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  • Writer's pictureDr Raewyn Sleeman

Shortcuts: Are They Good or Bad For Your Business?

Let's talk about whether taking shortcuts helps you in the long run. Running a business can be tricky. The beginning is exciting with support from friends and your community.

But soon, it gets tough to find new customers or keep the old ones coming back. This is something all business owners experience. It doesn't only happen at the start.

Sometimes, after years of good sales, they just stop without clear reason. When this happens, it's tempting to start taking shortcuts because of money problems or not understanding why sales are down.

It's a crucial time for your business that can lead to success or failure. It's vital to understand the consequences of taking shortcuts before you decide if they're worth it.

Making good choices for the long term, not just for today, is important. Taking shortcuts can break the trust of your customers and your team. This makes people want to shop or work somewhere they can trust.

Here's what can happen when you take shortcuts:

Loss of Trust: Your customers and partners might lose trust in your business. Trust is very important for keeping good relationships and helping your business grow. Once trust is gone, it's very hard to get back.

Harm to Reputation: Your business's good name can be damaged. Today, news spreads quickly, and bad behaviour can become known fast, which can change how people see your business.

Legal Problems: Being dishonest can lead to legal trouble. This can result in fines or even bigger legal issues, which can be expensive and take a lot of time to fix.

Unhappy Workers: If your team sees that bad behaviour is okay, they might feel less connected to their work. This can cause them to leave, which costs your business.

Slower Growth: Dishonest behaviour might seem to help at first but can prevent your business from growing in the future. Other companies and investors might not want to work with a business known for being dishonest.

Bad for Community and Environment: Wrong actions in business can harm your local area and the environment. This can make people speak badly about your business and hurt your relationship with the community.

Money Loss: In the end, bad behaviour can lead to losing money. This can be through lost sales, legal costs, fines, or the money spent to fix these problems.

Knowing and avoiding these risks is key for business owners. It's important to build your business on good practices to make sure it does well in the long term and maintains good relationships with everyone involved.

What to Do When Business is Slow

Here are ways to make good decisions when sales are slow without taking shortcuts that can hurt your business:

Use Your Values in Business: Always choose what you believe is right. If honesty is important to you, be honest in your business.

Handle Pressure Well: Running a business is hard and you might think about taking shortcuts. Think about how these decisions will affect your business in the future. Don't do wrong things just to save money or get ahead of others.

Remember the Size and Age of Your Business: If your business is new or small, you might feel a lot of pressure to do well. It's important to start with good and honest practices. This helps your business grow properly.

Honour Your Culture: Your background can guide your sense of right and wrong. Use this in your business. For example, if your culture values helping others, make sure your business does that too.

Choose Opportunities Wisely: When you get a chance to grow your business, think if it's the right thing to do. Ask yourself if this fits with your values.

Balance Confidence with Good Actions: It's good to be confident. But too much pride can lead to wrong choices. Stay confident and humble. Think about whether your decisions are the right ones and get experienced advice when you're not sure.

Fair Treatment is Good for Business: Be fair to your team, honest in your ads, and take care of your customers. This builds trust and is good for your business over time.

Understand Your Business Challenges: Every type of business has its own difficulties. Know what these are for your business and plan for them. For instance, say no to bribes if that's an issue in your field.

Think for the Future: Doing the right thing can make people trust you more. This is better for your business as time goes on. Avoid quick, dishonest ways to make money.

If you haven't already, download and start using the Marketing Strategy app for Android or iOS, and read the other Growth Tips here. They both can teach you how to create a business that customers, employees, and suppliers trust so you have less or no slow sales periods.



Daradkeh M. (2023) Navigating the Complexity of Entrepreneurial Ethics: A Systematic Review and Future Research Agenda. Sustainability. 15(14)


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