Finding Your First Customer As A Purpose Business

Photo by Lay Low

In the world of business, the first customer is typically someone who purchases your product or service, hoping it will benefit them, regardless of its value. Toothpick sales statistics illustrate this; people often buy toothpicks for serving finger foods rather than dental use. Toothpick companies emphasize durability and effectiveness as their values, marketing them as miraculous tooth-cleaning tools.

However, the situation differs for purpose-driven businesses. Defining a customer here involves two conditions: willingness to pay (with money, time, etc.) and being an intended user of the product/service.

Why is having an intended user important? Unlike established toothpick companies, purpose businesses need ongoing feedback on their products/services during the early stages. Any feedback is valuable. Knowing your product’s relevance and applicability is crucial advice when seeking customers. That being said, how do you find your first customer?

Mission: Your mission as a purpose business plays a crucial part in your product/service’s relevance to your target audience. Let’s take an example, This generic mission statement, “Empowering change through sustainable solutions for a better world.” though effective, can be a starting point to understand who your customers are. Whether your company offers services or is product-based, the word “solutions” needs to affect someone.

Profile: Explore and ideate who that someone is; be as descriptive as you can. For instance, think of managers in construction companies dealing with daily heat or single fathers with three kids seeking time-management solutions. Your mission statement can guide the creation of customer profiles. Identify the specific group of people most likely to resonate with your purpose. Understand their demographics, preferences, behaviors, and pain points.

Measure: On a scale of 1-5, how crucial is it for the profiled individuals to access your product/service? This measurement matters, as it guides your next steps.If the scale leans towards 1 (least important), your material should educate your audience about why they need your product and how it benefits them. You might also attract those closer to 5 who aren’t aware of the problem and need to be educated. Your next steps depend on where they fall on this scale.

Channel: Identify the right channel to reach your customers. If you’ve followed the steps above, you’ll have enough information to determine where your customers spend time, whether digitally or in person. At Anima, for example, we relied on offline strategies for over two years to connect with clients— this was especially effective during COVID when competition decreased. Discovering the right communication channel significantly increases your chances of finding your first customer (if not more).

In our next edition, we’ll delve into how to effectively communicate with leads and prospects as a purpose-driven business.

 Today’s Action Steps: Focus on uncovering the real-world impact of your mission:

  1. Reflect: Revisit your mission statement and consider how it directly resonates with your potential customers.
  2. Relate: Find connections between your purpose and your customers’ needs or values.
  3. Imagine: Visualize scenarios where your offerings genuinely improve lives.
  4. Share: Give a glimpse into your mission exploration journey to your channels
  5. Engage: Encourage your audience to share their thoughts on how your purpose aligns with their needs.

Strengthen your purpose-business connection and stay tuned for next week’s communication insights.


What Should You Do With Profits From Your Purpose Business?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

In the realm of business growth, investing in your value chain serves as a cornerstone of success, surpassing the traditional focus on expanding your workforce. Just as a symphony thrives on harmony, your business flourishes by orchestrating a seamless sequence of value-adding steps, powered by the profits you generate.

So, what is a value chain?

Imagine a journey your product or service takes, step by step, from the very start to reaching customers. It encompasses everything from obtaining raw materials, crafting the product, to delivering it to people. Each step adds value, improving your product and aiding your business growth.

(Note: For a services company, “raw materials” might not be physical substances like in manufacturing, but rather the foundational elements needed to provide your service. These could include things like knowledge, skills, tools, and technology required for effective service delivery. Similar to physical raw materials, these components are crucial for creating and delivering a high-quality service to your customers.)

Visualize a tree that consistently bears fruit, not just seasonally. By directing profits towards enhancing your value chain, you cultivate sustained prosperity. Optimizing each stage of production, from sourcing materials to delivering the final product or service, creates a balanced ecosystem that amplifies the value you offer.

Now, let’s explore why prioritizing value chain investments may make sense for your purpose business.

  1. Holistic Efficiency: Channeling resources into perfecting your value chain boosts overall efficiency. This optimization streamlines processes, reduces waste, and maximizes the value delivered to your customers.
  2. Resilient Innovation: In a changing business landscape, adaptability is vital. Investing in the value chain enables you to swiftly integrate innovations, stay ahead of market shifts, and capitalize on emerging trends.
  3. Lasting Customer Satisfaction: A refined value chain translates to consistent quality and reliability. Enhancing each link in the chain builds customer trust and loyalty, fostering enduring relationships.

Consider these strategic factors for value chain investments:

  • Industry Evolution: If your industry rapidly transforms, investing in the value chain keeps you at the forefront of innovation.
  • Premium Differentiation: If your brand emphasizes a premium experience, optimizing your value chain ensures every touchpoint aligns with this commitment.
  • Uncompromised Excellence: If unwavering quality defines your business, investing in your value chain guarantees consistent top-notch products or services.

