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9 Small Businesses that Embody Ethical Business Values

Read on for more.

Catherine Miranda
Catherine Miranda
10 min read
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National Small Business Week is a time to celebrate the significant impact small businesses have in our local communities. With over 30 million small businesses as of October 2020, according to the Small Business Administration, it’s no mystery how these businesses affect our daily lives.

This year, we interviewed nine successful businesses out of over 5,000 potential GoSite candidates and found that they all have something in common: good business values. Keep reading to learn how these small business owners embody and succeed under nine ethical principles and business practices.

To listen in on more small business stories, tips, and discussions, drop your email below!

1. Respect

Photo of the Striking Arts Academy team.

Striking Arts Academy
Business Owner: Kyle Mcelroy

Striking Arts Academy is a premier striking gym in Wauconda, IL with workouts utilizing a combination of kickboxing, boxing, and muay thai. Working with Striking Arts is more than just a workout, it’s a lifestyle.

GoSite: What would you say is the mission of Striking Arts?

KM: Our mission is to provide a great training experience and a knowledgeable training experience along with the passion for what we do. We’re contributing to the community by giving people, especially teenagers, an outlet and a place to fit in or gain confidence in themselves. It's a very martial arts experience which means respecting others, practicing self-discipline, and treating people the way that you want to be treated. Really it’s all the mainstays of being a good person. It's not just about learning how to kicka**—which we do. And I teach a lot of that, but for the purpose of growing individually and learning about yourself.

2. Sustainability

Florida Tree Beard
Business Owner: Josh Wagner

Florida Tree Beard provides professional tree services in Florida that range from storm preparation to stump grinding. Better yet, Florida Tree Beard always considers the overall impacts that your next tree management decision may have on the environment.

GoSite: What inspired you to start your business?

JW: Well, I wanted to be more involved in ecosystem restoration. And this business model allows me to spend the bulk of my time either contributing to that cause or influencing others to make decisions that consider the bigger picture.

GoSite: When you talk to potential customers and clients about the things they can control to support the environment, what are some things that you share that not a lot of people know?

JW: Well, I think one of the biggest things that I've tried to inform people about is that most people just aren’t educated about invasive species.

For example, there are plants like invasive Ardisia that are not labeled as invasive. It's a pretty green plant that grows year-round and it's a great ground cover. But what people don't realize is the raccoons eat it and the seeds don't decompose in their stomachs. Then, wherever they exit that seed, it grows like wildflowers and it can destroy the natural ecosystem. There are so many instances like this where we think we're just planting something pretty in our front yard but the end result is a forest ecosystem thrown off balance.

GoSite: If I asked you to describe a memorable experience you've had running this business or with new clients, while also educating them about greener living, what comes to mind?

JW: One of the inspiring things that have happened since I started this greener, more sustainable business model and published it on my website, are the phone calls that I started getting from potential clients. They tell me that that’s the reason they called me. It's really uplifting to find out that there are people out there that are conscious about sustainability, and just the thought about it is what made them call me. That's pretty cool to see.

3. Confidence

Wayne Hunter business owner of Hunter's Mobile Detailing.

Hunter's Mobile Detailing
Business Owner: Wayne Hunter

Hunter’s Mobile Detailing is a mobile detailing service in Sacramento, CA, that wows customers with their dedicated work ethic while also educating future auto detailers to achieve their goals.

GoSite: How have you had so much success in the past year?

WH: Honestly, I'm a believer, so I always give glory to God. I've always tried to be a blessing to others by helping people. But it’s also me being an all-in kind of person. I don't do things halfway. I know that when I do something—if I have faith—it's going to be blessed so I just need to give my best and have no doubts.

GoSite: Can you describe the time that you went above and beyond for a customer?

WH: Just being able to give back to as many people that I can that are asking me the same questions that I had for the person who first helped me get started. I have hundreds of people writing to me in my inbox, and it hurts me that I’m not always able to get to everybody because I do want to. I try my best to take the time to talk and take as many phone calls that I can to motivate and encourage people trying to do the same thing.

4. Trust

Beyond Kompare Auto Detail & More
Business Owner: Bryan Kennison

Beyond Kompare Auto Detail & More provides auto detailing services in Dayton, Ohio. This team makes it their number one priority to provide consistently high-quality service that customers can trust.

GoSite: It sounds like a relationship-building aspect is something that you can specialize in and bring to the table with your business, would you say?

BK: We definitely do build relationships with our customers. In fact, a lot of my customers I've known for years. You almost become friends in a sense—they count on you. There is a lot of trust involved there. It's just about being real and honest. I don’t have a sales pitch and I don’t have a book, I just share what I know. We take the time to talk to customers and try to make everyone feel important.

5. Honesty

Image of the Rocky Mountain Upholstery Co team.

