Business Fundamentals: #1. Do What You Promise

Recently I was unwinding a pretty sticky situation between the CEO of a small business and one of his vendors.

It got pretty ugly, as these things often do, to the point where the vendor sent a very polite email to the CEO “firing” them as an ongoing customer and ending with: “when we receive payment in full we will release the project we created for you.”

As the project was critical, I was brought in to mediate the exchange. (I had visions of the classic hostage exchange you see in movies… a dark night in the middle of nowhere… two cars pull up, face to face. Men in trench coats and fedoras get out of the car, standing in the shadows. One with a briefcase full of money, the other with a… flash drive?).

I had a very direct conversation with the vendor and felt he was being honest… they promised they’d send the development project as soon as they received payment in full. I believed him.

As a result I requested the check be cut & sent–which it was. And the entire process was completed without a hitch. The vendor got paid in full. The company got the project that was developed. All as promised.

I like it when people reward your trust in them to do the right thing by delivering on their promises. And I realized that all commerce hinges on the basis of mutual faith in the other party doing what they say they’re going to do.

It’s all about integrity. Do you do what you say you’re going to do?

Chances are if you do, your business will become known as trustworthy, a distinction that leads to a successful business.

Running a small business is like taking a course on ethics, if you fail the test chances are you’ve got a failing business.

I am an SBE Lifer.  Are you?

Dan Gallo, Managing Director, The Allasso Group

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