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Why Your Small Business Ethos Is Crucial to Growing Your Bottom Line

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Why Your Small Business Ethos Is Crucial to Growing Your Bottom Line

We all have to buy things. For most of us, it’s an everyday necessity. Often we look for things like price, quality, quantity, ingredients, label, design, packaging (I’m a huge sucker for good packaging), and lots of other factors we think about as consumers. But lately (well, for some people it’s been a long time), we’re thinking about where the things we buy have come from. And more specifically, what the manufacturer or retailer’s ethos is. It’s funny because it’s fairly recent, but with so much information now freely available on the brands we support across global marketplaces, we kinda wanna know what’s going on back there. And why shouldn’t we!

Most people don’t want to buy products with Palm Oil in them if they know Orangutans are losing their lives and habitats as a result of their purchases. We just want a tasty cookie. But we don’t want anyone to suffer for our cookies. Mmm, cookies.

Growing up I never gave a thought to the impacts my purchases made on others. Mum would get what we needed from the supermarket and I’m pretty sure her main concern would’ve been the total price at the register. I can’t say for sure but I don’t think we had the same amount of options back then and we just trusted the big companies for whatever their products were and whatever they wanted to put in them. Geez, I don’t think we even wore seatbelts!

As Small Business owners we have a right to know the background of the items we sell but we also have a responsibility to know. Small Businesses in Australia employed around 4.5 million people in 2013, which is a pretty hefty number. And it signifies a great deal of purchasing power among all those people. If everyone in Small Business became conscious of their purchasing decisions and took deliberate steps to ensure they were making ethical choices, imagine the outcomes that could be achieved collectively.

To consider it from another perspective, if your customers are so effortlessly able to find out all about you simply by ‘googling’ your business name (or you as the founder), what do you want them to find out? What would you be happy with people reading about you? As Small Business owners we need to be thoughtful about the approach we take towards our purchasing actions, and make some decisions that benefit the whole, rather than just the individual.

I see so many Small Businesses thinking this through, it’s quite inspirational. Businesses that ensure all their ingredients come from ethical sources, or locally. Others that donate percentages of the revenue to charities. Some make sure they supply fair trade coffee and tea for their employees. The list goes on. What will your story be?

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“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"



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  • Tim Morris
    Reply

    Thoughtfully written and a great area to consider – driving competitive advantages by doing the right thing! Many of us consumers are definitely looking for more of this. Thanks for framing it so well.

  • Nathan Kelly
    Reply

    Having a great marketing comes down to telling the right story. If small businesses can source ethical and socially beneficial products and services then, if they can tell an interesting story then consumers will buy them.
    The key is interesting and engaging, not just asking people to do the right thing! There is a difference.

    Love your article and your call for ‘fair trade’

    Thanks Bronwyn

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