For the most part, all of us in small business would like to think our business is a good citizen. We aim to provide quality services, a livelihood for our employees and also have some fun along the way. In the pharmacy game there is the added benefit of providing health and wellbeing benefits just by doing what we do. But how do we go one better?
There is growing global movement towards pursuing business excellence beyond profit, focusing on a broader range of stakeholder values. This has fuelled the emergence of a new organizational form: the Certified B Corporation. For businesses that balance profit and purpose.
The B Corporation journey may sound like a leap but here are 4 simple things to consider that might start you on your way.
1. Who do you buy from?
Business procurement is a great opportunity to drive some good. Simple changes like buying your power from a green provider, your internet & phone from a social enterprise or even making sure your toilet paper is made from recycled materials. Give preference to sustainable or fair-trade suppliers and don’t forget to buy local where you can.
2. How can you be better for your workers?
A salary is great but it is no longer enough in its own right. The best employers are thinking about flexible working, health & wellbeing benefits and even employee ownership or profit share. Additionally, does your workforce contain the same levels of diversity as the community you serve?
3. What impact are you having in your community?
First and foremost the service you provide to your customers needs to be great, that’s a given. Beyond that, is your business involved in any community giving practices? This can range from always buying local, to supporting charities or organisations in your community that are working to make a difference – either with funding or donated time. You can start small but make sure you start somewhere.
4. Lower your environmental footprint
This is generally nowhere near as hard as it sounds. There is typically plenty of low hanging fruit to get you started. Switch to a green power provider, encourage staff to take KeepCups when they get their morning coffee, always use recycled paper and set up your waste disposal to maximise recycling. Pretty simple really.
Overall, your business lives or dies on whether you can convince your customers to support you, rather than the alternative down the road. It is important to also ask yourself – are you are extending the same courtesy and supporting your customer? If supporting your customer and their community drives loyalty and ultimately income, perhaps being a better pharmacy is worth thinking about…
For more resources check out https://www.bcorporation.com.au
– Andrew Whelan, General Manager at AP Group