While value chain investment offers substantial benefits, don’t overlook the value of a skilled workforce. Human expertise drives innovation, nurtures relationships, and injects creativity into your operations. Hiring skilled professionals, especially for roles demanding unique talents or personal interactions, significantly enhances your capabilities and growth potential.

When deciding between investing in the value chain or expanding your team, striking a balance is crucial. Your business needs determine the optimal approach. Value chain investment amplifies core operations, while strategic hiring adds specialized skills and personalized service.

Prioritizing value chain investment fuels sustained growth and competitive advantage. Simultaneously, strategic workforce expansion adds a human touch that elevates capabilities. Harmonizing these aspects creates a symphony of success resonating with efficiency and excellence.

 Today’s Action Step: Research your industry/niche to assess the resources required for value chain investment. Once you understand the amount of resources needed, you can then strategize your business investments accordingly.

The Heartbeat Of Purpose In A Purpose-Business (TEC#004)

Photo by Peng Louis

Read time: 3 minutes

After the term ‘global warming’ changed to ‘global boiling,’ as a purpose-driven business, everyone at Anima felt incredibly frustrated. Shaken to our core, being in the services space felt exceedingly challenging. It seemed like everything we had been working on as a team amounted to nothing. Though it was just a glimpse, we are now more aggressively determined than ever.

In this moment, we truly understood the definition of a purpose-driven business – those with business models focused on accelerating progress on societal, environmental, and economic challenges while making a profit.

These businesses are the only options in the world that can create positive change today.

As a collective of purpose entrepreneurs, our mission grants us the unique opportunity to align our business with a higher calling.

Saving the world is a profound calling that gives us a sense of meaning and fulfillment that goes beyond the bottom line — something as genetically motivating as money.

Each step we take towards sustainability and social good contributes on a scale that’s larger than our comprehension of the world.

Just as in the movie “Interstellar”, our impact transcends time and space. Our work ripples across communities, leaving a lasting positive impact on people today and in the future, while also impressing the geniuses of the past.

Our caliber of conversation sparks creativity and innovation every single time.

Imagine discussing excel sheets at the water cooler all day (our apologies to the finance folks)

It surpasses anything we’ve ever experienced, turning us into magnets for game-changing ideas that disrupt the status quo.

We’ve realized that saving the world isn’t a simple task.

We face resource constraints, limited budgets, and sometimes the uphill battle of convincing people to believe in what we’re building – every single day.

When we examine the magnitude of each issue at hand, the mountain is so massive that comprehending the impact required to instill change becomes daunting.

The words ‘global challenges’ are inherently grand, even looking at them is overwhelming. We find ourselves wondering if our efforts are sufficient to make a significant difference.

We’ve sacrificed everything in the short term. We’ve given up profits, resources, time, energy, growth, to name a few, all in the hope of immeasurable long-term goals.

we approach this challenge with determination.

Quantifying the impact of our noble endeavors can be puzzling.

Finding accurate metrics to gauge our influence remains an ongoing challenge, and it will persist as we continue on our purpose-driven journey.

Remember, we are humans, not warriors ready to dismantle everything we have in order to conform to the complex world we live in.


Even at the brink,

we strike a perfect balance between purpose and profit, ensuring our business models align with our mission and financial sustainability – even though it often feels like walking a tightrope.

Not everyone may embrace our purpose-driven approach. Overcoming resistance from skeptics and traditionalists can be an uphill battle.

However, we’ve come to understand that by coming together, collaborating, and joining forces with like-minded individuals and organizations, we amplify our impact and create a network of change-makers working towards a common goal.

Embracing transparency in all aspects of our work, and being open about our progress and challenges, helps us build trust and credibility with our stakeholders.

We’ve also realized that flexibility and adaptability are our secret weapons. Continuously learning, improving, and being open to adjusting our approach when necessary.


As purpose-driven entrepreneurs, we are a breed of empowered individuals with a shared goal – a force to be reckoned with. Together, armed with the knowledge of how to address the Earth’s issues, which comes from us and only us, we identify our journeys as marathons and confront them with stoicism and determination.

 Action StepIdentify a source of frustration in your life, then discuss it with trusted people to gain insights and strategies for turning that frustration into motivation. Take actionable steps and set goals to embrace the shift and achieve growth.


3 Crucial Perspectives To Drive System Change (TEC#003)

Photo by Pixabay

Read time: 4 minutes

As purpose entrepreneurs, our core belief lies in driving system change.

But what exactly is system change? It’s all about transforming those widely accepted social norms and processes into something entirely different.

Take a simple example: instead of just throwing rubbish anywhere, we aim to sort it out properly.

