You know the saying—“nice guys finish last”, but as an entrepreneur that probably isn’t the case. Sure, you have to be an astute negotiator and a salesperson who is willing to work for the sale but there are plenty of reasons to be known as the nice guy (or woman) to your customers.
Ethical people want to deal with others that share their values. Ethical people also tend to surround themselves with other ethical people who hold similar values as their own. When you run your business with the highest moral standards, those people will recommend you to their friends.
The Price Game
Small businesses, especially retail establishments, often find themselves caught in a price war. “I can get it cheaper at Walmart”, or “do you match Amazon’s prices?” are the types of phrases commonly heard by small business owners.
When you treat customers with respect, value them as people instead of customers, and go far beyond what is considered adequate customer service, people are willing to pay a little more because they perceive the extra value that came with their purchase. As you construct your business plan, think about how you will inject your integrity in to your customer experience.
A great leader doesn’t lead with words. Instead, they lead with actions. If you want trustworthy, hard working, ethical employees who will represent your business with honesty and integrity, you must first model that to them. As a startup, you may not have any employees but as you grow, take care to exhibit the same traits you want to see in your employees.
Better Vendor Relationships
The vendors who sell to you are trying to earn a living just like you. They don’t have the time or desire to work with people who are more interested in a cheap price today rather than developing a relationship. Business owners with integrity aren’t interested in cheap—they’re interested in fair and when you have that attitude, vendors will be more likely to work harder for you and that often means savings.
As you develop your business plan for your business startup, think about how you’ll let your ethics and good character become part of your business instead of putting it aside. Some people may try to take advantage of you but in the end, you’ll find more success being the business owner of integrity. In the case of small business, nice guys often finish first.