Can 'business' and 'ethics' survive together ? Hmm, I can tell you for sure, that’s not easy. I thought I might as well put a few questions down here and have you guys ponder upon them.
Would you always recommend a bike because you think that is the right bike type( hybrid , MTB etc) for the customer ( based on his usage, body dynamics, etc). What if that 'right bike' is not in stock? Would you let the customer know that the bike/size you think suits him best is not in stock and he has to wait a week or two for it ( If your answer is yes, you can lose the sale)? Or would you rather not be transparent and suggest him something based on what you have? What if you had a really bad month so far and can't really afford to lose the sale?
Would you stock a product if you know it is not a great product? What if the margin is very good? What if the guy distributing /importing the product is a very good friend/relative of yours and could put your relationship at risk if you deny him? Is your answer still 'No' ? Lets assume you are the kind who at any cost will not keep something you believe is not 'up to the mark'. What if you did a mistake in product selection and only realised it later that the product is not of desired quality? Would you admit to your customers when they ask for suggestion, knowing you will be stuck with the products that you think is 'bad'? What if it has huge financial implications and set you back in a big way ?
Would you stock something knowing the product is great but the margin is too small for the whole thing to turn out profitable? If the answer is 'No', would you admit the reason to customer when they ask you why you not stocking it? When the customer asks you opinions on the same product, would you give him honest opinion knowing that it might result in you losing the sale and he going and picking up the product from a different channel?
Luckily, we knew what we believed to be the right answers even before we started in 2009. And over the years, the answers have not changed. These are the answers that translates into our 'values', gives meaning to TBA and our life.