Rocky Mountain Upholstery Co
Business Owner: Steve Gross

Rocky Mountain Upholstery Co is a family-owned business that provides expert upholstery and furniture repairs in Colorado Springs. Their honesty and quality craftsmanship has earned the trust of their many valued patrons.

GoSite: What inspired you to start this business?

SG: I moved out here from Michigan. My brother had some friends from France that owned an upholstery shop and they told me they could give me a job. That's where it started. I started working with those guys and they taught me some of the trade. I moved onto another upholstery shop where I worked for a little bit. That taught me a lot too. But I mean, really, to be honest and to answer the question, at the time I really started the business as a way to support my family. My wife was going to school full-time at Michigan State University and I was the only one working.

GoSite: If you were giving advice to a new business owner, what is one piece of advice you would give them?

SG: Man, there's so many things I would say. But what I would probably say the most important thing is to be honest, keep your integrity, and never give up. You get knocked down, get back up.

6. Resilience

On The Go Mobile Detailing LLC
Business Owner: Taz Daas

On the Go Mobile Detailing LLC is a mobile detailing company in Centerville, Ohio and surrounding areas. For this business owner, detailing is not just a way to make money—it’s an art and a passion.

GoSite: What’s one piece of advice you would give to a new business owner?

TD: There's going to be good days and there's going to be bad days. It's going to be rough at the beginning. But at the end of the day, if you keep pushing, remember that every business starts at the bottom. I get a lot of people asking me what did it take? How did you get this? Or how did you get that? Just keep pushing.

Business is not that easy. At the beginning, I was working seven days a week, 12 hours a day, but I just kept pushing through to get to where I am now.

7. Humility

photo of Kern Key Services team.

Kern Key Services
Business Manager & Co-Owner: Julie Kern

Kern Key Services is a locksmith in San Diego, CA, that is praised not only for their reputable service, but also their genuine care for their customers and employees.

GoSite: If you were talking to somebody who wanted to start a business or a new business owner, what is one piece of advice that you would give them?

JK: Be ready to work and make sacrifices. Be humble and get help because you can’t do it alone. None of us are smart enough to work alone. We have to have other minds.

GoSite: Describe the most memorable experience you've had running this business.

JK: Well, I don't really have one specific experience, but Dathan and I both agreed one of them was how we started. We sold our house and packed everything, including my mother-in-law (just kidding), in the U-Haul and we moved halfway across the country with no customers. I mean, you're not going to have any customers if you're in Austin, Texas and start a business in San Diego, California.

As soon as our locksmith license was approved, Dathan just started knocking on doors and every year we've had consistent growth. And 11 years later, it's working. We have an excellent team. We've got a great reputation and we've got consistent growth, even through COVID. I mean that was scary. Nobody knew what was going to happen. Fortunately we were considered an essential business, but at the same time, people stopped moving around and it was a little scary for us. But this year, we worked together and now we’re back on track.

8. Focus

Evan H. Chung Chiropractic
Business Owner: Dr. Evan Chung

Dr. Evan H. Chung operates his practice in Catonsville, MD, and specializes in treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, from chronic pain disorders to rehabilitation. Dr. Chung is known for his innate ability to listen to and treat his patients with care.

GoSite: What sets your practice apart?

EC:. Well, what I'm trying to do is focus on each individual and try to spend as much time with patients as I can.

GoSite: If you were giving advice to a new business owner what is one piece of advice you would give them from what you've learned in the past six years?

EC: Just do what you think is right. I know some people just try to focus a lot on marketing, but I think taking care of patients is the best way to market your practice.

9. Teamwork

photo of Genesis Chiropractic Health Center team.

Genesis Chiropractic Health Center
Office Manager & Co-Owner: Hok Han Lindenmeyer

The Genesis Chiropractic Health Center has earned Minnesota Monthly’s Best Chiropractor Award six times as a result of an exceptional team led by experts in their field.

GoSite: If you were talking to a new business owner, what is one piece of advice you would give?

HL: Work hard, surround yourself with positive people who are smarter than you, give more than you expect to receive, and then treat people really, really well. And lastly, there’s no job that’s beneath you.

GoSite: Describe the most memorable experience you've had running this business.

HL: I think the best thing is when we’ve seen three generations of families coming to see us just because they know how important their health is. A lot of times we take our health for granted. And when you realize that you don't have your health, then you can't do the things that are meaningful to you.

And so, when you see that people are catching things on the forefront instead of trying to correct something that’s 40 years down the line, they bring their babies to us and they bring their teenagers to us. It sets the tone that they really value their health. It also demonstrates the understanding that if they have these components of their life taken care of, then they can go to school. They can do their yard work. They can play their sports. They can do things that they want to do.

If you're ready to propel your business like these small business owners have using GoSite, click below to start your free, 14-day trial. 

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