Responsibility is a much under-used word in a business context. We laud business owners, founders and CEOs for being bullish, confident, ambitious, but we rarely hear the success stories of the business founder who chased success cautiously and responsibly – it’s a less compelling story, even if it’s a better recipe for long term survival.
As a business owner you are responsible for a great deal, from the treatment and wellbeing of your employees to the clients who are expecting you to provide the goods or service you’ve agreed. With people relying on you for their pay every month, running your business irresponsibly means you’re also jeopardising their livelihoods, not merely gambling with your own.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the elements that go into responsibility in the world of business.
Responsible decision-making means gathering evidence that allows you to make informed decisions about your business, so you don’t promise something that’s impossible to achieve. Internal data gathering helps you to understand the capabilities of your own business: if you don’t know what your capacity is to produce work, then you may find yourself putting your employees into ‘crunch’ to get the promised work done, which, as a long term strategy leads to failure – burnout on the individual level which, if it happens en masse, can cripple your business.
Working with a market research firm also gets you access to tools like brand tracker surveys, and brand indexes which tell you where your brand ranks when rated alongside your rivals, and helps you assess demand in your market. This allows you to make predictions about how an expansion or new product might be received, and allow you to make your plans responsibly, investing in line with the return you can expect to avoid a project drastically underperforming and leading to cutbacks and redundancies.
Compliance with the law is a vital part responsibility of any business owner, but it’s a minefield to navigate alone, while also dealing with the day to day stress of running a business. Mistakes can lead to a lack of confidence in your business – would you entrust an important business to someone who’s demonstrated that they can’t file their tax return on time? – so acting responsibly here is a simple act of self-preservation.
Fortunately, there are plenty of experts to help ensure you are putting together a business that’s enthusiastically and proactively in compliance with the law. Business lawyers and accounts can make sure you set your business up not merely with processes in place to ensure you’re registered correctly and paying tax properly, but to make sure you’re paying no more than is necessary. Investment here could mean savings in the long term!