The Importance of Being Honest

If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.

Mark Twain

Honesty solves a lot of problems by never letting them show up in the first place.  And its just as important in business as it is in your personal life.  Here are a few places to think about your honesty:

pinnochioBe Honest with your Employees

To a large extent you need to let your employees know what’s going on with your company.  Finding and keeping good employees can be difficult for any business, and if you want quality employees that will last you need to let them be invested in the company and feel like a part of the team.  Nothing breaks that down faster than them knowing that there is something going on and not being able to ask you what it is.

I’m not saying you should open your accounting files and let anyone scroll through, but the more involved an employee is along the way the more important and satisfied they will feel.  Ideally they can help brainstorm solutions with you and may help you solve issues.

Be Honest with your Potential Clients

With some businesses there can be a lot of smoke and mirrors before the sale.  Cut that out and let them see why they should work with you – without all of the fine print.  Be upfront in your sales discussions about your costs (you should be able to back up your prices anyways).

Another important thing to keep on the up and up is your delivery time on a client’s project.  Let them know exactly when you’ll be able to get it done.  If it’s going to take longer than they think – let them know up front. There is little chance that it will be a deal breaker, but it is certainly much easier than trying to deal with an aggravated customer when you completely miss deadlines.

Be Honest with your Current Clients / Customers

Some of the biggest assets you have are your current customers.  If something happens that they should know about – tell them.  When something is going wrong, let them know.  This sounds simple to say, but can be hard to do for fear of losing a client.  Own up to your mistakes, then make things right with your customers.  As your best source for new business, don’t let them have the opportunity to say, “Well, they’re good, but they won’t tell you about this….”

Be Honest with Yourself

Lastly, it’s important to be honest with yourself.  Are you purposely keeping your employees in the dark, trying to hide things from potential clients, or afraid to tell clients whats going on?

Also, are you stepping back periodically from your business and try and look at from the outside, as a whole?  Take time to assess what’s working and what isn’t and how you could be working to help your business succeed even more.

Let me know in the comments how being truthful has helped you in business, or problems that have arisen from not being so.