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Quest WorkspacesJul 21, 2017 11:36:38 AM7 min read

3 Ways to Make Your Business Integrity Shine [RARE ADVICE]

Have you ever encountered a situation in your business where you’ve felt something just wasn’t quite right? We’ve all been there. How did that work out? You probably found that the end results didn’t measure up to what they could have if proper business ethics were in place. As a provider of office space in Miami, South Florida, and New York, we make the choice every day to do right by our clients, from a mere meeting room rental to the largest virtual office solutions package. Business ethics do matter to us, and they should matter to any company who wants to make their service extraordinary and succeed beyond the competition. In this rarely discussed topic, we present three ways to make your business integrity shine through. This advice applies to all businesses, from the startup using virtual office solutions to the established Fortune 500 in Class A real estate.

Tip #1: Write Your Value and Mission Down

Have you ever noticed that just by writing something down on a piece of paper you make it real? Psychologically speaking, words processed this way are handled by a different part of the brain that ingrains them more deeply than just speaking them.

Take time to write down the key values that define your business integrity. You don’t have to list more than 3 or 4, but just make sure that they align with your purpose and express what you set out to achieve as a company. Make sure it’s sincere and represents who you really are as a company. And then make it public! Creating a document trail of your values can help your employees, vendors, and clients know who they are dealing with.  Many times it will put them at ease. But it also indicates what your expectations are for the relationship which is important if you want to nip any incompatibilities in the bud, so to speak.

Here is Quest Workspaces’ manifesto:

Core Values and Mission

We want to inspire and help others grow, through a connected and united workplace that promotes optimism and results.

We are all about hospitality and quality. We are proud of our office centers, from the physical design, prominence, and functionality, to the people that occupy them. We strive to deliver an exceptional experience and never stop improving.

Questers are passionate. We realize that attitude is as important as skill and are committed to each other’s success. We celebrate diversity, unique talents, respect one another and want to make a difference in each other’s lives and in the global community.

From this passage, you can see there are at least 7 core tenets that leadership has made defining characteristics of our service and culture. While you don’t necessarily need to include as many in yours, it’s important to note that we’ve connected them to the purpose of our business, which is to drive results for our Questers. For example, when we talk about getting results, it links up with how we mention our commitment to constant improvement and creating a connected office space that makes a difference in each other’s lives.

Clients come to us for all sorts of different needs: some require just a meeting room for a Miami conference, others are looking for virtual office solutions that will provide them with a business phone number, address, and occasional office space, and many of them are seeking a culture where they can nest their business and grow, a place to call home. In all three situations, it’s comforting to them to know what we are all about and that our staff and leadership is committed to always doing right by them.

Please note that just writing it down isn’t the end to this process. These guidelines have to be alive at your company. Constantly review them, even quiz your employees on them. Employees, whether present within your virtual office solutions or workspace or not, should know this because it’s a huge part of your business branding. When questionable situations arise (and they most always do), call these values back up as your guiding light. It’ll clarify any confusion about the right thing to do as an organization.

Tip #2: Don’t Forget Integrity In the Toughest of Situations

In order to truly build a reputation of stellar quality, you have to uphold integrity in any and all situations that may arise in your business. As Laura Kozelouzek, CEO of Quest Workspaces, states in her book Laura’s Quest (to be released in the winter of 2017), “Integrity is not always easy. Many times you are going to get immediate gratification by just ignoring it and doing what may be easy. Don’t get caught up in that.”

Laura recounts a situation she encountered when closing down a business center, a similar venture to Quest where she managed a facility that provided office workspaces, virtual office solutions, and meeting rooms. The owner demanded that she compensate him for a long term copier lease that he himself had entered into with full knowledge that the center would be closing. Instead of caving in, Laura stood by her values even though it cost her the relationship. Says Laura:

That was a very bold move for me. He was a very prominent real estate owner in New York City who I knew could hurt me professionally in terms of future deals that I might do. But at the end of the day I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my integrity over it despite how much easier it would have been just to agree with him and make it go away. Having integrity often is not easy but it is critical.

How often have you heard people say that when you go through tough times you see someone’s true colors? That’s when you see their integrity put to the test. Don’t squander away these opportunities for personal growth by taking the easy route. When you operate with integrity during those times it may seem more difficult, but when you get through it (and you will), that’s when it solidifies your morals and values like concrete. That’s when integrity becomes habit and second nature and you don’t even have to think about it.

Tip #3: Listen and Find Out What You’re Really Delivering

One of the biggest frustrations consumers face is doubting that what companies present to them is what they are really going to be getting. It’s not necessarily something that businesses do on purpose, but sometimes companies just do not or can not deliver what they want in some situations. Have ethics here and take a good hard look at what you are really bringing to the people who are paying your paycheck. The best way to do this is to actually take the time to ask your customers what they think.

There are several ways to do this. You could send out a survey, but many times this is impersonal and people aren’t sure that they’ll be listened to. This is where the values manifesto comes into play. Constantly remind clients that it is your business purpose to serve them and that you are committed to results. That will inform them as to why you are soliciting their feedback and make them more comfortable.

Face to face interviews always work best, but this is for relationships where there’s a bit more history. Many times the client has to trust you enough to know that you’re not going to sabotage their virtual office solution by answering the phone with a nasty tone, or that you’re not going to cancel the appointments they make in your meeting rooms.

Here are some examples of great face to face reviews of our services.

  • A business owner describes the networking benefits she’s experienced by working out of a Quest private office.

  • A Quester talks about his experience with our relationship management staff and how it’s impacted his business.

At the end of the day, being successful in business is about understanding other people’s needs and tailoring your offering to be able to deliver that. While many tout customer focus, few are willing to commit the time to do that. As a result, not all companies achieve customer loyalty.

Business Advice for Clients of Virtual Office Solutions and Beyond

In closing, here is Laura Kozelouzek’s advice for getting a customer for life.

Although this discussion is framed by a view of the Miami commercial office space industry (virtual office solutions, executive office suites, coworking, etc.) the main points are applicable to any business owner.

What has been your experience with business ethics? What has worked and not worked for your business? Post up below and let us know.


Quest Workspaces

At Quest Workspaces, we’re proud to be different because we’ve built a leading brand based on old-fashioned, reliable business principles combined with a culture of innovation and constantly improving the customer experience.