Take our quiz to find out how your business is doing at balancing profit & purpose.
These days, it’s not enough to make stack loads of cash for you and your investors. Consumers are demanding businesses do social good too. They want the companies they do business with to be ethical, sustainable and act in a responsible way.
For small business owners, this is positive news. Having smaller teams and simpler processes mean you can quickly and more easily adjust your business to balance purpose and profit – and meet this rising consumer demand.
One way to show that you’re serious about being ethical is achieving ‘B Corp’ status. It’s a global benchmark that indicates if a business is responsible, transparent and socially sound. B Corp companies commit themselves to reducing inequalities, helping achieve a healthier environment and promise to use their profits to a “greater end”.
So, how does your small business fare?
Below you can find examples of the type of questions you might be asked if you’re seeking B Corp status.
1. When it comes to decision-making, does your small business take into account wider social and environmental effects?
Yes, it’s a part of our employee training and managers have job descriptions which explicitly mention social and environmental performance
Sometimes, but it’s only a concern for the senior team
Rarely, though we’re starting to think about it more
Nope, all our decisions are seen in monetary terms
2. When it comes to hiring, what are you doing to promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I)?
As well as strong DE&I policies and ‘blind’ reviews of applications (so not looking at names or other identifiable characteristics), we also conduct regular analysis of our job descriptions to ensure language and requirements remain inclusive and equitable
We include a statement mentioning our commitment to DE&I
We’re thinking about doing some of the above
We don’t do any of the above
3. How does your small business take part in civic engagement?
As well as B) and C) we also do community pro-bono work and offer discounted products or services to under-served groups
We have partnerships with charitable groups and community organizations
We donate money to charities and groups in need
We don’t really do any of the above
4. How does your small business reduce the environmental footprint caused by commuting or travelling?
As well as B) we have facilities to help those who cycle or use cleaner burning vehicles (e.g. electric cars)
There are incentives and subsidies for employees to use public transport, carpools or cycling to work
We’re still deciding the best ways to encourage environmentally friendly travel
No, we don’t do any of the above
5. How does your small business manage the social impact you have on your customers?
On top off B) and C) we have written policies regarding ethical marketing and advertising, and regularly monitor customer satisfaction
As well as C) we also have customer feedback mechanisms
We only offer product/service guarantees or protection policies
We don’t like to deal with customers after the initial sale
Mostly As: Cor blimey, you’re B Corp-tastic!
It looks like you’re using your innovation, resources and power on solving the world’s problems, rather than adding to them. Keep it up!
If you’re planning on joining the B Corp movement, you’ll be joining a community of over 3,700 companies spread out across 74 countries, all using business as a force for good.
Mostly Bs: May the force for good be with you
You’re on your way to becoming a formidable force for good. Here’s a 👊 for your efforts. But with all great movements, there’s always more work to be done.
Why not explore more details on what you could be doing for climate, racial equality and economic equality on the B Corp website?
Mostly Cs: To B Corp or not to B Corp?
It’s time to step up. You show a lot of promise, which is great, but action speaks louder than words.
Every small step counts – so why not start making a plan for putting purpose over profits today?
Mostly Ds: There’s still a fair bit to go
Solely focusing on business sustainability will no longer cut it in today’s day and age. Consumers want to deal with those who prioritise environmental sustainability as well as diversity and equity too.
So, it might be wise to reconsider your business practices to match this shift in purchasing.