Honorable Business Practices
A long time ago merchants were considered the lowest form of business. Merchants were one step above pirates.
Today, not much has changed.
This isn’t true for all businesses. There are some who are honorable, who have their own code of business conduct.
What makes a merchant honorable?
Is it as simple they do what they say they will do?
Is it the nice extras that are included in your order? Or the discount for a future order?
I find I gravitate toward those merchants who see me. Who count me as slightly important toward their business. They know without my order they would not have a business. I’m not saying my single small order holds that much weight, but they don’t judge me for the small order and I feel my order is as important to them as the large orders. When a business behaves this way, I know that money is not their only motivation. That is inspiring, encouraging in a world that laudes money over honor; egregia cum laude, “with outstanding honor.”
This is a great code of honor, not just to be honorable, but be outstanding.
I order and support small businesses for a reason. Either because they are niche and I cannot find their products anywhere else or because they are living and behaving in a way I want to support. I want to see honor in our world.
When the business takes the time to acknowledge my order with a personal note (or anything actually) I feel that connection. I know that they care enough to have conscious effort; each time they reveal their integrity will bond me to them and my loyalty will be the soul of their business. I feel this business understands this type of loyalty on some level.
Believe it or not the big corporations know exactly about loyalty. They know some of us our bonded to their brands and our personal identities are intertwined. What is not considered is this is a one sided relationship. They don’t care. They will treat their customers however they want once they know we have been bonded. Telephone companies come to mind. Do you know any personal relationships like this?
I believe we change over time. If a company embraces this dysfunctional practice: after having my first purchase it acceptable to leave me on the phone for 30 minutes when I call to track my lost package or the item shows up damaged and they simply say “oh, well.” I won’t offer my money again. Some business know they have us, because it is an immense pain to change phone companies, and you probably won’t get any better service from the other guy.
This behavior translates into our society in large and subtle ways.
After all, isn’t sincerity and genuine connection the most important aspect of any good exchange? Feeling seen in a world that has so many people can change your day. Why do we expect less in business practices?
My caveat is this, the customer is not always right but neither is the business owner. It is a relationship and in any good relationship there will be hiccups and miscommunication. That is when conscious effort needs to be employed and the situation needs to be worked out so both can move forward.
There are many great business in the soaping industry. You can find some of them here: Lovin Soap, Soap Making Studio. Amanda has put together a list of suppliers. I have used many suppliers on this list.
If we are not going to support those businesses who are doing great things then we should all just emulate corporations and be the best pirates we can be!
I, however, chose not to be a pirate.
(Note: I have to mention that my customers are some of the most lovely people I have ever met. I’m so grateful for you all, and cannot leave this out, simply because I want you to know I think of you regularly. Thank you!)