Common pain points experienced by B Corp certified companies, and how to solve them
By Erika Mac Donald
Running a business takes time, patience, and lots of money, and running a B Corp company, even more so. For one, running a mission-based organization means you have to depend on investors to keep things running. Despite being goal-oriented, the early stages of such businesses are the most demanding. Below are some of the pains experienced by B corp certified companies, and how we can help you solve them.
Problem #1 Low Grants
Undoubtedly, this ranks as one of the top problems of any company. Sometimes you come up with amazing content and ideas, but implementation is a problem due to lack of sponsorship.
We can agree that finding and being approved for grants can be difficult. However, you can rake in the money if you know how to frame your requests.
When applying for grants, it’s best to spread your applications across several donors. That way, you have a higher chance of being accepted, as opposed to applying for just one.
Some donors request videos of an introduction of the organization: its mission, structure, etc. as well as how the grant will be used. On such occasions, open with a compelling topic, and convince them with reasons why you deserve the grant.
In the videos, you could then go into details of why you need their help, and what problem their grant can help solve. This drives your point across by appealing to their conscience.
Also, make efforts to keep your donors interested in your brand. Use each content to tell a story. Allow your donors to see how they’re helping.
Keep them updated on happenings and projects completed or upcoming.
Take every opportunity to show them your appreciation.
If you’re still in doubt, know that 57% of people who watch such marketing videos go on to donate.
Problem #2 Lack of Staff At Startup
No matter how great your ideas are for your business, having a powerful human resource team is important. However, getting people to enlist can be a bit problematic.
For one, people often look for ready-made teams that they can join, and not build one from scratch.
Sometimes, it’s finding the first set of people who believe in your vision that’s the catch. To attract this particular brand of people, you have to believe in your vision wholeheartedly first.
Make a simple, fun video showing what benefits you’re offering and put a face to your name in people’s minds. Remember to add some elements to provoke a certain reaction. e.g. a call to action, or an appeal to their conscience.
However small your initial team is, encourage them. Allocate tasks to them, encourage healthy group competitions. This will help you leverage your limited staff, and prioritize product creation, rather than marketing. Problem
#3 Investors Are Few And Far Between
Besides grants, B Corp companies need investors to thrive. If you’re experiencing a shortage of investors, there might be something wrong with your method of delivery. Many times, B Corp companies draw attention to their goals rather than their achievements. While the former makes a great starting pitch, the latter is what attracts investors, so it’s a perfect closing argument.
Many might not know this, but B Corp companies have a network, the “B Hive”. This network is important because it gives ample opportunities for its members to grow. This means they’re rarely affected by economic hardship, and that’s the sort of content that draws in investors.
You could make a video that emphasizes this point. Start by talking about the company’s goals and successful projects. Elaborate on those, then move slowly to what investors stand to gain by partnering with you.
If you sell it well enough, it’ll be impossible for them to resist. This is entirely based on the fact that investors dream of stable, rising profit and the safety of their investments.
As a B Corp company, the majority of your talent force would be vibrant, young people. Without a doubt, that’s something you can leverage. Rising talent can boost your company’s image and keep the creativity bar high, which translates into more revenue being generated. Round it off with the goal of rising by lifting their returns, and you’ll have investors lining up by the door.
The key is playing it right.
Look out for trends and current events that are common too. People tend to trust you more if they can relate easily to your content.
Problem #4. Having An Unclear Marketing Message
Having a marketing message to go with your vision seems like the best course of action when starting your business. However, this step is as crucial as it is problematic.
What your target audience wants to see is assertiveness if they’re going to trust you. Sometimes, it’s best to have a marketing message that clearly shows your audience what needs you’re going to be meeting.
While having a marketing message assures your target audience of your reliability, it might restrict you in the long run. This can be especially problematic if you are including a product or service outside the scope of your marketing message.
What then should you do? How can you overcome this hurdle?
Have a marketing message that is both clear and without restrictions. Find a common ground between both worlds.
While it is safer to skirt around the problem of a marketing message, you can center it around an abstract quality. Then, fill in the roles and niches of your organization as you go.
You can familiarize your audience with your mission through a short video. Keep it short and sweet, and introduce them to the team. Show them your passion as you talk about your mission. The goal is to get people to trust you enough to want what you’re offering.
When it’s all said and done, running a B Corp company can be demanding. Subsequently, consistency is what keeps you in the hearts of your audience, and it’s what keeps the money coming.