However, here’s the kicker – more often than not, we end up placing the burden of “system change” solely on the shoulders of our business or project.

We mistakenly believe that our ideas are dependent on this grand change happening first, or that our product or service alone can revolutionize the entire market.

Like many entrepreneurs who’ve hit upon a killer product or service, we often believe that if enough people experience it, it could bring about significant change. It’s like our goal is to create a bomb that goes off, and the aftermath will transform the environment and ecosystem from here to eternity.

Yet, we’ve learned a valuable lesson over the years – the goal to create change isn’t just a goal; it’s a direction. And trust us, that’s a major distinction.

If we keep seeing it as a mere goal, there’s nothing concrete we can measure to gauge our progress. We’re left with this vague notion that system change is only achieved when everyone uses our said-product/service, and then the world magically becomes a better place.

But if we treat system change as a direction, that’s where things get interesting. Suddenly, we recognize that the path we’re walking on is the change itself. We can start keeping track of our progress and deliberately assess the impact we’re making.

And it’s not just about tracking progress. Consider the business model we’re using for this journey. Having the right business model, is crucial for driving impact, for creating that system change we’re so passionate about.


As purpose-driven businesses, we need to challenge the status quo head-on.

And it’s not just about challenging it but also about making sure people notice our efforts. Are our customers even aware of the change we’re advocating for so fervently? Are they joining us with the same level of enthusiasm?

In essence, we can’t just aim for a distant goal of change; let’s stay on course, treating it as a direction, and ensure we have the right vehicle to drive this meaningful transformation. It’s time to walk the talk and lead by example, so that together, we can create the change we seek for a better world.

The three perspectives are for purpose entrepreneurs, and they serve as different approaches or viewpoints to drive system change and create meaningful transformation. Each perspective offers unique insights and strategies to help purpose entrepreneurs navigate their journey towards achieving their goals of bringing about positive change in the world.


Perspective 1: The Guided Pathfinders 
We recognize that change isn’t a fixed endpoint to be reached; rather, it’s an ongoing journey. We have a clear direction in mind, and while we acknowledge the importance of setting goals, we don’t let ourselves get fixated on them. Instead, we focus on staying true to our purpose, vision, and values.

With a deep sense of commitment to our cause, we lead by example, demonstrating through our actions that the change we seek is not merely theoretical but entirely feasible. We actively engage with our community, customers, and stakeholders to create a shared understanding of the direction we’re headed. By maintaining open communication and transparency, we build trust and inspire others to join us on this transformative journey.

Our business model is carefully crafted to align with our purpose, and we continuously refine it as we learn and grow. We are adaptable and embrace the idea that making an impact may require pivoting and iterating on our approach. Our vehicle for change is chosen wisely, ensuring that it is effective in navigating the terrain we encounter, even if it means taking the road less traveled.


Perspective 2: Catalyst Innovators
We view system change as an opportunity to catalyze innovation and creativity. We see change as a dynamic force that thrives on novel ideas and unconventional approaches. Our focus is not solely on making incremental improvements to an existing system but on reimagining it entirely.

As catalysts, we actively seek out and nurture innovation both within our own organization and across our network. We foster a culture that encourages experimentation and risk-taking, recognizing that breakthroughs often come from stepping outside comfort zones.

Rather than waiting for the perfect conditions or for others to lead the way, we take the initiative to drive change ourselves. We understand that true transformation is born from action, and we are unafraid to challenge the status quo, even if it means facing resistance or skepticism.

Our business model is designed to embrace and support innovation, providing the necessary resources and space for creative ideas to flourish. We invest in research and development, partnerships, and collaborations that push the boundaries of what’s possible.


Perspective 3: Collective Impact Architects 
The emphasis is on the power of collaboration and collective action in achieving system change. As purpose entrepreneurs, we recognize that no single entity can bring about significant transformation alone. Therefore, we work tirelessly to foster partnerships and alliances with like-minded individuals, organizations, and stakeholders.

Our approach revolves around creating a shared vision for change, aligning diverse perspectives, and pooling resources and expertise. We understand that by uniting our efforts, we can amplify our impact and tackle complex challenges with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

In this perspective, we view our business model as a platform for fostering collaboration and mobilizing collective action. We actively seek out opportunities to engage and empower our community and customers, encouraging them to become active participants in the change we seek.

We measure success not just by our individual achievements but by the broader positive changes we bring about as a united force. We celebrate the progress made together and continuously refine our approach to ensure our collaborative efforts remain sustainable and inclusive.


In conclusion, as purpose entrepreneurs, our three perspectives on system change encompass being guided pathfinders, catalyst innovators, and collective impact architects. These perspectives involve staying true to our purpose and values, catalyzing innovation, and fostering collaboration to create the meaningful and transformative change we seek for a better world.


