No matter how organised you are (and we think we were pretty organised. Here’s 99% of our submission in Airtable which we used to manage all the details) - there are twists and turns, nuances, details and clarifications required. And we’re a fundamentally simple business with no supply chains, physical locations or harmful aspects to our operations - so it’d be way harder for most others.
But that’s why we like B Corp. It’s not an easy box-ticking exercise which means organisations that do it and get a decent score (over 100) are probably very committed to business for good.
Don’t get me wrong - there are plenty of improvements they could make (and are) that’d make it a more enjoyable and efficient experience, and as someone who works in the digital product space I love to help make it better.
134.1 our score, no improvement but that's a win.
I went into the recertification expecting we’d drop a chunk of points because, over the last 3 years, we’d grown, changed and possibly dropped the ball on things. More details on our certification scores are listed on our public B Corp profile.
One big ball we dropped was our donation this year. We committed to donating 5% of revenue, and while we did donate that in the first two years (of this period) we didn’t in FY 22/23. So that meant we lost 20 points - that’s how many points you get if you donate 5% of revenue. (We didn’t donate last year because of commercial results and Beck and my circumstances, read here for more.This was a difficult conclusion to come to as it’s something we have done every year since our first year in business, which has led to $89k in donations to Greening Australia and Beyond Zero Emissions to do our bit for the planet.
So we lost 20 points on our donation but made up another 20 points in other areas. Yay. We’ll aim to get back to the 5% this year, so maybe we can get up to a 154.1 score next recertification.
At the end of the day, we are proud of what we’ve achieved as a little business and the boundaries we’ve pushed to improve our impact that might inspire others. Our efforts was recognised in a recent article in Mumbrella by Lucy Piper from Work for Climate where she shared “Fortunately, every single creative, marketing, PR and advertising agency, no matter its size or ethical persuasion, has the potential to have an outsized impact when it comes to moving the dial on climate. Creativity, innovation and influence are the critical ingredients required in solving wicked problems, and they are the currency of the communications industry.”
3 years on, what’s different…
Back then we were two partners/owners, so we had no staff. Now we have 3 glorious legends and have changed our strategy to continue to expand the team (we originally set out to operate without staff).
We were purely doing brand/marketing strategy, with some light touch execution, now we’re doing lots of Branding and design, building Websites on Webflow and Shopify, creating digital content and doing sustainability and impact strategy (through The Business Pickle).
Our market research approach has levelled up, doing quant and qual primary research and adding what some would call data science, analysing large customer datasets using Python.
Some special highlights
We don’t have favourite children (Literally… Margie is bold, passionate and adorable, Arthur is calm, persistent and a tremendous eater). Still, as a team, we reflected on a few moments that made us proud over the 3 years.
- $89k donations to Greening Australia & Beyond Zero Emissions
- The Bank Australia website (winning a Good Design award) and tech stack strategy
- Becky particularly loves our customer research “Smart, lean yet in-depth approach”
- Branding, ecom & strategy work with businesses in the Solomon Islands with Strongim Bisnis
- Building polished websites like Beyond Zero Emissions & Compass Studio on Webflow and Merry People on Shopify
- Rach called out getting B Corp Best for the World Community
- The long-term journey supporting ATEC from Biodesters to the global rollout of electric cooking across brand, marketing, data science, system integration and more
- Establishing a team
- Our commitment to working with organisations that make a positive impact on the UN SDGs
- Our two international client trips to Cambodia/Bangladesh & Solomon Islands
- Sarah’s highlight has been expanding her role across all aspects of Harvey and working with 70 out of 80 clients we’ve worked with - go, you Sarah!
- We formalised our strategy in a theory of change framework for Harvey and The Business Pickle.
- Oh and having two babies, surviving a pandemic, building a house and staying married while running a small business in the span of 3 years 🤪🙏
We wanted to share so many more things but this post is already getting too long.