Good ethical business practices will have an immense influence on something that very often will help or hinder a business. You will be able to command a positive reputation no matter where you go. If you are offline and want an online presence, then you can take that with you. It is true online that the one thing you have to hold dear is your image or reputation. People absolutely do talk on the net and they do it everywhere including social media. So you can already appreciate what is going on with that. But the good thing about having a reputation based on strong ethics in business is there are many more advantages.
There are many ways to act with unscrupulous or unethical behavior. We all know the most often-seen example of this which are the direct actions that are unethical. On the other hand there are softer methods such as those acts which involve omission. Still, the usual response from the legal professionals is that ignorance is not an excuse. Be that as it may, if you value ethics in your business, then the various acts of omission will very likely never happen. It is a question of caring enough so all the bases are covered, and you will not have an interest in exploiting any kind of questionable loopholes, etc.
Each of us chooses how we are going to live our lives and that extends to those who are business owners and higher level managers. Simply choosing to do the right thing as an operating guideline for ethics is also a choice. Sometime following that path is more difficult than succumbing to unethical choices. You may not see immediate rewards of benefits, but at some point they will come. Plus, as has been discussed in this and other articles on business ethics, there are very real benefits to acting ethically. Most if not all who act ethically do so because they believe it is the right thing to do. And they do not do it just for any real or perceived benefits.
In many places of work, the employees tend to have a negative view toward managers. Of course this does not mean all do, and you can find the entire range of opinions among employees. However, those managers and executives with a solid reputation of acting ethically will usually at least command respect from employees and their peers. When a business has those kinds of people in all layers of management, then sometimes magical things happen. The base of employees will tend to have a greater sense of morale which will lead to all kinds of positives in that business.
Retaining ethical behavior in your business can come down to a simple decision you can make. All you need to do is choose it and then have faith in yourself and your business that you can weather any storm that comes your way. Of course that takes courage and conviction, as well.