→ Action StepCreate a survey or feedback form and distribute it to your community, customers, and stakeholders. Gather their thoughts on your business model, the impact you’re making, and the change they wish to see. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement, innovative ideas, and potential collaborations. Engaging with your audience directly through this survey will allow you to evaluate your business model, seek new approaches, and initiate conversations for impactful partnerships, all within a shorter timeframe.


3 Actions For Purpose Businesses In Corporate Negotiations (TEC#002)

Photo by George Becker

Read time: 4 minutes

Negotiating with corporates can often be an uncomfortable task, especially for purpose entrepreneurs.

Many struggle with leading negotiations and effectively communicating the value of their product, often resulting in closing deals with reduced fees or offering “free” trials.

It’s a trap that no one tells you about, and failing to close on your true value can severely impact revenues.

But what about when you’re not a big enterprise? What if you’re a small team between 1-20 people?

Before you know it, you’re anxious before a big meeting.

It doesn’t have to be that way

It shouldn’t be that way.

Today, I want to shift that perspective and make closing deals with corporates feel more natural and, perhaps, even fun.

Let’s dive in


1. Develop internal salespeople

How can you develop internal salespeople within your client’s organization without being physically present?

If your product is primarily used by a specific department and not directly by the CEO, start by introducing your product to that department.

Allow them to become advocates for your product.

Provide them with a concise one-page value sheet that clearly depicts the unique value your product delivers.

By doing so, when these advocates enter the CEO’s room, the focus of the discussion will shift from price to the value your product brings.

Over-communicate the value and forget about price at this stage.

The idea is that by emphasizing the value, the pricing discussion becomes secondary, and it becomes evident that your specific solution is exactly what they need.


2. Negotiate without price

When in a room with a decision maker, skillful navigation of the discussion is crucial.

Conversations about your business may veer off in different directions, but they often circle back to the topic of price, which can be a stumbling block for many purpose entrepreneurs.

Decision makers have a habit to shift responsibility by mentioning budget constraints from the CFO or other financial considerations.

This can indicate two possibilities:

  • You haven’t effectively communicated the value of your product, or
  • they genuinely face budget limitations but are still interested in trying your product.

If the conversation takes a negative turn, it’s important to take proactive steps.

One effective approach is to bring up the end-users within the organization and involve them in the discussion.

This may require arranging another meeting where they can participate or stepping out of the room to allow their input.

By including the people who will use your product/service, you bring a fresh perspective and demonstrate the value of their input.

This not only shows your commitment to their needs but also allows decision makers to directly hear how your offering can benefit their organization.

If the conversation becomes challenging, don’t rush their decision. Take the time to involve relevant stakeholders and foster thoughtful consideration.


3. Raise a nominal invoice

Facing with a scenario where a trial or reduced fee is being discussed?

It can be tempting to simply agree and offer your product at a lower cost.

However, it’s important to commit to the deal while also maintaining the perception of your true value.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Commit to the deal and offer your product for a select period of time at the reduced fee or as a trial.
  2. At the end of the agreed period, raise a nominal invoice that reflects the actual true value of your product, but provide a discount on the full fee.

Why is this tactic necessary?

By invoicing the true value, even with a full discount, you ensure that the client is aware of the actual cost of your product.

This way, you avoid undervaluing your own offering by accepting a reduced amount.

You want to leave the impression that your product is worth its true value, lets say “state your $”.

Then, wait.

(If &)When the client comes back for another round of your product or service, provided it is necessary for their organization’s improved performance, they will be more likely to agree to the full amount that you initially invoiced.


It’s crucial to know that most corporates will agree to your price if you have effectively over-communicated the value of your product.

However, if value hasn’t been adequately conveyed, it can be easy to fall into the trap of accepting a lower price because you’re eager for the sale.

Even when you’re experiencing a lack of leads, conversations, and the phone isn’t ringing, sticking to your true value is vital for the long-term success of your business.



  1. Develop an internal team: Empower the department using your product to become advocates for it, so they can discuss its value with decision-makers.
  2. Negotiate without price: Over-communicate the value of your product/service to shift the focus from price to the benefits it provides.
  3. Raise a nominal invoice: Invoice the true value of your product/service, even if offered at a reduced fee or as a trial, to reinforce its worth and avoid undervaluing it.


 Action StepCreate a concise one-page (A4) value sheet that effectively showcases the unique benefits of your product/service. Find the right internal team to advocate your product/service.

