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Where do you stand?
I am sure you have heard the saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” It has been repeated many times and attributed to even more. The point is clear, we cannot be dependable if we don’t have a strong and clearly laid out set of values.
There are many monitoring agencies that regulate businesses. One of these is the Better Business Bureau. They have an accreditation program that sets a standard for marketplace trust. Everything is built upon trust. They support best practices and help to educate both businesses and consumers. They stand as impartial arbitrator between the consumer and the business community.
Trust has two branches, integrity and performance. Integrity includes respect, ethics and intent, while performance has to do with a business’s track record in delivering results. Those results must live up to the BBB’s standards and must address customer concerns in a timely and satisfactory manner.
7+1 is eight
I don’t think the number of standards has any special significance, but there are 8 standards in their code of business practices. I want to talk about each of them.
1. Build Trust. An accredited business agrees to certain practices that will build trust in the marketplace. These include the length of time a company is in business; maintaining appropriate licensing; being free of government actions; maintaining a sufficient BBB rating and work with the BBB to resolve consumer concerns.
2. Advertise Honestly. We have all been assaulted by false or misleading advertising. It is frustrating and goes back to point 1, false advertising does not build trust. One of the things a business can do is to use the BBB seals. There are two of them. One is the accreditation seal. It is a live link placed on the businesses website that takes a customer, or potential customer to the BBB’s page associated with that business. This allows people to see both complaints and praise of that business and to review how that business has interacted with the business community. The second seal is a feedback link, it has a comment bubble above it. It takes a customer to a BBB location where they can provide feedback, either positive or negative, about a particular business.
3. Tell the Truth. In entering into a business deal, this indicates that a business will act honestly. That they will make all the facts known about what they will do, how much it will cost, what the agreement is and how it will guide the interaction between the two parties. Basically, it says “Don’t be shady.”
4. Be Transparent. Openly identify certain things that could influence a consumer’s decision to purchase your product or services. For example, the nature, and ownership of your business, policies, guarantees and procedures.
5. Honor Promises. To me this can be summarized by saying: Say what you will do and then do what you said.
6. Be Responsive. Abraham Lincoln once said, “… you can’t please all the people all of the time.” This points to the inevitability of conflict in business. We try to avoid it, but when it arises it is agreed that we will respond to a dispute quickly, professionally and in good faith.
7. Safeguard Privacy. Businesses collect information about their customers and employees in order to do business, to provided services and to meet their customer’s needs. While this is necessary, it is also a trust. It is imperative that as a business we protect private information, not collect unnecessary information and that we deal with that information according to the wishes of our customers.
8. Embody Integrity. This circles back to the first point, trust. When we conduct ourselves and our business with integrity we build trust in the business community.
Is it all just words?
Many companies feel that these things are constraints that modify their business practices. I found it very easy to accept these practices because they already expressed how I feel about doing business. As businesses, or individuals, we are providing a service to others. By our actions, our history, we are building a name for ourselves. That name, that brand, says that when someone does business with us they can expect us to behave in a certain way. By conducting business with others, in a way that we would like others to conduct business with us, we establish a relationship of trust that will bring our customers back to us for years to come. If we are an individual, it will demonstrate to our employers that they can depend on us and they will want us to continue to work for them for years to come.
Check out our page
We are proud to be an accredited member of the BBB and encourage you to check out our page on their site. You get there by going to our website and clicking on the BBB link on the home page. If you have done business with us and would like to provide feedback for potential future customers, we encourage you to go the Contact Us tab of our website. Under the Email tag you will find a “Submit Review” BBB logo. This will take you to the BBB website where you can provide feedback.
Final thoughts
This newsletter is sponsored by Celtic Engineering Solutions LLC, a design engineering firm based out of West Jordan, Utah, which can be found on the web at: You can find the newsletter on the company blog, LinkedIn or in your inbox by subscribing. Send your emails to The Celtic Engineer at:, with the subject line SUBSCRIBE.