By Jolanta Ryba
For any business, one needs think not only locally but also globally. This is about providing some tools for making your business operationally competent in this modern world we live in.
Using a SWOT analysis is a useful way of investigating both the internal and external environments that your business operates in an ethical way.
In the case of an Oxford based cleaning business, here are a few worked examples to implementing ethical goals in your enterprise. See Table 1.
Table 1 SWOT Analysis.
|Strengths||· Quality and availability of workforce
· Good Customer Service
· Using fair trade and environmentally friendly products and practices as part of the businesses unique selling position
|Weaknesses||· Too much work threatens ability to maintain high standards
· Customers with unrealistic expectations
· Oxford congestion
|Opportunities||· Plenty of demand from both home and commercial customers|
|Threats||· Competition from rival business
· Competition from grey economy workers willing to be paid less than official minimum wage
A PEST or PESTLE Analysis helps a business to understand its business market environment, by looking at its Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, and Technological/Legal, Ecological factors. See Figure 2.
In a case of an e-bike shop in Oxford, using a market research tool – PEST Analysis is a good way to assess market conditions for e-bikes selling. See Table 2.
Table 2 PEST Analysis
|Political||Current and future legislation about government implementing pro-cycling policy/ money for new cycle parking and cycling lanes as well as banning dangerous lorries from the roads, like in London.|
|Economic||Changes for tax allowances for e-bike users to encourage them to buy.
The impact of the weather/ seasonality.
|Social||Changes in consumer lifestyle and consumer behaviour.
Good way of exercising, cut the pollution, improve road safety and congestion in Oxford.
|Technological||Improvements in the technology making it a better, more reliable, practical and cheaper product for both leisure and commuters.|
Here are few notes to guide to think about your business in a more sustainable manner:
- Imagine the full costs of any final product in the world. If it costs the poorest people workforce, children’s work, staff members Health & Safety risks, life threat – it is too high price for the product offered.
- It has been many accidents and tragic deaths cases in the mining, building, energy and steel industry in every continent. Care services and hospitality are not free from them, even public transport and private cars, when not used appropriately, can cause the danger for the users.
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR) - A company’s obligation to be accountable to all its stakeholders in all its operations and activities with the aim of achieving sustainable development, not only in economic terms but also in terms of social and environmental outcomes.[i] For example, corporate social responsibility is considered important, where a manufacturer tries to keep waste down in the local environment by recycling office waste and reducing emissions. However, it could be considered a failure of CSR if a manufacturer dumped waste chemicals into a local river, rather than paying for such waste chemical to be recycled in the proper and environmentally friendly way.
- Health & Safety trainings, industrial law and policies, customer and social care and infection control regulations are introduced to prevent risk for the life and human health.
- Food safety instructions and controls are necessary to protect the public from illnesses and life threatening infections.
- Recent awareness of abuse at home, in the workplace and in schools (bullying cases) is creating a positive new environment for vulnerable children and adults.
Nothing is more precious than human’s life and human feeling respected.
- Sustainability needs to be explained. Sustainable development is development which helps to meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It should address ecological, social and economic issues.[ii]
- Sustainability is the development that meets the needs and aspirations of the current generation and it is known as sustainable development. The truly sustainable company can frame an ethical business eco system and, subsequently, initiate the process of sustainable development in retail sector.[iii]
- Suppliers and consumers should support businesses with clear business vision: they are paying tax, employing people, treating them in a fair way, creating demand by respecting customers and creating the industry.[iv]
Dear Customers and Suppliers! Let’s support businesses which are honest and fair – in the other worlds – let’s support sustainable, responsible businesses!
[i] As above
[ii] As above
[iii] ‘Sustainability in retail sector’, Dr.Padhi Priyadarshini, Associate prof., Roland Institute of Technology, Berhampur, Online published on 25 February, 2016, International Journal of Marketing and Technology,