You have your B Corp accreditation! 🎉 Now what…?
As a newly certified b corp, we, like most others, wondered; so we have it, now what? It doesn’t stop there. We’ve been doing some thinking at Sail and wanted to share some easy and longer-term wins on how to get the message out, engage your team, audiences and benchmark to constantly be better once accredited.
By Mandy Barker, Founder
Balancing profit with people and planet whilst doing the day job isn’t always easy, but it is doable. That’s everything B Corporation stand for. B Lab is a global nonprofit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. It’s a force for good, to create tangible action and change. With that comes accountability.
The B Corp status isn’t just for big businesses, it’s for micro, too. And as an LGBTQ, POC, disabled or women-owned business you get 50% off on your joining fee. They are trying to make it more accessible for small businesses to sign up. And even if you aren’t ready for accreditation, going through the impact assessment (for free) is a great way to start to measure your impact as a business, and benchmark for future goals.
Engage your internal team
Have a small (or big) launch event where you can create a space to share your vision, start to discuss embedding BCorp values, and translate what this means for each individual. How can they be part of this change? Have an idea session to get them involved on each of the areas: community, workers, environment, customers and governance.
- work with individuals towards KPI’s based around the 5 core areas of B Corp: community, governance, customers, workers and environment
- Assess your recruitment and hiring policies. Could these be better? Do you have flexible working? Do you send out questions pre-interview?
- Are the internal values and vision of the company understood or should they be developed further together? Are you living your values?
- How do you onboard new recruits? Instead of using a standard slide deck, let them get to know individuals, share your purpose, take them out for lunch, set fun tasks to get them excited
- Do you need an employee engagement survey to find about how they might live the values in their day to day roles?
Say hello to other B Corps
- connect with your local chapter, connect on BHive. Be active on the network. We have already met some incredible people, found it to be of value, and a safe space to ask questions and connect.
- Ensure that collaborations are meaningful and match your values. If you are going to pro-actively collaborate, list 10 people/companies/charities that align with your vision and your culture then engage proactively.
Get the word out
- Use your marketing and communications to spread the word. Getting the basics right can be simple easy wins that are often overlooked. Get your team to share that you have just become accredited on LinkedIn. Make this easy, write a post that they can just copy and paste. Update your email signature to include the logo, along with adding it to your website footer, proposals or credential decks. Announce it on your social media channels. If you want to go more in depth, you could do an announcement film or animation.
- Share: Use the ‘Sing, hum, shout’ principal on social media. Think about what channels you are using and who the audience is for that channel. Create content that is relevant. I.E Quick visual hits in instagram for brand awareness, punchy stats around impact followed by a call to action. Share the story about your journey on LinkedIn. Think about where you want to take people. What is in it for them? A chat about your journey to becoming a B Corp? To download a resource? Twitter – say something interesting, engage a debate, a thread.
- Remember, people follow people – be human, be authentic. It doesn’t have to be a polished script.
- Create your own newsletter to spread the word.
Focus on the 5 areas of impact:
- Governance: How do you make sure your company’s governance considers all stakeholders?
- Customer: How is your company having a positive impact in your customers’ lives?
- Community: Why is your company giving back and contributing positively to the community?
- Workers: How is your company taking care of your workers, improving their lives and wellbeing?
- Environment: How is your company prioritising and taking care of the planet?
How do they fit into your business? You’ve done all the hard work getting accredited so this doesn’t need to be new work. Start with your application. Share snippets, and share your new goals.
Audit your customer journey
- Put yourself in your clients shoes. Think about their challenges and motivations and why they would engage with you. Review the core touchpoints as they may interact with your product or service. There may be some opportunities to shout about the fact you are a B Corporation throughout the user journey. If it’s a product, is it something you include on or in your packaging? If it’s a service, is at the end of a pitch deck?
The brand story
- Have a short, one minute story about what it means for you to be B Corp. Share this with the team. Focus on the why.
Speak at an event
- You may get invited, you may need to create one. Graham of Robson Laidler (the second B Corporation in the region alongside Sail – although it is growing, slowly!) and I are speaking at this event next Thursday to share our journey. This is through NEECCO. For inclusion, we are going to focus on impact (not just getting accreditation). Encourage people to do the impact assessment. This is free and accessible so is a great starting point.
Create a B Local
- If there are 10 B Corporations in your region, you have enough to set up a B Local. B Locals exist to create connections, increase the positive impact of a B Corp community, and raise awareness of the B Economy. Read more about B Locals here. You don’t have to be a B Corp to attend. I am trying to set one up in the North East but we do not have the numbers needed… yet. We will be setting up a more informal B Social, watch this space.
B Corp month
Raising awareness of B Corporation and business impact can build an inclusive and sustainable economy that works for everyone. In March, it’s B Corp month.
Use this as an opportunity to start to embed the philosophy into your business. Think about how you can amplify your values and get the team involved. Identify the passionate proactive people in your business to own an area – then give them the support (financial, time, or training to realise the ideas). As business owners and founders you can’t do it alone so getting the buy in of the whole business will help you move forward together.