The 5 Key Elements That Define a Responsible Business in 2018

The concept of responsibility should be close to the chest of any business today.

Think about it. Thanks to social media and how quickly news spreads today, businesses are open to open to feedback and criticism, good or bad, a moment’s notice. As evidenced by recent PR nightmares from the likes of United Airlines or H&M, companies can quickly damage their reputation if they don’t treat their businesses, well, responsibly.

Of course, the art of acting responsibly as a business has many layers but applies to pretty much any company out there regardless of industry. Below we’ve broken down the five key elements that signal responsibility for today’s businesses, big or small.

Legal Responsibility

First and foremost, you need to make sure that you’re running a business that’s compliant and in line with industry and government regulations. The second that you get entangled in any sort of legal snafu, it’s an uphill battle to recover in terms of your reputation.

Customers and clients alike want to ensure that their money is safe and well-spent. If you aren’t complying with the law, you’re naturally sending the wrong message. from surviving an in-depth business audit to dealing with a lawsuit, think about the big picture implications before doing anything potentially underhanded.

Sound Finances

Businesses are obviously expected to make sound financial decisions, but blowing out your budget is tempting in today’s hustle and bustle world. In particular, focusing on the following components of your company are crucial:

  • Marketing: there are so many free and organic ways to spread the word about your business that throwing money at your problems is never the answer
  • Hiring: bringing on too much talent too quickly can be disastrous to your bottom line and actually hinder your growth in the long-run
  • Investors: when you become too beholden to the finances of others, there’s more potential to compromise your beliefs

Social Responsibility

The idea of corporate social responsibility is a huge deal to the modern public. Companies are not only expected to take a stand on social issues, but also environmentally friendly. Taking a stand on causes and displaying empathy for the world around you can work wonders for how your brand is perceived by others.

Taking a Personal Stake in Workers

Treating your employees well might seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised how many companies neglect the basic wants and needs of workers. From ensuring that they’re engaging and challenged to ultimately giving them more stake in your company, people never want to feel like cogs in the machine. Keeping a pulse on company culture is always worthwhile.

Ethical Practices

Last but not least, responsible businesses are ethical businesses. Working to solve legitimate problems on behalf of your customers is a solid start, as is providing a fair price point to those same customers. You might not necessarily draw tons of attention simply by doing what you’re supposed to do, but it’s an expectation nonetheless.

Don’t ignore the importance in an era where companies are expected to be so transparent. Prioritizing these pieces of doing business is easy to overlook but can help protect your reputation and set you apart from the crowd, too.

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