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The Business of Ethics

Running a studio with integrity

Whether running your own studio or working as a freelance Certified Instructor, integrity is always good business. When you run your operations mindfully and ethically, you build trust and loyalty among your client base, establish a good reputation, and grow your business on a solid foundation. Below are some key things to consider in an ethically-run business.

Honesty

It's always the best policy, with your customers and staff, and with your finances and taxes. If you have to cancel a class, or in some way retract what you've promised to a customer, be as honest as you can about why. People are often understanding of extenuating circumstances, but less so when lied to. Keep your finances as transparent as possible to avoid potential tax or legal issues.

Respect

For those you work for, those you work with, and anyone else that comes through your doors. Even if an upset customer is being irrational, or if your employee screws up, or you are having a rough day, make the effort to be respectful. In a mindful movement environment especially, when clients are being encouraged to be mindful, respect is paramount—it creates a safe mental space in which to slow down and focus on breath and movement.

Keep Your Promises

Do what you say you will, and don't make promises you can't keep. It may be tempting to overpromise, especially when you're excited about a new idea, or a new project. But take a step back and consider whether you can deliver on what is being proposed. Be honest if you can't.

Know Where to Draw the Line

Think about how you want to run your studio, and what kind of environment you want to create. Knowing what you aren't willing to do to achieve these goals is just as important as knowing what you are willing to do. For example, if you aren't willing to sacrifice on the quality of your programming, what steps will you take to protect that? If you aren't willing to sacrifice time with your family for your business, how will that shape your scheduling?

The topic of business ethics is an expansive one, with many different issues to consider. How do you run your studio ethically? How do you maintain your integrity with your clients? Feel free to share your stories—we can all learn from them.

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  1. Jane | Feb 05, 2016

    I'd be interested to hear what current thinking and opinion is about poaching clients from a studio you work for.  Is it the done thing these days for staff to make friends with clients on social media ( which potentially blurs the line between professional and social relationships ) thus allowing an easy portal for staff leaving a business to advertise their new location and services ?   I Feel that this area is wide open for studio owners to be stung by entitled staff leaving with their clients - with the staff member feeling they have the relationship with the client, that the client isn't 'owned' by the studio and that they have every right to take 'their' clients with them.  I'd love to hear any ideas others have around these issues and how to protect a business you have created and nurtured from being destroyed by this behaviour.   Within this space is also the issue of poaching staff from other studios, is this seen as the norm as well ? What abut non-compete clauses in contracts - so they hold any water when tested in court ?  I am saddened by the loss of what used to be an unwritten law of professional ethical behaviour - you didn't take what wasn't yours to take , you didn't make 'friends ' with all of your clients , you didn't entice good staff away from other clinics , you were honest and you respected others within your profession with courtesy , integrity and loyalty.  If you wanted something you worked for it, made sacrifices, came up with your own ideas and solutions - you didn't just take it from someone else just because you could.