Businesses should do anything they can to make a profit
In the business world fraught with fierce competition, businesses obviously must make profits just to survive. However, it doesn’t follow that they should do anything
for the sake of profits.
Every business must have its code of ethics to comply with. There are some fundamental principles a business institution must abide by, among which are accountability and honesty. By accountability, I mean each business must be accountable for every decision it makes, and every possible consequences of that decision. Honesty means not telling a lie, and in the business world, it is closely related to information transparency. Both accountability and honesty are instrumental in building trust among customers.
Naturally, any violation of these principles will undermine the trust the customer places in the business, and the results can be disastrous. Take Sanlu Group, a diary company based in Shijiazhuang, China for example. In 2008, the Group was found to have adulterated its infant formula milk powder with melamine, an industrial chemical, leaving at least six infants dead and about 300,000 others suffering kidney and other problems. This sandal triggered public outcry across China, and consumer confidence plummeted. The Sanlu Group subsequently went bankrupt, and the profits of other Chinese dairy companies suffered greatly in 2008.
Actually, to survive the cut-throat competition on the market and ultimately succeed in the world of business, businesses do not have to resort to dishonest means. On the contrary, they should bear in mind the customer needs, and be innovative and creative so that they can better cater to the new market trends. The iphone 5 released in 2002 is a good case in point. Compared to its predecessor, the 4S, the iPhone 5 has a bigger screen than its predecessor, better to watch videos with. On the other hand, despite being taller than older models, the new iPhone is also 20 per cent thinner and lighter. It really does feel superb in your hand. In addition, the new release also has a better battery and a much faster processor, meaning it does everything quicker and will last a little longer. Even the notoriously poor earbuds are improved to have a
more sophisticated and comfortable design. No wonder on the day the iphone 5 was released, thousands of Britons braved the cold – and ridicule of passers-by – to camp
outside Apple stores overnight to get a phone.
A Japanese proverb says that the reputation of a thousand years is determined by the conduct of one hour. In the world of business, the treatment we extend to our customers will ultimately contribute to our prosperity or simply doom.