Business – 2

Every now and then there is a big row about someone’s income or bonus.

I think that we need a change of culture about money.

The fact that someone has ‘earned’ a lot of money says that the ‘customer’ has been overcharged along the way or as ‘buyer’ the business has underpaid a supplier. These questions need to be asked as they affect the cost of living for the vast majority of people, and in some cases as to whether they survive or not.

Take for example footballers. Part of the reason they get large sums is that their career as a footballer is short, due to either injuries or age, but yet they still don’t need that sort of money, as they can get another job after their time is up in that sector. These high salaries mean that the clubs have to charge large amounts of money for the fans to attend matches.

Another example is with the supermarkets and suppliers. Because they buy in ‘bulk’, suppliers are often at their mercy over prices paid. In some cases this causes them to go bankrupt eventually and the supermarkets then have to go overseas. And this happens in all sectors.

Then there is the issue as to why someone needs so much money. And from that is the ‘ethics’ of what one does with all that money. Is it all about self, or is it about using it to serve and help others less fortunate than you? If it is about self, it shows how deep one’s insecurity as they are ‘worshipping’ money and never will have enough as one’s desires get greater, the more one has. Then there is the curious situation where senior staff are paid bonuses, even when a business makes a huge loss!

Maybe, we need legislation to change all this, and not just in the area of taxation like getting rid of tax heavens. Being a generous person that I am, maybe a limit of £1 million a year should trigger a situation whereby any income from whatever source above that amount should be re-distributed to charities, or setting up of businesses to create jobs which are creative, enjoyable and well-paid (especially overseas). Maybe, bonuses should only be paid if the company makes an actual profit after taxes. What about reducing prices! I am sure others have other ideas – do let me know about them.

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Business – 1

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.