Really this should be a no brainer and everyone would do this. However, it’s likely not exactly that much of a real thing for people. There is always fear that they’ll be ripped off or cheated. Which even if you say that you would never do it, doesn’t really mean that you wouldn’t really do it.
However, at least laying the ground work for a good relationship is helpful. The key to ethical business practices are of course, that you act ethically. And no matter what I say about how ethical I am, until you’ve experienced me being ethical, particularly when it isn’t in my best interests, you will worry about my true intent. And as such I can’t ‘prove’ to you that I’m ethical.
I can have other people tell you they had ethical experiences with me. I can promise to be ethical, but really your assurance of my ethics comes out of the relationship we have.
So to learn my business practices I will lay out some of what I promise to do on your behalf in order to at least let you see see some of the structure that I have in place to support a business that will play out in an ethical way.
1. I want to work with you again.
It’s a better deal for me to work with you a second, third fourth time than it is to go out and find someone completely new and convince them of my worth. It’s actually in my best interests to give you great value, fine service, and an exceptional experience so I can work with you again, not burning the bridge between us and having to go find someone to replace your business.
2. Clear process keeps us as friends
Much like it’s always the best practice to not lie, if only because you don’t have to remember what you told someone the last time. In our relationship I’ll let you know what I see as the outcomes we’ve agreed to, the process to get to those outcomes, and how much we’ll both be required to put in to get to that result. Then if you are in agreement we will do business.
If you don’t agree we can talk it through and either clarify the results or not, but in both outcomes you and I will know where we stand and what comes next.
The worst case scenario is us ‘agreeing’ and going our separate ways believing we have a deal and actually we are envisioning two very different realities. That’s one reason I will always get you to fill out the website questionnaire before we begin. It helps me obviously, but it really helps you, the client, to get clear in your own mind, just what you are dreaming that your website will do.
3. I’m only successful if we meet your goals
Results are judged against how well they meet the goals that they were designed to meet. Put simply, if we aren’t sure what goals we’re trying to meet, then any results will do. Or more likely, no results will be adequate.
It’s always more likely that when the results come in without proper descriptions of the goal in the first place, that they will disappoint, not delight. Not sure what that says about the human condition, but we always imagine winning the lottery, not getting a decent paying warehouse job, when we imagine the best outcome for the future.
It’s the same with a website project. Regardless of how much or little you have agreed to invest in that site, your mind will paint it as the nirvana of websites. However, even a simple site can meet all of your business goals for the website when it’s done well. Tho it’s unlikely to meet all your business goals, full stop.
There again it’s critical to agree in advance to what we are working together to make. Not so that either of us has less work to do, but so that both of us do the work we need to do to hit the marks we have agreed are necessary to make the business a successful enterprise.
I’m looking forward to the adventure!