Wikipedia defines integrity as “the perceived consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcome”. So, personal integrity is the same level of congruency and consistency within an individual.
Individuals with integrity are not only honest in their jobs, but also in their relationships with others. They are not selective about the instances in which they show honesty.
As an entrepreneur (online or offline), if you practice consistency of good actions and values, you will value honesty, and you’ll speak, act, and conduct business accordingly.
When you’re consistently honest and trustworthy, your customers will trust you, have a very good impression about your business, and do business with only you every time they order your products or services. This will ultimately grow your business because satisfied customers will bring even more customers.
Now, how can you improve your personal integrity, as a means to grow your business? Here are 4 tips:
1. Let your appearance reflect responsibility
By merely scanning your appearance, people can easily form a good or bad impression about you. This is because it is generally believed that a well-dressed person is responsible and can be trusted, while a shabbily dressed person is irresponsible and cannot be trusted. Whether or not this is true in many cases is not what we’re analyzing here.
The main point here is: always dress well, so that people will have a good impression about you and trust you to a good extent.
2. Be honest and straightforward
As stated earlier, you cannot maintain personal integrity in just a part of your life – it’s either you have it or you don’t. So, don’t display your honesty to only your relatives, friends, and neighbors; you must be honest to everyone – including your clients, perfect strangers, and even your enemies.
If clients overpay, be honest enough to refund the excess funds even before they realize the mistake themselves. This is something I did and continue doing in my Bulk SMS and other Businesses. Never tamper with your clients’ bulk SMS accounts without their consent, even if you’re trying to help them and always explain issues clearly in a way that you won’t be misunderstood.
3. Keep your promises
Nothing destroys the reputation of a business faster than failed promises. And keeping promises is one of the hallmarks of people with personal integrity.
So, as a business owner, you must be able to set promises and deliver on them. Do what you promised to do – exactly when you promised to do it. Being dependable this way will not only help your business, but also your personality.
Avoid making promises you cannot keep. It is better – even awesome – to deliver earlier than you promised. But delivering later than you promised is disastrous. So, time is one factor you must analyze critically before making promises. Always tie your promises to timeframes that are more than enough, so that you won’t fail to deliver.
4. When you falter, get back on track
It’s just natural for one to fall off track at times as I have experienced. Mistakes and unexpected circumstances beyond your control can make you fail to deliver on your promises or reduce the quality of your products or services. In such cases always make amends, find the cause of the problem, and work towards preventing a future recurrence.
Most clients will pardon your errors when you already have an age long record of accomplishment or quality product or service delivery. But when they start having problems with you on a frequent basis, they’ll start considering your competitors. And you know the end result of that…
If your business has a good reputation, new customers will readily buy your products or services. But if you have a bad reputation, no amount of advertising can convince prospects to deal with you.
With personal integrity, you’ll build an excellent reputation for your business, you’ll attract more customers, and ultimately, you’ll grow your business.