Ask the Expert with Karen Bentley-Brown
Karen Bentley-Brown is an Ethical Business Development Consultant and is passionate about helping people to grow good business. For twenty years she has been helping businesses and charities to thrive.
Karen will be at November’s Ask the Expert event and keen to discuss with you about how you can create a business plan with a positive impact on people, your profit and the planet.
Purposeful Plans for a Positive Impact
by Karen Bentley-Brown of Bentley-Brown Associates
I recently worked with a firm of architects. They looked very much like many other local architects when I browsed their website. They had well qualified, award winning architects on their team, some great case studies and offered a strong range of services with a personal touch. There was however a clue on their website that they were a bit different from their competitors as they offered ‘an education programme for primary and secondary schools where pupils can participate in the exciting, challenging world of architectural thought and creation.’ Great; I hadn’t seen anything like this before.
I met up with Laura, one of the partners, as they were in need of advice regarding breaking into new markets, and learnt that there was a whole lot more to their business than initially met the eye. In addition to delivering free workshops in schools they were keen business members of Kendal Brewery Arts Centre supporting community youth arts projects and they gave away tickets to events at the Arts Centre to people who wouldn’t normally get the chance to go there. They had very strong environmental credentials, had recently bought an electric car for their business in order to reduce their carbon footprint and were sponsoring a local ‘green build’ festival. On a personal basis, Simon one of the other partners, had set his sights on running more than 2,000 miles over a 12-month period to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK after his friend’s son was diagnosed with the disease. Wow! I was blown away; this company really cared about their communities.
So we got to work on up-dating their business development plan: How could we get their business to stand out from the crowd and break in to the new markets they had their sights on? It was clear to me that this company was already well on its way to addressing the 3Ps; ‘people, profit, planet’, or the triple bottom line* business model, they just weren’t telling anyone about it. They needed to start telling their stories.
Plans are now in place to firmly embed their ethical credentials in their business. One of the first things the company did was to get their electric car ‘wrapped’ with their company details. Parking up in town after collecting their newly decorated car they were approached by a member of the public who needed the services of an architect. A few days later they received a call to ask if they would take on a new project; it turns out the man in the street had been impressed by their electric car and green credentials. Next on the agenda are up-dates to their website and an improved presence on social media. I’m looking forward to reading their stories and watching the company grow.
Do come and talk to me about embedding your values in your business. Whether you are aiming to reach more customers, launch a new product or service, recruit new staff, maximise productivity (your own and your employees’), get more publicity or just make more profit then I can help you develop a purposeful plan for a positive impact.
Contact: Karen Bentley-Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07854 751169
*This is an accounting framework that looks at a company’s social, environmental and financial impact; more and more businesses are adopting this idea as consumers are increasingly aware of the negative impact that their consumption can have on communities and the environment.
Brands with a high sense of purpose have experienced a brand valuation increase of 175% over the past 12 years, compared to the median growth rate of 86% and the 70% growth rate for brands with a low sense of purpose. Kantar Consulting’s new Purpose 2020 report.
78% would tell others to buy products from Purpose-driven companies, and 68% are more willing to share content with their social networks over that of traditional companies. 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study