I’m taking a big step with my business this year: I’m applying for BCorp certification!
If you’re not familiar with the concept, here’s what B Lab, the certifying body, says about Certified B Corporations (the “B” stands for “Benefit”):
Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
Cool, right?Want to fall back in love with your business? Apply for BCorp certification! #BCorp #triplebottomline #servicefirst Click To Tweet
Cool, and a bit intimidating. But it’s been an exciting process, and I’ve learned tons along the way. Here are some of my best lessons:
Don’t go it alone.
If you’ve taken a peek at the certification assessment, you know how intimidating it is. There are SO many questions, many of which are confusing to the uninitiated. I felt a lot of pressure to be sure I answered everything correctly and appropriately, all while getting as many points as I could.
The great news is there are experts who can help you navigate the application process. I’m fortunate to work with Carolina Miranda and Kel Moody with Cultivating Capital. Their combined expert guidance, along with templates and spreadsheets developed over years working with companies going through BCorp certification, has made the process infinitely easier and a zillion times faster.
Sure, you could do it all by yourself, but with experts like Carolina and Kel, you don’t have to.
It’s never wrong to do good.
I offer deeply discounted pricing for my nonprofit clients, and I do lots and lots of pro bono work. I love it, and it’s the right mission focus for my practice.
I’m not going to lie, though – I did struggle with this a lot last year for the absolute wrong reasons. Some folks wanted me to measure the ultimate success of my business by how much money I was pulling in. Which, arguably, is one measure of success, but it felt like I was leaving an important part of my story untold. Ironically, once I stopped focusing on the money and started leading with service, my revenues shot up, and they’ve continued to do so. The thing I love about BCorp is that they take a more holistic view of business success, just like I do.
Another great thing: the BCorp certification application gives you lots of points for work that benefits nonprofits and underserved populations. Not to mention the good you do for the environment and your community.
Measuring your impact can help you improve.
After spending lots of time in the workforce analytics world, you’d think this would be second nature to me. And it is, in some places. After every salary negotiation coaching engagement, I send a note to my client recapping their awesome results and asking for feedback. But I’m not as consistent with some of my other work.
The BCorp certification assessment gives points to businesses who measure their impact, survey their clients, and consistently use customer feedback to improve service offerings. I now have a list of great ideas that I can’t wait to implement!
The application process itself is helpful.
I’m at the end of the BCorp application process, and I’m more excited about my business than I’ve ever been. It’s clear from the application results that my business is making an impact on my community, my customers, and the environment. I’m implementing some new best practices in business governance, and I’ve got great guideposts to help me improve my practice.
While I won’t know the results of my application for a few months, I’ve already gained so much from the process. I’m even more energized to invest time and effort into doing good!
Are you considering BCorp certification? Drop a note in the comments if I can be of help as you start your journey!