Running A Business With An Opinion

September 11th, 2020

Running A Small Business With An Opinion

Focusing on A Business While Retaining Ethical Standards

Being a business owner with an opinion can sometimes be exhausting. Sometimes there are issues in society, events around the world, or simply just problems in your own community that you want to speak out about. As a digital marketing company, it’s difficult to find the balance between speaking out about issues that mean a lot to us, and offending clients and potential customers. No year that I can remember has been as polarizing as 2020. Pandemics, shutdowns, floods, fires, hurricanes, droughts, elections, protests, masks, remote learning, and even murder hornets. It’s too much for any individual to wrap their head around. As individuals, we have opinions about all of these issues. Since individuals are not the same thing as the company itself, our opinions don’t have much to do with our work ethic or our perspective on business… Rather, we have a strong work ethic, and work in the best interests of the companies we serve.

Everyone has an opinion on something, and our ideals will never 100% align with anyone else’s. Because of this, we usually avoid most controversial topics. It’s not that we don’t care about issues outside of digital marketing, but rather our own personal perspectives don’t mean those perspectives are that of the company we run, the employees we hire, or the businesses we work with. We are not trying to change our clients’ minds, but rather, work in an ethical manner ourselves and support the causes which mean a lot to us personally. As business owners though, we do feel there's more to being a responsible company than simply being in the black.

Respectfully, with all that being said, we believe that as a company, you need to have your own moral compass. While it may not be the same for each company, we do believe that you should set standards for your business, figure out how much or how little you want to share about your opinions, and be prepared for the outcome. This can go either way, and improve results by gaining a specific clientele, or it can hurt your business, by attracting undeserved negative attention. That’s why we feel, at least for ourselves, it’s best to focus on what we do, rather than what we feel about certain issues in our lives.

Needless to say, our opinions do come into play, when a company directs us to do something we believe is wrong, or generally unethical. Every once in a while, a company will tell us they heard of some trick to do which they were told will help them in one endeavour or another. We will state the reasons against using any tactics which we don’t agree with, and explain why we can’t do what was asked. It’s a tough situation to be in, as a company, but we also want to be ethical, and we believe being unethical also works against our clients’ interests. This usually serves us well, and builds trust with our clients. Occasionally, clients will decide to employ such tactics on their own, and in my experience, it always (ALWAYS) backfires because ethics matter.

In most cases, I think we can all agree on, is that a set of ethical standards are something we should all have. We should care about our fellow human beings, animals, and even insects (well, I’m not sure I agree with that part). We should look to improve not only our conditions, but the conditions of the people around us. Lastly, we should recognize that everyone has their own opinion, and while they may be wrong (in your perspective) for some of them, they are definitely right about some things.

Each time I judge others based on my own perceptions, I think about my own biases and how I can improve my outlook. That’s why we should take a step back from our own perspectives, and learn to respect others and their rights to their own opinions, as well as realize when our opinions don't represent the businesses we run. By doing so, we can personally stand up for what we believe in, while not co-opting a cause, or haphazardly getting involved in something that will do more harm than good, regardless of what side of the issue it is on.

2020... has been a difficult year, and hopefully we can all agree that we need to do more as a society in 2021 when it comes to working together to solve problems. As it is the 19th anniversary of 9/11, we should remember that as a nation, America stood together to overcome a devastating tragedy. It's time we stand together in 2020. Anyway, hopefully we can all agree on that… Surely we can all agree that muder hornets are scary though, right?


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Make it Active, LLC is a full service Marketing Agency located in Dover, NH, just minutes from Portsmouth.

We offer digital marketing services, including SEO, Website Design, Marketing, and graphic design.

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