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Are you ethical?

The thoughts of Richard Osborne on many subjects over the years.

Are you ethical?

I’ve been having a chat with a marketing consultant I am working with about how to position my Quick Formations business in the market place above the rest. I already know that my business is not the cheapest, but we are also not the most expensive. We already stand out from most of the rest because we answer the phones (believe me this is amazingly quite unique in our industry!), I employ legally qualified staff to give the right advice (again quite unique!!), we provide what I would say is a service that anyone should expect to receive. Sadly this isn’t always the case, and we have placed test orders with a number of our competitors to see what we are up against.

Anyway, I ramble on. The point is Rebecca Harding from Saltwhistle Communications pointed out that we are actually a very ethical and enviromental company so we should be shouting about this from the roof tops. We use recycled paper, we give money and time to charities and good causes, I invest heavily in my staff for training and look after them, I donate a lot of time to volunteer work, I’d like to say we are nice people to deal with, but I don’t put any of this on my website or my sales literature. I do it because I want to.

So is it a good thing to crow about the good your business does? Could it put people off? When I asked the question on UK Business Forums one person replied saying he felt companies that did make a thing about their corporate responsability are most likely going to be too expensive. Personally I am undecided, but I do have one example which shows I can be swayed. The wife and I were shopping in M&S at the weekend when I say a TV in the childrens clothes department advertising that they donate 5% of the purchase price on all school uniforms sold to Save the Children. On he back of this I insisted to my wife we purchase my daughters

school uniform from there, and we went for the more expensive tops. Am I unique? I actually hope not, this is our world and we should all play our part to make it a better place for our children and theirs who follow.

Comments (4)

  1. Aug 29, 2007

    I think the “we give 5% to charity” can be perceived as meaning you’ve put the price up by 5%. Plus some people would rather pay less and donate the money to a charity of _their_ choosing.

  2. […] his post are you ethical Ozzy says: When I asked the question on UK Business Forums one person replied saying he felt […]

  3. Aug 29, 2007

    I think it depends on your business.
    I have a kids organic t-shirt business which supports ethical trade too.
    At my research stage potential customers actually said that they would like my business to actively support a charity.
    I’ve chosen to do this by donating 1% of my turnover to organisations with an environmental stance through the global business alliance 1% for the planet.

  4. Sep 7, 2007

    This is something that we’ve decided to go with wholeheartedly here at Blue Ginger. Frankly, our ethical stance doesn’t make a huge amount of difference to the amount of unsolicited enquiries we receive, but it does give us a point of difference. We’re finding that individuals within organisations are more likely to promote our services to their manager once they’re aware of our environmental policies. But we’ve run our business this way since we started. This isn’t a “greenwash” to generate more buiness. What it boils down to is: If it’s something you believe in, don’t be shy about it – shout it form the rooftops! Best of luck!