How Ethical Is Your Behavior as a Customer?
While I was getting ready for a now rare date to go see a movie with my husband the other night (Thanks for twin-sitting, dad!), I was tempted to grab a nice cold Diet Pepsi out of my fridge and throw it into a purse, but I stopped myself. I knew that a beverage at the movies would set me back about $5 or so, and that the cans of soda I’d just bought at CostCo cost me around $.27 each. This is not fuzzy math.
But then I stopped and thought for a moment. The business model of the movie theater is such that it makes the vast majority of its profits on concessions. In fact, theaters rarely make any money on ticket sales themselves, or at least not nearly what they make on soda, popcorn and candy. So, I reasoned, if everyone took the action I was contemplating, in the long run, how would any theater stay afloat? And did I care?
Well, the answer is, “Yes, I care!!” And as business people and owners, we should all spend some time reflecting on how we behave as consumers. We expect our customers to appreciate the service that we give them and understand that we are in business to make profit, employ people, and provide goods and services to companies and individuals in need of such services and goods. But do we treat other businesses the same way?
What I am getting at is, “Do you give as good as you get?”
I hear a lot of print shop owners and sales people grouse about eroding margins, price battles, and the daily struggles to stay afloat. Believe me, I understand that position. For years, I was in the trenches fighting those same battles to maintain business and capture new customers in an in a contracting market and increasingly competitive world.