I’m in a dilemma. Do I put my business or ethics first?

Dear Aunty B,

A few years ago I made a decision NOT to actively market a new product until it was bedded down with our first client, as we wanted it working perfectly.

A large client expressed interest in the software but I insisted they wait. Meanwhile several new entrants came into the market and I missed out on the contracts.

I put my clients first and the business second on that occasion, and sometimes I regret it. I now find myself in a similar position. Am I naïve in putting ethics first?


David S,


David, are you batty? It’s a no brainer. Reputation and credibility is everything in business. It sits at the core of your corporate culture. It is embedded in your marketing and advertising. It attracts the top talent to your business. It prevents employees leaving. It is a competitive advantage and differentiates you in a sea of Me Toos.


You also have to realise that the Australian marketplace is very small. Word gets around fast. If you launch a product that is not fully tested and there are hiccups, expect to see your company name bagged in forums and chat rooms.


David, you are not naïve to put ethics first. It is the naïve who put their business first – and they are not around for long.


And guess what David? Do the right thing and you get to sleep at night. Now that’s priceless.


Your Aunty B.

 Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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