Male in a suit feeling uncomfortable

Overcome Your Anxiety While Conveying Value – Guidelines for a Value Proposition Conversation (TEC#001)

Male in a suit feeling uncomfortable

Read time: ~5 minutes


Executive Summary:

  • Establish a defined flow for discussions: Instead of relying on a memorized script, follow a consistent process that allows for natural and authentic conversations, similar to painting a picture with the same steps but adapting to the moment.
  • Focus on value and problem awareness: Avoid self-centered discussions about how “good” your product is. Instead, identify the reason for discussing your product and describe the problem at hand, being descriptive and receptive to tangents. Understand the pain points of your audience, clumping together common reasons why the problem affects them.
  • Communicate value and future direction: Once the pain point is acknowledged, highlight how your product solves a similar problem, emphasizing the value it brings. Assign a dollar value to the pain point to showcase the financial impact. Additionally, share your business’s vision and goals, illustrating how your company is uniquely positioned to address challenges and make a positive impact.
  • Extra: Create a concise A4 value sheet summarizing the conversation’s value, tailored to the individual’s verbiage. When engaging non-decision makers, focus on discussing value, saving the decision-making discussion for decision-makers. Avoid generic phrases like “faster, cheaper, better,” and be patient in conveying the value of your solution, adjusting touchpoints accordingly.

If you’re like me, discussing what you’re building with your company can be an anxiety-inducing conversation.

Words can only do so much justice, and memorizing a script isn’t the way to go because authenticity is key.

Instead, we can establish a defined flow to guide our discussions.

It’s akin to painting a picture—you can’t replicate the exact same image every time, but you follow a consistent process: setting the background, blending colors, and working with what you have in the moment.

Value proposition is a game-changing topic. It has the power to light up someone’s eyes or divert the conversation elsewhere in an instant.

However, it’s important to remember that your product or service may not be suitable for everyone.

Let’s dive in.


Shifting the Focus

Talking excessively about how “good” your product is can be off-putting and hinder information retention, particularly if you struggle to effectively communicate its value verbally.

The general rule is to remove the focus on “I” in our conversation, including references to your product or service.

Instead, consider why the topic of your product arose.

Is the other person genuinely curious or looking for something in the market?

Describe the problem at hand.

If it’s a common issue in the market, provide an overview without dismissing its significance.

Be as descriptive as possible, allowing the conversation to naturally explore tangents and ensuring the other person understands and acknowledges the pain point, whether they have experienced it or not.

If the issue is specific and the person genuinely considers it one of their top three challenges, take the opportunity to learn more about it.

Bring the pain point to their awareness and delve deeper into its impact.

Remember that every customer is unique, buying for different specific reasons.

Your role as a purpose entrepreneur is to identify one or two common reasons why it affects them.


Deliver Value and Vision

Now that the pain point is acknowledged, communicate the value your product provides.

Highlight one aspect that effectively solves a similar pain point.

You don’t need to explain all the intricacies; rather focus on how your solution can make things better, not just for individuals but for the overall situation.

– Assign a dollar value to the pain point

It is crucial to emphasize the financial impact of the problem.

It helps quantify the costs or losses incurred by the individual or business. By attaching a tangible value to the pain point, you can demonstrate the potential savings or gains that your solution can provide.

For example, if the problem leads to productivity losses of $10,000 per month, you can highlight how your product can help recover that amount or even exceed it with increased efficiency.

Remember, both assigning a dollar value to the pain point and sharing your business direction should be done in the same tone and style of the conversation—authentic, engaging, and focused.

– Discuss the direction your business is heading in.

It’s essential to share your vision and goals to provide a clear understanding of how your company aims to address the challenges at hand.

Illustrate how your product or service fits into the bigger picture and how it aligns with the needs of your target audience.

Whether it’s revolutionizing an industry, improving existing processes, or transforming the way people approach a certain task, articulate your aspirations and explain how your business is uniquely positioned to achieve those goals.

By sharing your vision, you instill confidence in your audience that you have a clear roadmap for success.

It helps them see the long-term value of your product or service and how it can contribute to their own growth and success.

Be authentic and passionate in describing your direction, emphasizing the positive impact you aim to make in the market and the value you bring to your customers.


Additions to help

Create an A4 value sheet—a concise, one-page digital resource that summarizes the value and essence of your conversation.

Don’t limit it to a physical paper size. Create a digital version.

As you engage in more conversations, take note of what can be included on this digital page.

Use it to enhance the conversation.

It should be something that can be easily shared and understood, using the verbiage of the individual you’re speaking to. If that person speaks to a CEO, for example, they should grasp the information at a glance.

Important note: When conversing with non-decision makers, focus on discussing value rather than seeking a decision from them. Every time, emphasize the value proposition without pressuring for an immediate commitment. Save the decision-making discussion for when you can present all the gathered information to the decision-maker, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Another important note: Avoid using the generic phrase “faster, cheaper, better.” It lacks originality and has become cliché, even if it accurately describes your product. Find unique and tailored ways to communicate the value your solution provides, highlighting the specific pain points it addresses.

