The Golden Rule Of Business

You’ve probably heard about the golden rule of life; “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Well, here’s the thing, the golden rule of business is no different; “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

It never ceases to amaze me every time I see many entrepreneurs going about their business as if it were separate or different from life. Not only is this mindset towards business wrong, it is a losing strategy.

You see, there’s no way you are going to succeed in business if you keep ignoring the fact that business is not different from life, but rather an extension of life. I cannot over emphasize this enough.

Many businesses fail because they ignore this universal truth. What they have failed to realize is that the same principles that govern life are the same principles that govern business. The fact is, you cannot separate life from business or business from life. To succeed therefore, your task as an entrepreneur is to create a balance between the two.

This unusual article is about helping you achieve this balance. Read on…

It’s never about you!
The secret to creating this balance lies in understanding that success both in life and in business is all about people. People are at the crux of all that we do here on earth. Everything we do, we do because of people.

The products/services you create and hope to sell is not meant for you, but for other people. I have never met a business owner who is in business just to create products/services useful for only him/herself.

The reason people patronize a particular business is because that business is offering something that is both unique and useful to them. A business that cares about the well being of others ultimately becomes the most profitable. The moment you start putting your needs above that of others, your business begins a downward spin.

The golden path to profitability is putting people first!

Profitability is a function of meeting other people’s needs just as you would have wanted yours to be met.

This fact alone clearly indicates that business as an institution exist for the advancement of life here on earth.

You are in the business of happiness
Your customers are people.

Your suppliers are people.

Your employees are people.

Your shareholders are people.

The government is people.

The society is people.

All that you need to succeed in business revolves around people, isn’t it obvious why there’s only one golden rule?

When people are the focus, happiness becomes the goal.

At the core of everything people do is the desire to derive some form of happiness.

Products/services are purchased because of their inherent capacity to make people happy.

Workers come to work because of the inherent capacity of the work to produce certain rewards; financial, mental or psychological that makes them happy.

In essence, your success in business and in life is tied to how you treat people.

The question then is this;

“How would you like to be treated if you were an intending customer of your business?”

“What kind of treatment would you desire if you were an employee working in your business?”

Always asking and answering these questions is all that the golden rule represents. The moment you start putting yourself in other people’s shoe, the golden rule is at work in your life and in your business.

Every other rule or principle of life and business derives their meaning from it.

Applying the Golden Rule
Business must be undertaken not only as a commercial activity, but much more. It must be seen also as a spiritual, emotional, psychological and relational activity.

Business as it turns out is much more than just the bottom line -profit. To really succeed, you’ve got to look past the obvious -money, to the not so obvious -people.

You have to constantly remind yourself that everything you do in this life leaves an impact on others. This could either be positive or negative, the choice is yours to make.

Don’t see people as a means unto an end; rather see them as the end in themselves. Everything you do is because of them, helping them invariably means helping yourself.

In my company and the others I co-founded, we have a simple rule for dealing with people and that is;

Consider first what’s in it for the other person

It’s an outside-in kind of thinking and it is a simple way of living and doing business by the golden rule.

Small Business Identity Theft Protection – One Step You May Be Missing

Over $8 billion dollars was stolen from small businesses through identity theft in 2008 according to Javelin Strategy & Research of Pleasanton, California. Small business identity theft continues to outpace individual identity theft by a rate of 4.1 percent in 2010, compared to 3.5 percent for consumers.

Small businesses are suffering because thieves know they don’t have resources including time and money to put up a strong defense to protect their information against a data breach. Thieves have developed sophisticated techniques to steal private information from the smallest businesses to largest corporations.

Michael Barnett of the Identity Theft Protection Association states small business identity theft is a growing problem. “Thieves have discovered that businesses have fewer legal protections.” Cybercrime and identity theft is a far more likely loss for businesses than fires or floods.

Most of the time organizations will never retrieve their losses because they have less fraud protection and a shorter reporting time, a business is not a “person” or “victim” so state and federal laws treat a them differently, business transactions on personal cards are excluded from “zero liability,” and personal identity theft services and insurance are excluded from businesses.

For most owners their personal and business information are closely tied together, so, a data breach can severely impact both the owner and his company. Just one serious incident could take a small business out. It is important to maintain a vigilant effort to protect their personal and business information.

There are many things a small business should do to protect it’s information including monitoring banking account and credit card balances on a daily basis, check billing statements when they come in, conduct a regular credit check with the credit agencies and Dun and Bradstreet and regularly change passwords used to log into areas where private information is stored. Employees should be trained on what can and cannot be shared with individuals outside of the organization and strict rules must be in place to limit the chances of a theft happening.

There’s one more identity theft protection step most small businesses miss and it could cost them dearly

One of the schemes thieves use is information from registrations with state governments. Most states are “Good Faith Filing” states, which means the information filed about a business or organization with the Secretary of State is simply accepted and recorded at face value. For $10 to $15 in most states, thieves can easily file a change of address, change of officers, directors or registered agent, or even reinstate a previously dissolved company. They may also register a company as a foreign company operating in a different state as their target company.

By manipulating state records in this manner, thieves can obtain the standing and verifiable records needed to deceive creditors and finance institutions, or conduct any number of fraudulent transactions in the business name.

One step they may be missing to prevent small business identity theft is to monitor their state registration information. There are three things every owner can do, that won’t take a lot of time, to prevent or limit the impact of fraudulent state registrations and identity theft:

1. Enroll in Email Alerts – Check to see whether your Secretary of State or Corporations Division business registration website offers free email alert services that can notify the owner when his registration information has been changed or updated. This information includes: name, address, registered agent, and business owner information. Enrolling in such a service can provide early warning of potential small business identity theft.

2. Regularly review your registration information online – If your Secretary of State or Corporation Division doesn’t offer email alerts, you can go to their website and use the public “Business Entity Search” to review the information on file. You should also periodically check any past businesses that you have closed, to ensure that they have not be reinstated.

3. Be certain to file your annual reports and renewals in a timely manner.

Small business identity theft is the new target for identity thieves. Identity thieves feel pretty secure since only one in 700 ever get caught. So, when you compare the risk against the reward most of us can see why criminals have turned to small business identity theft.

The challenge for every business, small or large, is to implement safeguards to protect against breach before it happens.