In a nutshell, business ethics is the study and examination of moral and social responsibility in relation to business practices and decision-making in business.
For online businesses, there can be a rather large grey area that can sometimes become confusing. The anonymity of the internet makes it very easy to portray yourself or your business differently than it really is.
It’s also known for bringing out rants and raves that wouldn’t normally occur in an offline business. The best way to view, and form great business ethics for online businesses is to run your business with the sincere intent of treating everyone fairly and honestly…and then following it up in every single aspect of your business from content to employees.
Update your business ethics
Within the online world, its desirable to become known as an expert in your niche. Potential clients watch everything you post, everything you comment on, and everything you endorse. Then, they follow your lead. In other words, you’re a leader, not just a CEO.
Your actions shape the ethics of your employees, your clients and everyone you come into contact with. So lead by example. Solid ethics plays a huge role in establishing yourself as an expert in the online world.
Combining General Business Ethics With Online Business
This reiterates the saying, ‘The customer is always right.’ Especially in the online world, business ethics are congruent to decision making. Customers, not the bottom line should always come first. With every decision you make for your business, make sure that decision is based on the interest of your customers.
With so much competition, your business has to answer the number one question all customers want to know: ‘What’s in it for me?’
Fulfill Your Obligations
Your business online is only as good as your reputation. Strive to keep your word on everything. If you say you’re going to pay someone for a service you’ve outsourced, make sure you honor your word and pay them what’s agreed upon in a timely and grateful manner. In the future, this will pay off because you will gradually build a reputation of being a pleasure to work with. This will be very advantageous when you look into partnerships.
The other aspect of fulfilling obligations is to be honest about what your business or your products offer. Don’t over-promise the benefits of your services or your products. If you’re true to exactly what you commit to, you will have both return customers and word of mouth referrals.
With the myriad of internet schemes that’s invaded the web, trust is equivalent to a diamond ring. In order to compete, you have to shine. There’s no better way to shine than to portray your business and yourself exactly as it is.
Some entrepreneurs exaggerate sales and followers in an effort to generate business. There are many tools available online that very easily validate statements like these. Always portray yourself, and your business exactly as you are.
Reciprocity & Respect
The practice of stellar business ethics in the online world includes giving credit where credit is due. If you borrow a quote, an image, or a theory from someone else online, give them credit by including a link to their business.
In addition, when someone links to you, quotes you, comments on your articles and/or shares your content, make a note of it and be sure to return the favor. This shows respect and helps build relationships and connections that you always need in the online world.
Take the Ethics Challenge!
Your business ethics are truly evaluated by what you do when nobody is looking. Here is a great challenge to implement:
You know that web camera that sits there all day right in front of you? Well, operate your business like that camera is on while you’re working and everyone in Cyberspace is watching every single thing you do.
And please take a minute to share this post so that it helps someone else just like you.