Business owners often face complex decisions. Each day, you might need to justify a product price increase, lay out a new marketing strategy or alter your manufacturing specifications to meet regulatory requirements.

And to stay in business long-term, you want to please consumers and build on their loyalty to your brand. However, no matter how hard you try to do what’s right by your customers, it is virtually impossible to please everyone.

At some point, you might need to defend yourself against allegations of unfair business practices. Fortunately, thinking about how your choices could impact consumers can help set you up for success.

Three questions business owners should consider in their decision-making process

Consumer protection laws prohibit businesses from using fraudulent or deceptive methods to influence business decisions. To maintain legal and ethical business practices, some of the questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Is it possible that your practice or act might substantially injure consumers? Subjective damage, such as emotional trouble, may not merit recourse. However, if your choice creates significant financial loss or causes many people to suffer minor injuries, a court may rule your practices unfair.
  • Could a consumer avoid such injuries? People must maintain their autonomy in purchasing decisions. Therefore, withholding pricing details or coercing someone into buying something they neither want nor need may be considered unfair.
  • Might probable harm outweigh the benefits your product or service would provide? Or could your actions create a societal problem in general?

Allegations of unfair practices can harm your business’ reputation. However, by approaching each decision with the end user in mind, you can improve your chances of maintaining customer satisfaction, as well as your good name.