6 ways to run a more ethical business
Brighton is well known for providing a chilled out lifestyle without the crazy London commute. So it’s no wonder there’s been an influx in start-ups over the last few years - there’s certainly worse places to run a business! Taking steps to becoming an ethical business is something that can set you apart from others in your field, leading to a happier workforce and loyal clients. We spoke to local ethical Digital Marketing Agency Creative Blend for advice on how a business can manage to keep in the black, whilst keeping their values intact.
1. Take the time to understand your clients
Go into every new project with the aim of building a trusting relationship with your client - no matter how big or small the job. Taking the time right at the beginning to really understand their brand and the message they wish to relay to an audience will go a long way in developing open and successful communication in the future. Head for a coffee with the team or arrange an icebreaker activity - anything that gives you an insight into what makes them tick and how best to work together.
2. Hire people who care about your core values
While it’s hugely important to hire people who can do their job to a high standard, it’s also worth noting that personality and people skills are an important part of creating a happy, well-rounded team. We only hire new talent on referral or recommendations from people we know and trust, which means we can be 99% sure they will fit the Creative Blend team and values. Whilst this might not work for all businesses, we’d encourage you to think beyond a set of qualifications and consider personality and people skills as equally important for the role.
3. Trust your team to work remotely
When you can trust your team, there’s no reason why flexible working can’t work for your business. By utilising apps such as Slack and Trello it’s easy to keep projects running smoothly and stay in contact with everyone - no matter where their laptop is. A study by Pownownow in 2017 found that 40% of workers would take flexible working over a pay increase - meaning that it can also be great for an agency's bottom line.
4. Keep quotes transparent
There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a brilliant project and there being unease and discrepancies about the final cost. We’d recommend a transparent means of quoting, itemising each part to allow clients to create a bespoke plan that suits both the project and their budget. If the time is not used and leftover - don’t charge for it, these little touches help to create trust and encourage repeat business over time.
5. Giving something back to the community
The Creative Blend model has always focused on being able to give something back to the community, donating 10 hours per month to help charities local to us. There’s plenty of opportunities to give back in some way to the community, here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Run free skills workshops
- Give staff one day off per quarter/year to volunteer
- Donate event space if you have it
- Hold a charity fundraiser like our friends Search Seven
- Run the Brighton marathon (!)
- Sponsor a local event
6. Keeping a personal touch and remove the barriers
The human touch - it’s the reason we haven’t all be replaced by robots (yet!). Even in our digital age, nothing beats having a problem solved by a human being, who can talk through a solution, crack a joke and guide you through a project stage by stage. Why not break down the usual agency barriers and let clients have contact with the people working on their project, not just their Account Manager - allowing the people with the hands on skills to have a client facing side to their role.
Creative Blend have recently launched their monthly drop-in service where local business can pop by for 15 minutes of free digital advice.
Thanks to Creative Blend for writing this blog