Can a Small Business Really Make an Impact? A 2021 Review
In early 2021, I joined a fantastic business program that helped me examine my business and craft a solid business plan to operate on moving forward. Enterprise for Equity (or E4E, as it is affectionately called) is an organization that serves entrepreneurs and small business owners in Puget Sound and Southwestern Washington communities. They focus on serving small/rural communities, limited-income entrepreneurs and veterans and they teach a very thoughtful, thorough approach to business. One aspect of E4E's business philosophy that I learned during my program is the Triple Bottom Line approach- that a responsible business cannot simply operate with Profit in mind, but also must do so with People and Planet in mind, too.
With E4E's help, I was able to craft a business plan for Bright Day that ensures this Triple Bottom Line philosophy is woven into the fabric of my business moving forward. I want Bright Day to make positive impacts on my community and the planet, especially as it grows in size and scope and business decisions become larger and more impactful.
Throughout 2021, I have made several business decisions with a Triple Bottom Line philosophy in mind:
- Transitioned from plastic containers to recyclable/reusable glass containers with metal lids for Whipped Body Scrubs, Whipped Body Butters and Bath Soaking Salts.
- Transitioned Lip Balms away from plastic pots to compostable paperboard tubes.
- Developed a palm-free soap formula for the Bright Naturals Collection
- Verified that palm oil used in glycerin soaps is from RSPO sources
- Sourced Fair Trade Shea Butter during R&D for new soap formula
- Donated 1% of 2021's annual sales to National Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org). Donation total was $130 on 12/31/21.
I have more Triple Bottom Line goals for 2022 and beyond, including:
- Become a certified 1% for the Planet company
- Transition to more eco-friendly wrappings for glycerin soaps, such as Biolefin
- Create a jar-return/reuse program
- Explore refillable products
- Provide reuse tips and tutorials for your empty jars
- Grow the number of locations where you can purchase Bright Day products, to reduce online order/shipping impacts on environment
As a small business, it is easy to feel as though my small decisions don't really make an impact for better or worse. But looking back at the year in full, I can see that the decisions do add up. I'm proud of the actions Bright Day was able to take in 2021 and I'm excited to grow my Triple Bottom Line philosophy in 2022 and beyond.
Here's to a Bright New Year!