Ethical business
Back after a long layoff, I have been busy building my businesses and publishing my book - more of that shortly.

I would like to address the unethical business practices of an increasing number of companies - normally operated by foreign businessmen. My latest tangle came from a client that I was forced to sack. The CEO, a Russian, always felt that he could do a deal in EVERY transaction, nailing suppliers down almost to bankruptcy. He attempted to do so with Jack Marketing Solutions, something that I resisted.

The outcome of this altercation was that, without a contract (he consistently refused to sign a contract), I sacked the client without providing any notice (there would have been a notice period in the contract), and had to take the client to the County Court to reclaim the outstanding invoices. He refused to acknowledge even the official court orders and now has a CCJ against his company and the bailiffs are moving in to get my money in the next week or so.

There was never any need for this to escalate to this proportion, but the guy is consistently opposing legal and moral standards in the way he operates his business - at the expense of his employers and suppliers. Since leaving the client, many of his employees have informed me of illegality in his business practices - so whilst the loss of the client hurt my cashflow during a very poor summer, I am pleased to have stayed clear of such a bad customer.

A few years ago I had a similar experience with an Irish company, who employed me to deliver a training course that they pre-approved. I had the expense of going to Dublin to undertake the training, but they then claimed that the delegates got the wrong level of training and refused to pay the invoice. In my opinion, this was wholly unethical, but because to the complexities of international law, I had to write the invoice off. But, for the £1,000 I was owed, the company lost approximately £160,000 in recommended business that I redirected. This was not a vindictive act, but if I cannot trust a supplier (and unethical activities relate to untrustworthy actions), I will not pass a recommendation onto others. In the meantime, I have set up a successful rival to the Irish business, seriously undercutting their prices and adding a great deal of credibility to the business area.

Now, why is ethical behaviour important? Ethics drive trustworthiness, which in turn, drives credibility. If you trust me, and I make a recommendation of a product or service, you will find the recommendation more relevant and trustworthy. You should also find that the product or service fulfils your requirements more fully. Trust is a major driver in modern business, though few companies actually pay it more than lip service. This is why I wrote my long awaited book -
Play It By Trust - available now at the publishers website, and in a few weeks at Amazon and other online bookstores. Alternatively, you can visit the website of the book at www.play-it-by-trust.com.
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