Business is renowned for being cut-throat, with business owners endlessly portrayed in pop culture as being willing to do anything that increases their profits. As a small business owner, you no doubt are well aware that this isn’t the case. In fact, the vast majority of business owners are nothing like the trope– they’re good people, doing their best.
The TV trope of the psychopathic win-at-all-costs business owner is a poor reflection of where we are at as a society. We’re no longer living in the greed-fuelled 80s; many younger customers expect businesses to have a conscience, a willingness to put fair play above profit in terms of priorities. If you’re selling to a young demographic, playing fair is both good for you personally and your business future.
Below are two great options for increasing fairness in your business practices in the two most important areas of business; the relationships you have business-to-business, and with your employees.
1) MAP Monitoring
MAP stands for “minimum advertised price”. It’s relevant if you make your own products and other companies sell them for you; for example, if you make homemade soaps and a cosmetic chain sells them on your behalf. When you provide products for buyers to then sell to the public, you’ll need an MAP in place– the minimum price they can advertise your products for. This is standard business practice.
Sadly, some of the companies you sell to may violate the MAP. They will reduce the selling price in the hopes of attracting more customers for themselves. This might not seem like a problem — after all, you’re still going to get the same amount of money for the sale — but it can be an issue if you sell to multiple companies. If another buyer notices a violation of the MAP, they’ll be furious, and feel they have lost sales due to another buyer having reduced the price for your product.
Fairness means setting an MAP and ensuring that every buyer adheres to it. The more companies you sell to, the harder it is to keep track of the prices everyone is selling at. Thankfully, the likes of Trade Vitality and similar services can monitor the selling price for you, allowing you to take action if the MAP is being violated.
2) Paying A Living Wage
There is a difference between paying the minimum wage to your employees and paying a living wage. The living wage varies depending on where your business is based, as it takes into account details such as average house prices. However, there’s a handy calculator that can help you calculate the living wage for your area.
Why should you pay this? First of all, the fairness principle, and a desire to look after your employees. Secondly, if your employees are distracted by financial concerns, they’re not going to perform as well in their jobs. Given that any boss wants to ensure they are, this is a cause for concern. They are also less likely to stay with your company for the long-term, as they will move into better-paid positions as soon as they get the chance.
If you’re only at the beginning of your business journey, you might not yet be able to afford to pay the living wage. However, it’s a wonderful goal to work towards in the future.
Fairness is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of a clever business mind that understands the expectations from customers are changing. By introducing these two fair practices to your business, you’ll be ahead of the curve.