questions entrepreneursAre there any questions running your business that you’d prefer to ignore?

For example, because of the type of clients I attract we often have ethical discussions about what’s right for them, their families, their customers, etc.  What is ethical for their business?

I personally enjoy these discussions, but that doesn’t mean the answers are always easy.

When these types of questions come up, many people fall back on a pat answer.

Just do the right thing.  In the long-term it’s more profitable because you’re authentic with your customers and they’ll stay with you longer.”

I’m sure you’ve heard that before.  And in many cases it’s exactly right.

But what about when it isn’t?

What about when doing the right thing will hurt your profits long-term?

You know you can’t do that joint venture, because you don’t feel it’s right for your audience.  So you lose out on potential profitable relationships.

Here’s a good one. What about when you can’t advertise in certain places because the competing ads that perform well there are hyped up and dishonest?

In other words, it’s tough for your truth to compete with their lies.

In these cases you have to make the ethical choice even if it’s not the most profitable decision.

In fact, I feel we make a major mistake when we tell people doing what’s right is always the most profitable in the long-term.

Because it takes the point away from the correct discussion.

In many of these cases it’s simply about doing what’s right no matter where it takes your business.

How many times have you heard someone excuse their lack of ethics as “It’s only business.”

In dealing with larger companies I’ve also heard the excuse that it’s OK to mistreat the customer because the investors have to come first. 

What about other discussions where it’s not as clear?

For example, I’ve had ethical discussions with clients on:

– At what point is upselling unethical?
– How can they lay off an employee nicely that needs to go?
– What about hiring a ghostwriter or using a pen name?
– Which promises are they most comfortable making about their offer?
– When is it right to eliminate a project with a partner because it’s not profitable enough?
– What to do about a very difficult customer other than refunding them?
– Can they partner with this expert or not?

In business we make tough choices every day about what products to release, who to work with, and where to advertise.

Maybe a couple of the above are easy for you.  I don’t have a problem for example at all with a ghostwriter.   But I’ve spoken with a client who did.

Remember this.  The day you stop thinking about the ethics of your business is the day you’ve totally lost those ethics. 

The big question is for you, where do ethics come into play…and how do they affect your business online even when it’s not an easy call?

Feel free to comment below…

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Terry Dean
Terry Dean

Terry Dean has been in full-time internet business since 1996 and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get started online through his articles and products. He lives in Ocala, Florida with his wife and 2 dogs. Find out more about how his step-by-step courses can help you today.