NASE Blogs

Would You Take a Micro-business Oath?

Nov 25, 2009

Posted by Maureen Petron -- Blogger Dawn Rivers Baker poses this question in her Monday post, The Micro-business Oath: A Riff on a Good Idea.

Suggesting that micro-business owners make a commitment to their customers about their business practices is something the NASE has toyed with doing for a while. Just like Dawn, we think “you’re never too big or small to have ethics.”

But I have to admit – it’s gotten held up in legal. We’re a good-sized organization, and how responsible can we be held if a member advertises they have taken the oath, but then have shady business practices? It’s a reach, but in today’s litigious society, it’s also why groups like ours have to have in-house counsel!

So instead, I just ask that you read Dawn’s post, and take the oath for yourself. It’s a great thing to hold ourselves to.

The Small/Microbusiness Manager’s Oath, courtesy of The MicroEnterprise Journal:

As a (small) microbusiness owner, my purpose is to serve the greater good by bringing people and resources together to create value. Therefore I will seek a course that enhances the value my enterprise can create for society over the long term. I recognize my decisions can have far-reaching consequences that affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and in the future. As I reconcile the interests of different constituencies, I will face choices that are not easy for me and others.

Therefore I promise:

• I will act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in an ethical manner.
• I will safeguard the interests of myself, my partners, my employees, my customers/clients and the society in which we operate.
• I will manage my enterprise in good faith, guarding against decisions and behavior that advance my own narrow ambitions but harm the enterprise and the communities it serves.
• I will understand and uphold, both in letter and in spirit, the laws and contracts governing my own conduct and that of my enterprise.
• I will take responsibility for my actions, and I will represent the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
• I will develop myself as a business manager so that the profession continues to grow and contribute to the well-being of society.
• I will strive to create sustainable economic, social, and environmental prosperity throughout my direct and indirect sphere of influence.
• I will be accountable to my peers, and to everyone with whom I interact in the context of managing my business, for living by this oath.

This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.

Will you take the oath for your business? Let us know.