As a contractor, your reputation is critical to your success in revenue generation and business development. Think about the referrals you receive from happy customers and the impact of repeat projects from those same happy customers. Is your reputation based on ethics? Do your customers know they can trust your contracting work to be priced and performed ethically?
This ethical responsibility is critical to your long-term, continued success as a contractor.
Interestingly enough, this topic of ethics has seen renewed vigor over the past decade in business schools. In the greater business world, the series of corporate scandals and fraud spurred on this ethical emphasis. Business schools, associations, industry groups, and a wide range of businesses from $1 million-$200 million in annual revenue are focusing on ethics.
Considering that the construction industry impacts an overwhelming majority of the economy and specifically the B2B space, let this serve as your reminder! Answer these four questions!
1. How do you determine what’s ethical?
How do you determine ethical behaviors within your contracting company? From an intellectual perspective, business ethics refers to a duty, a compelling choice towards the greater good, or even an obligation. Using this basic definition, how are you emphasizing ethics within your leadership decisions? How are these ethical decisions impacting your contracting firm?
2. How do you keep ethics first?
Every decision you make as a contractor should be based on ethics or a value system that ultimately shapes your motives and actions. This means that every business decision requires you — the leader in your company — to understand your ethical responsibility. As a contractor, consider every business decision you make to be a decision that touches ethics. Do not take the ethics out of your leadership decisions.
3. What factors impact your decisions?
As you uphold this ethical responsibility as a leader, you are not acting alone. You are influenced by outside factors — consider employees, competitors, customers, the economy, policies, etc. What outside factors are influencing your ethical decisions? Do you understand the ethical responsibility you have as a leader?
4. What do your ethical, or at times not so ethical, decisions impact?
Keep in mind that your ethics directly impacts your skilled trade workers, employees, and subcontractors. Ethical behaviors directly impact your team. Do you see:
· Increased commitment to the company’s mission
· Better morale on job sites and in the office
· More participation from employees at all levels
Ethical behaviors directly impact your sales number in the following ways:
· Increased sales referrals
· Increased repeat customers
· Benefits from a positive reputation for business development
· Increase in happy customers talking about your services
Your reputation, referrals, and repeat customers are relying on your ethical leadership decisions.
Sarah Skidmore is the marketing director at Cogent Analytics, where she helps develop strategy and deliver results-driven campaigns that impact organizational marketing, business development and sales. Sarah holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and International Business. She may be reached at [email protected] or 757/285-8802.