A man dressed in black smoothing the rim of his bowler hat having your own style is necessary when growing an authentic business.

5 Ethical Tips when Starting an Authentic Business

There is much in the way of advice when starting an “authentic” business. The focus is on success and making money (not in that order). Yet the world is changing, and there is panic and confusion. How do you achieve a viable authentic business today?

The Ethical Strategist is all for the success of a business. However, it is looking at the success of everyone which determines the more significant achievement. Armed with your “House Rules,” there is no longer a need to fake it til you make it. 

Financial gain is inevitable. Having a meaningful positive impact requires a purpose.

1. Remember You Are an Employee

Whatever fancy title you give yourself, never forget that you are a worker first. You will usually have the privilege of experiencing the first sale—the first unpleasant transaction, disagreement or complaint. After that, you will share the business taking off—the highs and lows of that momentous occasion.
 
To cancel and disappoint friends and family because you have committed to a client. When you get to the point of questioning why you are doing this in the first place, remember that you are an employee first and record what you did to shake off the funk; to get back on track.
 
You can use this knowledge and hands-on experience. You have an understanding and remain compassionate for the internal community. They, too, will experience their firsts. Although they may not be the same, you can share and have empathy. Strengthen the relationship. You will hire support; there is nothing to say that consent cannot be twofold.

2. An Authentic Business has HouseRules

Why wait for the expansion? You already have one employee. You get to experience first-hand how others receive your business. It wouldn’t take very long to determine experiences that are never to be repeated. In other cases, it’s a matter of standing firm and being clear about what you are offering from the outset.

 
These are your policies and procedures (and, if you want, processes). The beginning of this journey is the best time to put these in place. You are not influenced by your relationships with others in your team. I will be the right balance of objectivity and subjectivity. They are your rules which you can hang on the gate for all to see before deciding to enter into a relationship with you.
 
Don’t forget to put in place your House Rules and check that they are being followed. By everyone. They will become an easy habit for everyone to adopt. They will give you confidence. They know that you don’t have to be present at every interaction. The culture you are building will follow your policies and procedures.
A tall dark haired man dressed in a suit looking at his reflection in a luxurious bathroom. A look of uncertainty or distress of growing an authentic business.

3. Accept your Shortcomings

This one can be tricky, especially if you start up in business alone. You have had to be a Jack of all trades and the master. When you begin to scale the is usually a tussle to let go. You may enjoy doing your social media, but you are not great. Don’t tighten your grip. You have expanded your internal community for a reason. Be wise enough to remember that.
 
Taking the passenger seat does not make the business any less yours. You are allowing good sense to prevail by investing your time and energy into the area of your genius. Ask yourself if you would hire someone to watch and be a hindrance to the process. The answer can only be no. Remember, you are an employee, the longest-serving. Is your recruitment process in line with your business model? Other employees who make up your internal community can be as dedicated as you. But it is the selection process that will assist in dictating this point. Don’t leave this to potluck.
 
This is a significant intersection, to mention my pet peeve. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) alone will not help to scale your business. Build a trusted internal community or relieve your frustration and stress. You are not an all-knowing, seeing oracle. There are going to be aspects of your business that are entirely new. You will hand over the tasks you hate when you make enough money to justify getting help.
 
How often are instructions given to an individual and performance fails? At times the consequences can be forgivable other times, they are dire and costly. SOPs are like the latest quick high in the “business streets”. But I must cut short my rant for another time.

Find the right balance in your authentic business. The Ethical Strategist helps you find that sweet spot. All you have to do is book a Humming session. Stop spending money trying to solve the issues with a quick fix. You don’t have to keep wasting time trying to make something out of nothing. Stop wasting your time moving in a circular motion. Let’s have a conversation and relay the ground rules of your business.

4. Selection for your Authentic Business

This leads to the next consideration, the internal community. It’s mentioned several times because it is fundamental to an authentic business. There must be the acceptance that we are not all perfect. We each have an array of greatness. We need to find the right fit for ourselves.
 
Think about what you need for the business. Not your likes and desires. Remember, you are an employee. The best grades and dress have little relevance in many scenarios. Is the role in packing products into boxes and handed over to the delivery service?
 
Be realistic and have your budget aligned with your expectations. You were the employee doing those tasks. Are you asking too much because you are now overwhelmed? It is a balance, not cost per hour, as that is a given. You need to tailor the questions that align with your House Rules.   This will assist you in achieving favourable results in obtaining the right individual for the business.
 
They may not have all the skills you need, but they have the capacity and willingness to learn and develop. Don’t view this as a negative. It can be an unexpected gift if you only take the time to see the value.
A man relaxing with a cup of hot beverage smiling as he looks out the window

5. Remember to Have a Life

Finally, before you are a business owner or an employee, you are a person.  As such, you deserve a life of your own however you choose to live it.  Adopting and adapting the phrase “la dolce vita”, the sweet life is not only for time away from the business life.  Again it is the balance of both worlds.  You will have a community of family and friends that you will sometimes have to put on hold whilst you deal with the issues of the business (this was mentioned in point 1).

So, will there be times when you will have to put the business on hold?  Saying no to clients, rescheduling or negotiating the terms of service.  This may be awkward in the beginning. The first steps are always wobbly.  However, if you have your HouseRules in order, to have support, even when it may only be you.

Rules are meant to be broken, but the policies of your business are the foundation for being.  The only time they will need adjusting is on your say-so, when the balance is slightly off-kilter.

Make memories outside of your business.  Be an example to the rest of your internal community.  What excuse for not enjoying the sweet life if you have the above elements?  No one said you had to spend every waking minute in your business.  And if they did, who cares?  This is your business.  You have a purpose to fulfilling, and that will only happen to your satisfaction when you implement your rules.

Those who have a  passion for business. Those who want to achieve the right balance.   When you need to have that conversation, reach out to The Ethical Strategist to look at all aspects. Business is about the people in your business as well as the customers you serve.

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