There is often talk about creating new jobs by the business world, the governments of the day, trade unions and the public. But, the real issue is about what sort of jobs, and more importantly, what sort of businesses we should have. For if we do not get that right, we will continue to have recessions and the gap between the rich and poor will grow wider which does not help anyone. So, I would like to suggest that all businesses, large, medium and small check themselves against the following possible criteria as to whether they are likely to last. Obviously, more work needs to be done in this area, but I hope it starts the debate rolling.
1. Is the business ethical?
This area covers honesty, morality and integrity. Are the finances transparent? Is the business above board in all areas of its work, even if competitors gain an advantage?
2. Is the business environmentally-friendly?
Does the product/service have an impact on the environment and the local community, if so, does the business take appropriate actions to mitigate it? Does the business operate to ISO standards in production, property and services? Are local ethically-sourced products and services used and activelly supported? Can the products they make be recycled into other products when no longer required.
3. Is the business owned equally by employees, customers and other investors?
Are customers and employers encouraged to participate in decision-making processes? Is each multi-site business unit manageable and distinctive in its own right?
4. Is the business model sustainable for the long-term?
Is the business model based on long-term sensible profits at a level that is sustainable and most of which are re-invested in the business and the community? Are the products or services of such a nature that they are adaptable to changing situations and markets?
5. Is the business model based on quality, sensible prices, transparency, service and longtivity?
Are all products made using high quality materials, ethically and environmentally-sourced, that will last a life-time. Is the customer service based on a life-long relationship, which is genuine? Are they charging fair prices and is the business transparent in all its dealings with its stakeholders?
6. Is the business based on relational principles?
Are all employees treated equally and fairly in terms of pay, conditions, health, safety, and well-being? Is the business based on mutual relationships between suppliers, customers, employees, and the local community? Does the business collaborate with other businesses so that competition is not intense or under-hand? Businesses do not seek to close down other businesses or provide over-competition in any locality or area of business. Pay for senior staff is no more than 10 times the trainee non-managerial member.
7. Government support
Government to encourage an even spread of these businesses across the country, particularly in areas of high unemployment, and where various ISO standards are met, bureacracy and legislation is eased. ‘Beacon’ status is encouraged whereby such businesses help others, through mentoring relationships, get established.