Another another important note: Be patient. Understanding the value of a solution takes time. If your solution takes three months to alleviate a problem, ensure you have touch points throughout that period to discuss the ongoing value. As purpose entrepreneurs, let’s focus on providing material for each day. If you have that, you’ll never run out of valuable topics to discuss.

→ Today’s Action Step: Have 3 separate conversations on 3 different mediums: Face to face, text chain, and e-mail; using these guidelines and additions.

The Upsurge of Joint Ventures in Small Businesses: Exploring Potential Pitfalls

Photo by Rami Hammoud

Let’s say you run a small business that produces sustainable and eco-friendly home goods, such as bamboo towels and reusable beeswax wraps. You have a strong commitment to sustainability and reducing waste, but you’re struggling to expand your product line and reach a wider audience.



You could enter into a joint venture with another purpose-driven company that shares your values and has complementary offerings, such as a company that produces sustainable cleaning products or reusable containers. Together, you could create a bundled package of sustainable home goods that meets the needs of consumers who are committed to reducing waste and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.



This joint venture benefits both companies – you gain access to new product offerings that you can offer to your customers, while the other company gains access to your customer base and expertise in sustainable home goods. Together, you can offer a more comprehensive range of sustainable home goods than either of you could alone, and share in the profits that result.




Key Takeaways


– Joint ventures (JVs) are a strategic alliance, where business can pool their resources and expertise to achieve a goal

– Advantages of JVs include shared costs, access to more resources including capital, labor, assets and expertise.

– Joint ventures are different from partnerships because JVs do not involve any sharing of ownership of the venture.




What is a Joint venture? and how does it apply to small companies?



A joint venture is a strategic alliance where two or more people or companies agree to contribute goods, services and/or capital to a common commercial enterprise. The contributions can include resources such as capital, labor, or assets, skill or expertise such as experience and knowledge



SMEs have advantages when consider JV (Joint ventures), by teaming up with other people or businesses in a joint venture, you can:


– Extend your marketing reach

– Access needed information, resources, and skill sets

– Build credibility with a particular target market

– Access new markets that would be inaccessible without the partner

– Access technical expertise and know-how that your company may be lacking

– Access intellectual property that would otherwise be out of your reach

– Access new revenue streams

– Share risks and expenses



For instance, suppose you and five other potters form a joint venture to hold a Potter’s Fair on a particular date. Because you pool your resources, you’re able to do much more advertising and promotion 

than you would be able to go alone, bringing out crowds of customers for your joint event.


At first thought, a joint venture sounds like a partnership, doesn’t it? But legally, joint ventures and partnerships are not the same thing, they’re two distinct forms of business ownership. In a strategic alliance there is no exchange of ownership between the companies involved.

The key distinction between a joint venture and a partnership lies in their respective purposes. Joint ventures are formed when individuals or entities collaborate for a specific purpose or project, while partnerships are formed when individuals or entities come together to run a business jointly.



In a joint venture, each member retains ownership of their own property, and shares only the expenses associated with the specific project or venture. Conversely, in a partnership, all members share ownership of the business, as well as the associated profits and losses.





Joint ventures can certainly exist in small businesses and start-ups, and can be a valuable way to pool resources and expertise in order to achieve growth or tackle complex projects. However, there are several potential pitfalls to be aware of when entering into a JV:



  1. Misaligned goals: If the partners have different goals or priorities for the venture, it can lead to conflict and disagreement over how to proceed.
  2. Unequal contributions: If one partner contributes significantly more resources or capital than the other(s), it can lead to resentment or a feeling of unfairness.
  3. Lack of communication: Communication is key in any business partnership, but particularly so in a JV where there may be multiple parties involved. If communication breaks down, it can lead to misunderstandings or missed opportunities.
  4. Legal and financial risks: JVs can expose partners to legal and financial risks, particularly if they are not structured properly or if the partners do not have adequate protections in place.

To better understand the potential risks and rewards of joint ventures, let’s take a look at a graph that illustrates some key data points:

Risk vs Benefit - JV

In this graph, we can see that JVs can be a valuable way for businesses to achieve growth and increase profits. However, they also come with risks, particularly if the partners are not well-aligned or if there are legal or financial issues. It’s important for businesses considering a JV to carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks, and to work closely with legal and financial advisors to structure the partnership in a way that minimizes risk and maximizes the chances of success.

As a hybrid consultancy, Anima can help small businesses identify potential joint venture opportunities and create smooth journeys for collaboration. We have extensive experience in working with small businesses and developing customized strategies that align with their unique needs and goals.

Our team of experts can help small businesses navigate the complexities of joint ventures, including identifying the right partners, defining clear objectives, and setting metrics for success. With our deep understanding of different business models and strategies, we can help small businesses create a solid foundation for their joint venture and ensure that both parties are aligned towards common goals.

