The New Era of Business

Businesses have always been able to get away with a lot. Historically, the bigger the business, the more leeway they had to do things a normal person might consider ethically challenged, at best .Remember the Great Recession and the banks that were considered “too big to fail?” That made a lot of people justifiably angry.

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Thankfully, there are signs of change, at least in some quarters. The Internet is a great way to motivate people to rally for a cause now, and many people are rallying to force companies to be more socially responsible. There’s also more suspicion cast upon people who inherited ownership of a company from their parents.

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People want qualified business leaders, not just a family dynasty. There’s a sense that what you’ve done should matter more than who you are. We’re a long way from becoming a pure meritocracy, but at the very least, consumer advocates are trying to keep business owners accountable.

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For instance, advertising is the lifeblood of most TV and radio programs. A concerted effort to get companies to pull their ads from a show can work wonders nowadays. It’s not uncommon for the cycle to go something like this: A TV host gets accused of doing bad things. He or she is accused of doing the bad things repeatedly. Activists send out a call over social media for companies to stop advertising with that show. Companies quickly cancel their ads, and the show is soon taken off the air.

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So if you want your business to thrive, it doesn’t matter if you have five employees or five thousand: You should act as ethically as possible right from the get-go. Being environmentally conscious is a good way to start. If you’re running a restaurant, replace your styrofoam to-go containers with recyclable plastic.

If you’re in manufacturing, look for products that help you be as energy efficient as possible. On your company’s website, put up a page explaining your company’s values, as well as the everyday ways in which you try to abide by them. Transparency will go a long way towards winning the trust of potential customers.

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If you’re running a family business, you may also have to work a bit harder to ensure you did more than just win the genetic lottery. Obtaining a Masters of Business Administration is a sign that you’re eager and willing to learn as much as possible about running a business. In many quarters, an MBA is considered the bare minimum for people looking to own or operate a business.

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And you don’t even have to stop working to get the degree, as there are plenty of opportunities to get an MBA online. Look into a State MBA online and similar programs. You want to find a program that’s associated with a brick-and-mortar university, as those are generally considered more credible than the online-only schools.

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We’re living in an era where consumers expect more from the companies they frequent, and that’s mostly a good thing. If you let your customer base know that you’re committed to doing things a certain way, and then follow through, you’re more likely to receive their loyalty in return.

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