By Bukunmi Sobande
In our world where business ethics like integrity, authenticity, truthfulness, originality and even fairness is on the down low how, are we as minority women breaking barriers and running successful businesses without compromising our faith?
The fake/substandard business industry is raking in trillions of dollars from fashion, medicine, electronics, and even intellectual property. You just name it. If there is an original copy, there are tons of fake ones being sold along side. Governments all over the world are also spending money in the millions to combat this acts but the business of selling fake, substandard products still makes profit every year.
What about playing the "smart" game when a sales person pretends to sell full measure of goods to customers. Here, the scales are already rigged and false reading is showing to an unsuspecting client. Sharp practices like this abound in business, all are done in order to maximize profit. But as women who want to follow God's standard even in the business environment, how do we achieve profitability without compromising our faith?
1. Vision & Mission
The guiding light of any business is its vision and mission. What do you seek to achieve when you chose to deliver this service. First align your business goals with God's standard and it will be easier to achieve a Godly environment and business etiquette as it grows.
Some business owners will tell you not to rest a little because you are just starting out. This rat race breeds room for desperation and allows many fundamental errors occur at the start of your business. This errors may eventually cost you your conscience and you may be seeing a different person or business environment when you reflect in the future. So depending on your line of business take out time to rest, review your business, trusting God that a day or a few hours off work would not sink your business. If in doubt, remember Noah's ark was built by an amateur and it survived a major catastrophic event. Titanic was built by professionals and was thought to be unsinkable yet was brought under by an iceberg.
3. Pay wages
One clear principle stated in more than one passage of the scripture is to not owe wages. Wages to business is like tithe, it opens doors of favor to you and helps you build a team loyal to the business.
4. Don't be a fraud
I have seen companies with very large gross earnings that has gone under and were acquired by companies thought not to be as large. How many times have you heard of a company with branches and intimidating top lines figures have applied for liquidation because their bottom line comes to nothing and the business is gone with the wind. So yes, you can make money defrauding your neighbor but you may not be able to make profit and all is eventually lost.
A common complaint against many people especially women starting out in business is the constant excuse and their falling short in meeting deadlines. The scripture assures the hand of the diligent will bring wealth, it's a promise and we know God's words does not fail. So when starting out be determined and sure to deliver on your word. This will set you apart from the pack, it will also bring new business leads and open doors for you.
Though there are many principles you can choose to follow from the scripture in building your business, each have it accompanying blessings and opens doors that the world can't shut against your face. This does not mean running a business would be easier especially since we Christian minority women have decided to run our business against convention. It's never an easy task to set a trail, but it's always a blessing to lead a life that inspires others daily without having to vocalize our faith.