At Anima, our unique value proposition lies in not just strategy development but also in execution. We understand that execution is where most businesses falter and that is where our team can add the most value. We work closely with our clients to develop practical, actionable plans that help them achieve their goals and create value for their stakeholders.

We are well-equipped to help small businesses navigate the complex world of joint ventures, identify opportunities for collaboration, and execute on their strategic plans. With our expertise and focus on execution, we can help small businesses achieve growth and success through joint ventures and other innovative business models.

The Importance of Innovative Business Models for Driving System Change

In today’s business world, traditional models often prioritize short-term profits over long-term sustainability, which can lead to a range of social and environmental challenges. But innovative business models offer a way forward by challenging traditional ways of doing business and driving positive change.

Business model innovation is important for driving competitive advantage. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, companies need to continually adapt and innovate in order to stay ahead of the competition. By innovating their business model, companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors and create unique value propositions that are difficult to replicate. This can lead to increased market share, higher margins, and sustained growth over time. Additionally, business model innovation can help companies identify new markets and revenue streams that they may not have considered before, opening up new opportunities for growth and expansion. 

Here are a few reasons why innovative business models are important for driving system change:

1. They challenge the status quo

Innovative business models force businesses to challenge their traditional ways of operating and create new approaches. This can help shift business practices towards more sustainable and equitable approaches, leading to positive impacts on society and the environment.

2. They drive fundamental shifts in the way businesses operate

Innovative business models can help move businesses away from linear models of production and consumption that drive many of our sustainability challenges. For example, a circular economy model can help design products and services that are more durable and easier to repair, reducing waste and promoting resource efficiency.

3. They can have broader impacts on society and the environment

Innovative business models don’t just benefit the businesses that adopt them. They can also have positive impacts on society and the environment more broadly. For example, a fair trade model can promote social justice and reduce poverty in developing countries, while a regenerative agriculture model can help restore degraded landscapes and promote biodiversity.

4. They can help create a more sustainable and equitable economy

By driving systemic change, innovative business models can help create a more sustainable and equitable economy that benefits both businesses and society as a whole. For example, a collaborative consumption model can help reduce consumption and waste by enabling people to share goods and services, while a renewable energy model can help reduce carbon emissions and promote energy independence.

We believe that innovative business models are essential for creating a more sustainable and equitable future. We specialize in business model innovation services that help our clients rethink the way they do business and drive positive change. By working with businesses across various industries, we have helped many organizations adopt innovative and sustainable business models that can drive long-term success and make a positive impact on society and the environment.  If you’re interested in learning more about innovative business models and how Anima can help your business drive positive change, explore our website or get in touch with us to learn more.

How To Integrate Sustainability Into Your Brand Identity

As consumers become increasingly environmentally conscious, sustainability is becoming a key factor in brand identity. Companies that embrace sustainable practices not only benefit the planet but also appeal to socially responsible consumers. 


In this post, we’ll explore some strategies for integrating sustainability into your brand identity, and why it’s important to do so.


Why Integrate Sustainability into Your Brand Identity?



Integrating sustainability into your brand identity is important for several reasons. 


First, it allows you to differentiate your brand from competitors. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, they are increasingly looking for socially responsible brands to support. By incorporating sustainability into your brand identity, you can appeal to these consumers and set your brand apart from competitors that are not taking sustainability seriously.



Second, integrating sustainability into your brand identity can help build trust with consumers. By being transparent about your sustainability practices and values, you can demonstrate your commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility. This can help establish a strong, positive relationship between your brand and your customers, which can lead to increased loyalty and advocacy.



Finally, integrating sustainability into your brand identity is simply the right thing to do. As a corporate citizen, you have a responsibility to do your part to protect the planet and promote social responsibility. By incorporating sustainability into your brand identity, you can align your business practices with your values and help create a better world for future generations.



Strategies for Integrating Sustainability into Your Brand Identity



Now that we’ve established why it’s important to integrate sustainability into your brand identity, let’s look at some strategies for doing so.



– Define your values and mission statement

The first step in integrating sustainability into your brand identity is to define your company’s values and mission statement. 

What does your company stand for? 

What are your long-term goals? 

How do you want to impact the world? 

Once you have a clear understanding of your values and mission, you can begin to integrate sustainability into your brand identity.


For example, if your company values social responsibility, you could incorporate sustainable practices into your supply chain management, packaging, and marketing. If your mission is to reduce your carbon footprint, you could use renewable energy sources, implement energy-efficient practices, and invest in carbon offsets.



– Assess your environmental impact

The next step is to conduct an environmental impact assessment to identify areas where your company can improve its sustainability practices. 

