Leading change in your sector without spending a fortune

Social Impact: Your Secret Sauce

Everyone has something to give, something to add to the betterment of society. Your company, no matter the size, can be a catalyst for change.

  • TOMS Shoes. The one-for-one model may not be groundbreaking now, but it shook the retail sector when it came on the scene. Bootstrapped (pun intended) and with a clear social goal.
  • Café Domenica, a Brighton-based café, provides work opportunities for people with learning disabilities. Started locally, its social impact is spreading and spreading and spreading.

Audience Egagement: Quality Over Quantity

The only metric that really counts is engagement. It’s not about reach; it’s about depth. Go narrow but deep.

  • The Skimm made a big splash with a simple newsletter. They knew their audience, spoke directly to them, and started conversations that mattered.
  • Monzo Bank redefined banking by building a community around their services before they even had a banking license.

Workforce and Skills Development: Talent Isn’t Born, It’s Made

Don’t just hire the skill, build it. Take what you’ve got and make it better.

  • Innocent Drinks focused on a work culture that supported employee development, well before they became a household name.
  • Basecamp, a remote software company, started small. They grew their talent pool by investing in their team’s development, not by headhunting.

Influence-Building with Stakeholders: More Than Just Networking

Influence isn’t just having a little black book; it’s about meaningful interactions that lead to open doors.

  • Canva disrupted the design sector without a war chest of funds. Their weapon? Building strong relationships with the right people, and being undeniably good at what they do.
  • The Cambridge Satchel Company started in a kitchen but quickly built strong relationships with fashion influencers to expand their reach.

Purpose-Driven Goals: The North Star

The vision for change that you want to make is your North Star. Let it guide your decisions, strategies, and partnerships.

  • Who Gives A Crap toilet paper sells eco-friendly loo roll and donates 50% of profits to sanitation projects. It is simple. It is clear. It is scalable. It resonates.
  • GitHub, initially a bootstrapped project, held open-source as its North Star. Years later it is still the go-to platform for developers around the world.

Thought and Systems Leadership: Lead the Dialogue

Don’t just participate in the conversation; lead it. Create the frameworks that others will follow.

  • Slack turned the dull corporate communication model on its head. They led the dialogue on how teams should communicate informally, and it stuck.
  • TransferWise (now Wise) radically simplified international money transfer. They didn’t just join the conversation; they started it.

Transparency and Ethics: The New Normal

Openness should be the rule, not the exception. Operate in a way that you have nothing to hide.

  • Consumer brands such as Lush Cosmetics and Tony’s Chocolonely have been transparent about their supply chain and ethics since day one, setting industry standards.
  • Buffer set a precedent by making their salaries and revenue publicly available. They’ve become a benchmark in the tech sector for transparency.

You don’t need heaps of cash to lead change in your sector. You need audacity, vision, and a dab of practical bravery. Fortune favours the bold—but good ideas don’t have to cost a fortune.

We’d love to hear your visions for change.