For most small business owners, altruism is hard to reconcile with daily, urgent tasks and the constant demand for our attention. We want to be good corporate citizens, but we also want to survive ourselves, look after our teams, our families and our customers. There’s a lot to do!
However, many small business owners also want to feel connected to the well being of our communities and to our global community. Some of us have children who may be judging us for the effect on the planet of our lifestyles and businesses. So how can we make a small difference and measure that progress towards doing better?
In 2015, world leaders of the United Nations agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The aim is to create a better and fairer world by 2030, by ending poverty and inequality, and urgently addressing climate change. These goals are being adopted by international charities, government ministries, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), institutes and businesses around the world.
First of all, select some goals we feel connected to, that we can influence in our businesses. Beany has chosen SDG 8:
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
In particular, we measure how many businesses we onboard in our mission to help our business clients lead a happier and more prosperous life and how we offer pay parity to all our team.
Second, find a measure that helps quantify your impact. This is quite a tough ask and there are no guidelines so feel free to adopt your own – it probably doesn’t matter as long as you choose something that is measurable and consistent.
If you’re measuring one indicator consistently over time and seeing an improvement, that’s the main thing. We can’t all change the world with big dramatic actions, but we can all make small steps in the right direction. Doing good in the world is no longer just a nice feeling, it’s also been shown to positively impact your business as it connects your team to your purpose, is attractive to your customers and just makes you feel like a better person!
Who doesn’t want that?
Check out the sustainable development goals and maybe enlist the support of your team in deciding what matters to you all and how you can measure progress.