Turn your business into a triple win business
Have you ever heard a business owner say that they can’t focus on creating good in the world until they are making a profit?
Well, I would argue businesses can’t afford to leave creating benefits for all until they are making a profit. Building a Triple Win business (one that creates wins for you, those around you and the world) is both possible and profitable.
Some recent books that document this are Rise Up: How to Build a Socially Conscious Business by Russ Stoddard, The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good, and Good is the New Coolby Bobby and Afdhel Aziz. I recently heard Afdhel speak brilliantly about his mission of helping businesses find purpose and meaning in the work they do and unlock the power of business to do good in the world. It was his talk that inspired me to write this article to encourage Triple Win businesses with some clear examples of how to do it.
Good is the new cool.
Good is the new cool, and good for everyone is a Triple Win. What all the books I mentioned above have in common is that they show the connection between building trust and reputation, and business success. As the B Corp Handbook says, great businesses must ask themselves the right questions:
- Does your business serve a higher purpose?
- Where are the opportunities unique to our business?
- What practices can we implement that would create a business that is better for our workers better for our community, better for our environment and better for our bottom line?
In my local community of Oatley in Sydney, a particular business owner stands out as the creator of an incredible Triple Win business. Andrew Taylor set up AdventureCo, an adventure and leisurewear store that focuses on sustainable products, and everything about his business shouts “Triple Win”. It is quite clear that he measures the success of his business not just in dollars, but in how well it benefits every person it touches. I’ve been fascinated by his thinking from the first time I walked into his funky store, so I asked him for an interview.
Triple win opportunities.
I can’t document every Triple Win Andrew creates in his AdventureCo, but a few stand out and might provide inspiration for other business owners.
1. Buy Local
AdventureCo buys products from local vendors.
Wins? Less transport costs for products. Support for local vendors. Vendors send customers into the store to buy their goods, so new people are introduced to the store. The business earns trust.
2. Support Community Projects
AdventureCo supports the local Men’s Shed by selling their products. 100% of the income goes back to the Men’s Shed.
Wins? Trust, more people in the shop, income for the community project.
3. Go Green
Andrew organises a bag-sewing event with Boomerang Bags at his shop every second month. People drop off their old clothes which are recycled into bags by the sewing community. There is food and local entertainment. Boomerang Bags, which have communities all around Australia, often mention the event on their social media pages.
Wins? The shop is seen as a community gathering space and a business that is responsible and cares; building relationships. People acquire bags to use or give away. The shop gets some handy reusable bags for the future. Clothes don’t go to landfill. Local musicians get exposure. AdventureCo gets huge social media reach, and people align to the good ethos of the business. Way, way more than a Triple Win in this one simple action.
4. Make Charity a Triple Win
Andrew collects used shoes at his shop, and hundreds are distributed to those in need in Australia and overseas. AdventureCo’s latest campaign is to invite customers to purchase a new winter jacket and donate their old one. The twist is that they get $50 off their new jacket. How good is that?
Wins? Less shoes and jackets in landfill, more shoes and jackets for those in need here and abroad. A feel-good feeling for those dropping off their used goods, more people coming into the shop, discounted new jackets for customers, purchases from the business. Brilliant.
5. Support Local Schools
Andrew commits $5.00 from every purchase to a local school.
Wins? Income for schools, trust and reputation for AdventureCo and marketing by word of mouth.
Is a triple win business profitable?
I asked Andrew whether it really is profitable to be a Triple Win thinker in business, and this was his reply:
“While all businesses must put money into their initial marketing budget, and AdventureCo was no exception when you build trust and confidence in what you do, you can spend less on marketing and more time and energy on relationship building. I make my decisions about who I do business with, which suppliers I purchase from, and what kind of products to stock based on the values and ethics of the business. It just makes sense, and also business sense, to do business this way.”
This it does. Triple Win businesses are both possible and profitable. Most businesses have moved from ‘I win – you lose’ thinking to ‘win-win’ thinking, but trailblazers are moving to Triple Win thinking. I’m keen to help leaders and businesses think Triple Win because it makes sense.
Try at least one of Andrew’s ideas, and let me know how it goes.