The Good Business Charter (GBC) aims to inspire as many businesses as possible to change their behaviour, where required, in order to sign up to the Good Business Charter accreditation, which should in turn encourage wider good business practice.
Application is really simple and free in the first year, after which a small annual fee may be applied depending on the size of the organisation seeking re-accreditation.
We just thought, “Why wouldn’t we do this?”.
But why did we do this? Simply put - it’s bloody important to us. So there.
We should be all be accountable in the way we do business, and this accreditation recognises that Bravand is working hard to look after our people, our customers, our communities and the environment.
Accreditation is bare simple, so organisations of all shapes and sizes across all industries can follow in Bravand's footsteps and align themselves with the GBC’s ten components:
Real Living Wage
Bravand is a fully paid up and accredited Living Wage Employer. We go above and beyond the government minimum and take a stand to ensure all people working with us earn a wage which is enough to live on.
Fairer hours and contracts
We work with people based on their availability, and have a high percentage of people returning to work, for example, with young families, helping us to deliver projects - because the flexibility we offer suits their circumstances.
We employ four people (including Jilly and I) and one person is on a contract, but there are (currently) 35 of us working to deliver projects. Bravand always has been and always will be reliant on freelancers and other people that aren’t directly employed by Bravand to deliver projects. It’s important to us that we treat everyone - employed or otherwise - equally and fairly, and so we actively support and encourage wellbeing across the board, and promote access to impartial support and advice for people with physical and mental health needs.
We encourage everyone to speak up, ask and share - the good, the bad and the ugly - which helps build trust and confidence. Team Bravand members give their views and feedback, and we listen. We share decision making, decisions made, organisational changes and challenges. We overcommincate.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
We're aware of our unconcious biases and check ourselves, and each other. We help the people we work with to see their biases and, together, we take steps to manage them. We have strong female representation (see Our Team), we have both team members and clients from the LGBTQ+ community, we have a neurodiverse talent pool. The digital stuff we design and build is done so with the mindset of being usable by as wide an audience as possible, and we recruit participants for user research and testing labs based on these principles.
We're not saying we're perfect. We're learning all the time. And that's OK.
Click here to read more about our anti-racism pledge.
We incorporate sustainability into everything we do. We don’t travel unless it’s absolutely necessary. When we do travel, it’s on public / mass transport. We design and build digital products and services that have a minimal impact:
- Low page weight = low carbon production = better performance = happier users
- We advise clients to run tech on renewable energy (as this site does) - but, ultimately, it’s their choice
- We plant trees via Treeapp (it's free - why wouldn't you??) and Ecologi
We're not saying we're perfect. We're learning all the time. And that's OK (note the running theme. It's OK to be on a path).
Case in point, we recently started working with Giles Metcalfe from Giles Metcalfe Digital. Giles has helped us measure the sustainability of this website, which covers carbon footprint measurement, understanding and reduction, and there’s some work for us to do! More on that in a separate article, yet to be written (I’ll get round to it once we’ve made a few changes and show you the difference).
And, we’ve now added Giles’s sustainability auditing into our Digital Roasts. Drop me a line - email@example.com - if you want your website roasting. More on roasts in another post.
Paying fair tax
We’re happy to pay what the tax person asks of us. Those that avoid paying their taxes can feck off. And when they get there, they can feck off from there, too. Then they can feck off some more. And keep fecking off until they get back here. Then they can feck off...
Commitments to customers
The third most important bunch of ppl in our world (after Family and Team, yeah?). We champion our customers. Not every project goes the way we hope it will - there have been some Bravand customers that sadly had bad experiences. But we learnt from them, and we continue learning. Eighty percent of our business comes from people we know:
- Clients bring us in to do one thing, we land and expand because we’ve done a good job of the first project
- Clients put us on retainer
- Clients come back to us with new briefs / projects / challenges
- Clients take us with them when they move companies
- Clients talk about us to others over dinner (point ppl to me, pls - firstname.lastname@example.org)
- People we know talk about us to other people we don’t know, yet, over dinner (point ppl to me, pls - email@example.com)
- Our business grows thru referrals. That doesn’t happen if we do a shoddy job (point ppl to me, pls - firstname.lastname@example.org)
We always consider the impact of anything we buy on people and community. We don’t buy what we don’t need and don’t buy more than we need and, when we do buy, we ensure the vendor has decent working conditions, good business ethics, and fair wages.
This obvs. carries over into the projects we say "NO" to:
- "Need a new website, do ya? What do you sell? Weapons? #GTF.".
- "Need an order / payment app, yeah? Trying to bring your flagship coffee brand first introduced in Switzerland in 1938 to the streets of Hackney and in doing so put local independent coffee peddlers out of business? Get in the sea."
We pay everyone we work with within 30 days. As soon as we issue a PO, that person can invoice against that PO. No PO, no work. Part of Bravand's pitch to the people that help us deliver projects is that they can stop worrying about the money side of things and just focus on being the best project manager / designer / developer / analyst / researcher / writer / etc. / etc.
We first found out about GBC via our friend, Super Connector and all round Good Business Person, Giles Metcalfe. Give him a look / follow / invite / some love, yeah? Then it was a LinkedIn invite to Sam Agnew, and the rest, as they say, is history.
GBC is a non-profit making organisation funded by private sponsors who are keen to be supportive of responsible capitalism. Bravand is forging ahead with a model that exists within capitalism, but is different. I think. More on that in a future blog post.