Make Integrity a Part of Your Brand

in·teg·ri·ty

noun: integrity
  1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

It seems that integrity in business these days is taking a back seat.

integrity

I see so many struggling business owners and entrepreneurs, yet many of them lack some very basic elements that are an integral part of doing business and will eventually effect your ability to be successful. It’s not always about how much you know, or how great you are, even though I’m sure you’re outstanding at what you do. If you are lacking integrity in your business, then it doesn’t really matter how great you are. People won’t care about you.

Branding for your business isn’t just about your logo and tag line. It’s about WHO you are and HOW you do business. Do you practice good business ethics? Do you keep appointments? If you need to miss an appointment, do you communicate with your client and let them know so you don’t leave them hanging?

While this may seem like a no-brainer to many of us, I regularly see business owners and entrepreneurs who cannot answer “yes” to these very basic questions. Life is hectic, we are all busy, we are all focused on the next deal and making money so we can pay our bills. While you may not be able to see this, as your perspective is not always that of your client, it’s easy for your clients – and prospective clients – to see this from a mile away.

Are you showing the integrity of your business? Here are five things you may want to take a look at and see how you’re doing.

  1. Do the right thing. Just because it’s the right thing to do. Maybe an interested client isn’t a great fit for you, or you really can’t help them as much as they need, but they really want to work with you. Politely explaining to them that perhaps a business arrangement between you may not be as successful as you would both like, and helping them find someone who is a better fit, will speak volumes for your integrity. This tells people that you are more concerned with that individual’s success, than just putting money in your bank account.
  2. Keep your commitments. For those that know me personally, you pretty much know that if I make an appointment with you and don’t show up, I’m most likely laying in ditch somewhere. While things do come up and we need to cancel or reschedule appointments, show your integrity and be sure to call that person and let them know. Not showing up is NOT acceptable. And yes, people do this. As they say in the world of Rodeo Queening, “If you’re just on time, you’re late!”
    This also applies to turning in projects on time and meeting other deadlines. If you’re habitually late in delivering, you will lose valuable credibility and that can be devastating to your business.
  3. Treat people with respect. Sometimes this is hard to define, as people will have somewhat different views, but there is no reason to not be kind and courteous to everyone you meet. Some say respect has to be earned, but for me, everyone has my respect, until they do something to damage that.
  4. Be open minded. Open your mind to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and the possibility that maybe you could be wrong on occasion. Admitting when you’ve made a mistake is always the first step to correcting that mistake and will help you become a better leader.
  5. Build trust with people. While it may take a few interactions to develop that trust, you can lose it in a heartbeat. People will trust you if they know you. They can’t get to know you, if you don’t ever show your personal side. People will buy from others that they know, like and trust, so be authentic and genuine and let your light shine.

Integrity starts with you. It will set the tone for your business, and subsequently your success. Are you showing integrity in your business and making this valuable trait a part of your brand?

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