Maintaining Integrity in Your Small Business

How Integrity Can Affect Your Success

Your small business’ image and reputation can be affected by many things. From the quality of your products and services, your location, your branding, and what this article is about - your integrity as a business and as a business owner. Integrity is not only doing the right thing when no one is looking, but it is also being dependable, reliable, and doing what you say you will. In this blog, we are going to walk through what is integrity, characteristics, and more.

What is Integrity?

Integrity is “acting with honor regardless of whether your actions are public committing to doing what you say you will do.” Integrity isn’t always doing what would make your customers and clients the happiest. Integrity is keeping your business morals at the front, being steadfast in meeting the expectations you put for your business, and making sure your business is reliable in what it provides and stands for.

How can Integrity Affect Your Business?

The integrity of your business can affect it in many different ways. Some of these are:

• The culture of your business. The integrity of your business can foster a positive and productive culture and environment for your business and, therefore, positively impact the moods and behaviors of all those who interact with it.

• The quality of the products and services you provide. If your business doesn’t have the drive to maintain integrity, the motivation and drive needed to continuously deliver quality products and services will tank. If there’s no reason to maintain quality through standards you uphold in your business, why would your employees put in the work to do so?

• The relationships with your employees and customers. Your employees will value their place within your business more if they feel like you’re involved in helping with projects. Be open and honest with them about what you expect, respect them, and make them feel valued for the work they do.

• Your business’ reputation - If your business lacks integrity, people won’t have a great opinion of it, what it provides, and you as a business owner. Not only would this negatively impact that specific business, but because your reputation as a business owner is directly tied to your business, any future businesses you own or venture into will have a disadvantage because your reputation as a business owner, in general, will be harmed.

Important Aspects of Integrity

There are different ways to ensure the integrity of your business and your status as a business owner is strong. Let’s take a look at various aspects that can affect the integrity of yourself and your business.

• Respect

No matter what, everyone you interact with within your business, be it your employees, customers, the general public, suppliers, or anyone else, deserves respect from you and your business. Making sure respect is a key component of your business is a fantastic way to help ensure your business's integrity stays strong.

• Honesty

Many mistake integrity for honesty or just use the terms interchangeably, but in reality, honesty is just one part of integrity. While honesty refers to telling the truth, integrity adheres to a moral and ethical code. Having integrity within your business means being honest about what you provide, how the business runs, and being truthful to what your business stands for.

• Trust

Making sure your business is one that people can trust is vital to ensuring your integrity is strong. People want to support businesses they can trust to provide quality products and services. If people can’t trust what you provide, they won’t want to give your business support and will instead opt for others.

Following Through with What You Say

It’s one thing to state what your business can provide, but it’s another thing to follow through with what you say, and the latter tends to be more impactful. Having integrity means promising to hold up your end of the bargain regarding the services and products you provide and making sure the experience from beginning to end lives up to the expectations you give them. If your business lacks at any point during those steps, it could negatively impact your customer's experience and lower your reputation as a business and business owner with them. If you tell a customer, you can get a service done in 30 minutes, then you best make sure you can provide it within that time.

Ethical Communication

Your ability to communicate openly and honestly with everyone you interact with in your business helps ensure you hold yourself accountable to the standards you hold yourself and your business to, and the best way to achieve this is through ethical communication. Ethical communication involves a lot of the same aspects that go into integrity, but they are specifically used for how to communicate with others. Some of the most important aspects of ethical communication are honesty, consistency, fairness, and respect.

For examples of how to safeguard the integrity of your business and how it can play a part in your interactions within your business, check out these articles below:

How to Build a Company That (Actually) Values Integrity

Why Integrity Is An Essential Virtue For Business Leaders

The Importance Of Honesty And Integrity In Business

How the Digital World can Affect your Business’s Integrity.

Your integrity extends past your physical store and face-to-face interactions. In today’s world, your integrity for your business also extends into the digital space. People can leave reviews about your business, post pictures and videos that may show your business in a bad light, and share information about how you or your employees behave or speak while outside of work. This can bleed into how people view your business and negatively impact your success. Especially with how intertwined businesses are these days with social, government, and environmental issues due to Internet involvement.

If your values in person don’t match what you show online, you can be sure to expect a drop in support from your community, Keeping your online image in line with the values and goals you have in person is key to keeping your integrity intact and holding value in the eyes of your customers. With the integrity of your business being so intertwined with a vast majority of how your small business functions, it’s essential to ensure it is upheld at all levels. If you feel like your business struggles to hold to the integrity you want or want to know more ways to help nurse it through your employees, culture, and processes, then contact Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses.