets are stable, but, the needs of an emerging market, the Latino market is extremely underserved. It is certainly not for lack of money. Many Latinos have zero debt and healthy saving habits. The question arises, are financial institutions doing enough to serve this population? Are they adapting to the Latino needs? The answer is complicated.

There are two types of Latinos in the USA. One is the immigrant seeking a better life and wanting the American dream, whether they came through the proper channels or not it is irrelevant. The second, are the Latinos that are born here. These are two very different groups of people with different needs and goals. Most immigrants bring their culture, traditions, and customs with them to the US. Those born here develop a blended culture that is both Latino and American.

Financial Institutions are taking notice and making strides to accommodate this very economically influential population. The main reason is that there is a lot of investment in education and developing trust. An untold detail is that in Latino countries, people do not trust banks and financial institution because of corruption. Everything is paid in cash and there are no debt or traditional credit scores. This means that the Latino community have cash, probably stored under their mattress or in a shoe box. This is very dangerous considering that a house fire could burn an entire life savings. Another scenario is they could become a target for robbery. This is a foreign concept for Americans. What is happening is a huge learning curve, educating them on the process of building credit, saving their money in a financial institution, getting loans (mortgage, car, etc.), and most important having trust in the financial institutions.

The younger generations that are born here learn from their parents and surroundings. There is still a disconnect from the importance of financial products, building credit, and how that process works. Many of these young people are just translating for their parents, explaining financial products, and become an intermediary for conducting business. You will notice an increase in bilingual support at many financial institutions for this reason. There is still a lot of work to do in this regard, and this process will take time.

However, more and more financial institutions are offering products specific to Latinos. Information is becoming available in Spanish and more financial institutions are hiring bilingual and multi-lingual speakers. It will be interesting to see how we as a country adapt to this important demographic. It is truly an untapped market that has an important function in our economy for growth and stability.