There are a number of benefits of ethical trading; implementing socially responsible policies is not just good for the environment and the wider community, it can benefit your business too. By considering ethical trading you can:
- Build leads and sales, as customers increasingly choose to base their purchasing decisions on more than strict financial factors.
- Attract investment, as ethically motivated investors grow in numbers.
- Enhance trust in your business, by fostering good relations and being transparent in your activities.
- Boost revenue, by opening up your business to new ideas and new customers
- Save money, for example by implementing better waste-management procedures.
So where do you start?
Firstly consider prompt payment – paying your suppliers on time builds your reputation, increases your buying power and injects cash into the economy. Paying invoices promptly has sound business benefits as well as being ethical and fair. Encourage your customers to do the same as a company objective which will help with your cash flow. Work with suppliers and customers who have ethical trading can also set up your business apart from your competitors, and you can use these practices when marketing your company. Other areas to consider:
- Do you operate in an open, honest and transparent way with employees, customers, suppliers, distributors and other stakeholders?
- Do you bring your personal ethics into your business?
- Think about your operations and processes?
- Are you paying your staff fairly?
- Are you providing safe working conditions?
- Would you consider using fair trade suppliers or local sources supplies?
- Would you look at using local social enterprises?
Many of your business processes may already be ethical but it is worth looking at your business and overall objectives.