Big Sky Franchise Team’s CEO, Tom DuFore, Shares the Benefits of Running an Ethical Business
Business success is often associated with profitability and market dominance. However, what makes a business stand out to the world is not just about numbers or the bottom line. “It really comes down to doing the right thing,” says Tom Dufore, CEO and founder of Big Sky Franchise Team, a franchise development company. “Relationships are everything in business. If you don’t have trust, you have nothing,” he says.
DuFore built his business on a foundation of virtue and ethics and is an expert on the topic. In fact, he recently earned a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Indiana Wesleyan University and wrote a doctoral thesis called “Assessing an Organization’s Virtuousness Through Use of a Novel Virtuous Business Model-Based Scorecard.” He applies this knowledge and expertise to his business.
The Big Sky Franchise Team helps entrepreneurs franchise their businesses. DuFore takes this role seriously and understands that the stakes are high for his clients. “Moving a business to franchising is an enormous step. Entrepreneurs often risk everything to build a franchise system. If we don’t think a business is a good fit for franchising, we tell the client,” he says. “We’re not looking to make a quick buck. We’re in this for the long haul,” he says.
Franchising a Business
DuFore has seen many brands succeed through franchising but has also seen major flops, and will only work with brands that are a good fit. “While there are huge advantages to franchising, there are many challenges, too. It’s not ideal for every business,” he says.
After the Big Sky Team determines that franchising is the right path for a client, they start a thorough process to ensure success. Through in-depth market research and analysis, the Big Sky Franchise Team assists in developing a comprehensive franchise plan, including creating operations manuals, training programs, and branding strategies. They strive to create a franchise system that is well-structured, scalable, and poised for success.
A Relationship Business
To DuFore, virtuous business practices include transparency with pricing, honest advice, and a “do-things-right” approach. With nearly ten years in business, Big Sky’s commitment to its values and serving its clients has helped build a reputation as a trusted partner. “This business is all about reputation and relationships,” he says.
The Big Sky Franchise Team provides ongoing support and consulting services to franchisors and franchisees. They understand that running a successful franchise requires continuous guidance and assistance. From operational support to marketing strategies, they offer insights and best practices to help their clients navigate the complexities of franchising.
Putting ethics front and center pays off in so many ways.
Big Sky follows a set of values that they apply to everything they do. These ideals include a commitment to excellence, striving for continuous improvement and creating win-win relationships for everyone involved. “If a client is looking for a get-rich-quick business model, franchising is not right for them. The client must have a win-win mindset,” he says.
The Benefits of Running an Ethical Business
DuFore believes that operating with integrity and virtue is not only the right thing to do, but it is good for business. Below, he shares the benefits of running an ethical business.
- Building Trust: Virtue lays the foundation for trust, an essential element in establishing successful business relationships. When a company embraces virtue and shows ethical behavior, it builds trust with customers, employees and partners.
- Enhancing Reputation: By operating with integrity, transparency, and a commitment to ethical standards, companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract customers who align with their values. A virtuous business earns a rock-solid reputation.
- Fostering Employee Engagement: A virtuous business cultivates a positive work environment where employees feel valued, respected, and motivated. Ethical practices, such as fair compensation, equal opportunities, and a strong focus on employee well-being, create a sense of purpose and encourage dedication among the workforce.
- Driving Customer Loyalty: Satisfied customers become loyal patrons who advocate for the brand, driving customer retention and positive word-of-mouth referrals. Virtuous companies prioritize customer satisfaction by delivering high-quality products or services and ensuring transparent and ethical business practices.
- Nurturing Long-Term Success: Virtue in business promotes sustainability and long-term success. By considering the interests of various stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, and the environment, companies can build enduring relationships and establish a solid foundation for growth.
- Mitigating Risks: Ethical business practices help mitigate risks associated with legal, financial, and reputational issues. By adhering to laws and regulations and conducting business with integrity, companies minimize the potential for legal disputes, financial penalties, and damage to their reputation.
Virtue is not just a buzzword for DuFore and the Big Sky Franchise Team; it’s a guiding principle ingrained in every aspect of the business. Through ethical business practices, DuFore strives to make a positive impact on his clients, their customers and employees, and the entire franchise community.