Here’s a list of some things big businesses do – actually it’s the people in them – and what to avoid when you’re starting your company:
- Use employees like toilet paper – don’t get involved with them and turn them over regularly – this gives the company/you a horrible reputation, and disincentives employees – disgruntled employees make “mistakes” and work gets sloppy. I was at an ad agency once where one client’s logo found its way onto another client’s ad.
- Tell your employees how great the company is doing while underpaying them – the bosses get all the bonuses and the employees struggle. Results: see disgruntled employees above.
- Ignoring a product issue or trying to cover it up. Sooner or later the truth comes out and the company gets in trouble. Use J&J’s textbook example of how they handled the Tylenol crisis as the ethical way to proceed — http://www.aerobiologicalengineering.com/wxk116/TylenolMurders/crisis.html
- Purposely cut lines of communication within the company or illegally raising capital. Management, board members, and investors and sometimes law firms are left out of an important communications loop. Sooner or later the culprits get caught. Ultimately it’s at the company’s expense. See “A tale of how successfully raising capital leads to bankruptcy” below.
When in doubt here’s a simple rule to follow: The Golden Rule. Sounds trite but when you treat your employees how you would like to be treated, then you develop a great team. When I have consultants working on projects with me, I pay them before they bill me. This instills appreciation and loyalty and guess what? When I have a project, there’s never a wait or conflict – they are there for me every time. And they turn out their best work for me and my clients.