By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)
Warren Buffett once told Berkshire Hathaway sharholders, “More than 50 years ago, Charlie [Munger, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman] told me that it was far better to buy a wonderful business at a fair price than to buy a fair business at a wonderful price.” Businesspeople who see every deal as something to be won or lost may disagree with this, but I believe that if you conduct all your dealings fairly and ethically, you improve your chances for success.
When you start your business and begin forming partnerships, agreeing to contracts and making deals with others—whether they are employees or external businesses—you should always endeavor to make fair deals. In other words, don’t chase every last dollar and screw people over just so you can feel like you’ve “won” these deals. Some businesspeople seem to be addicted to this feeling, but deals don’t have to have winners or losers—a fair deal lets everyone get what they want.
For example, if you’re negotiating with someone who you know is undervaluing his or her position, don’t take advantage of it just to save a little money. You should always respect the other party. You might end up paying a bit more than you think you should be paying, but if you conduct business ethically, you almost certainly will build a positive reputation among your peers, which will lead to future opportunities.
I believe in something I call “corporate karma,” which dictates that if you conduct business fairly, you’ll end up attracting people—employees, business partners, etc.—who are good for your business. If, instead of making a fair deal with the person who is undervaluing his or her asset, you decide to use this to your advantage, that person will almost certainly find out what you’ve done and will be hesitant to do business with you again. Additionally, he or she will probably tell others about your shady practices, and you might find yourself with limited options moving forward because you needed to feel like you “won” the original deal.
There are many things in the world of business and finance that you can’t manage, but your conduct is firmly within your control. If you approach your dealings intending to conduct them ethically and fairly, you’ll improve your chances of success. After all, the best kinds of deals are the ones in which both sides gain something they value.
For more medical spa business and legal best practices, and to learn how to build and run your med spa compliantly, attend one of AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps.