Integrity in business – A common understanding of people in business is that not everyone adheres to the same principles of honesty and business integrity. The sad fact is that many business people take advantage of shortcuts and back doors to make their lives a little easier and their endeavors a little more profitable. Asset based lenders, for example, regularly encounter prospective clients who misrepresent the true nature of their assets that questions the integrity of the business application. This approach of business integrity often works in the short run, but in the final analysis, it is bad for their businesses and for themselves. It is tempting to fall into this trap. You may ask yourself why you should do things the right way when your competitors do not. This is why.
Being honest in all of your business dealings and do not make promises that you cannot keep. Keeping associates informed of any potential difficulties and honoring your commitments will set you apart from the crowd. Everyone with whom you interact professionally, from your suppliers to your commercial lender, will respect the fact that you set your personal honesty above the occasional gains that can be derived by being less than forthcoming. They notice these things. In the estimation of the people on whom you rely, and who depend on you, the ability to take your word as fact is the most valuable asset that you or your business can have. Trust is the rarest of commodities in the business world.
Any supplier, customer or commercial lender will want to cultivate a relationship with someone who shows himself to care about honesty and integrity. If they know that what you say is reliable, whether good news or bad, they will want to work with you. Telling a vendor that a payment will be a week late is not necessarily a terrible thing. Making that late payment without prior notice definitely is. Your demonstration of concern for the working relationship creates a feeling of comfort and respect. This is especially important when it involves the sources of your businesses’ financing, be they asset based lenders of traditional commercial lenders. An open door to additional funding is imperative if a business is to survive.
Be upfront in all things – your integrity, give advanced notice of potential problems and never fail to deliver on a promise. These things will pave the way for surprising things and establish your business as one with a valuable difference. In business, honesty is the best policy.
By Shanese Burns, President & CEO of Apple Capital Group, Inc. Apple Capital Group, Inc., is a commercial finance company that specialize in lending to small businesses.