This could include reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, and sourcing materials from sustainable suppliers.

There are many tools available to help you assess your environmental impact, including the Carbon Trust Standard, the Global Reporting Initiative, and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. These tools can help you measure your carbon footprint, water usage, waste generation, and other environmental impacts, and identify areas for improvement.



– Communicate your sustainability efforts

Once you’ve identified your sustainability practices, it’s important to communicate them to your customers. 

This can be done through marketing materials, social media, and other communication channels. 

By being transparent about your sustainability efforts, you can build trust with your customers and differentiate your brand from competitors.


For example, you could use your website to highlight your sustainable practices and values, or use social media to share stories and updates about your sustainability initiatives. You could also use eco-friendly packaging materials, and include information about your sustainability practices on product labels or packaging.



– Incorporate sustainability into your product design

One of the most effective ways to integrate sustainability into your brand identity is to incorporate sustainable practices into your product design. 

This could include using recycled materials, designing products that are reusable or biodegradable, or reducing the overall environmental impact of your products.


For example, Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company, has incorporated sustainability into its product design by using recycled materials and implementing a product take-back program. The company also encourages its customers to repair and reuse their products, rather than disposing of them.



– Collaborate with sustainable partners

Collaborating with sustainable partners can help reinforce your commitment to sustainability and increase your brand’s visibility among socially responsible consumers. 

For example, you could partner with a sustainable supplier, sponsor a local environmental organization, or donate a portion of your profits to a sustainability-focused charity.



– Educate your employees and stakeholders

Finally, it’s important to educate your employees and stakeholders about your sustainability practices and values. 

By involving your employees in your sustainability initiatives, you can create a culture of sustainability within your organization and increase employee engagement and morale. 

You can also communicate your sustainability practices to stakeholders, such as investors and suppliers, to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and build trust with these important partners.





Integrating sustainability into your brand identity is an important step for businesses that want to appeal to socially responsible consumers, build trust with customers, and do their part to protect the planet. By defining your values and mission statement, assessing your environmental impact, communicating your sustainability efforts, incorporating sustainability into your product design, collaborating with sustainable partners, and educating your employees and stakeholders, you can create a strong, sustainable brand identity that sets your business apart from competitors and contributes to a better world.


How Sustainability Initiative Mapping Can Help Your Organization Achieve Its Sustainability Goals

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need for businesses to embrace sustainability and take action to reduce their environmental impact. But with so many different sustainability initiatives out there, it can be difficult for businesses to know where to start.


That’s where sustainability initiative mapping comes in. Sustainability initiative mapping is a process that helps businesses identify and prioritize their sustainability initiatives, map out their environmental, social, and economic impacts, and develop strategies to mitigate those impacts. Here’s a closer look at how sustainability initiative mapping can help your business achieve its sustainability goals.


Identifying Sustainability Opportunities


Sustainability initiative mapping helps businesses identify opportunities to improve their environmental performance and reduce their impact. One key aspect of this is that sustainability initiatives often require companies to look beyond their own operations and consider the broader environmental, social, and economic context in which they operate.


In other words, many sustainability initiatives require companies to look externally for solutions rather than developing something of their own that they can create an ecosystem around. For example, a company that wants to reduce its carbon footprint might need to work with suppliers to reduce emissions throughout the supply chain, invest in renewable energy sources, or partner with customers to encourage sustainable transportation options.


By mapping out your environmental impacts and considering the broader context in which you operate, you can identify areas where you can make changes to reduce your environmental impact, conserve resources, and minimize waste. This might involve exploring new technologies, collaborating with other companies or organizations, or engaging with customers and other stakeholders to identify new opportunities for sustainability.


Ultimately, by taking a proactive approach to sustainability initiative mapping, businesses can identify and prioritize the most effective and impactful initiatives, and develop strategies for implementing them in a way that is practical and achievable. This can help businesses not only reduce their environmental impact but also create value for customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders by addressing sustainability challenges and contributing to a more sustainable future.


Prioritizing Sustainability Initiatives


Once a company has identified sustainability opportunities through initiative mapping, the next step is to prioritize which initiatives to pursue. This can be a complex process, as there may be many initiatives to choose from, each with their own costs, benefits, and risks.


One way to prioritize sustainability initiatives is to focus on those that align with your company’s overall goals and values. For example, a company that values environmental stewardship may prioritize initiatives that reduce its carbon footprint or water usage, while a company that values social responsibility may prioritize initiatives that support local communities or improve working conditions in its supply chain.


Another approach is to assess the potential impact and feasibility of each initiative. This might involve conducting a cost-benefit analysis, assessing the level of stakeholder support, and evaluating the risks and challenges associated with each initiative. By weighing these factors against one another, a company can identify which initiatives are most likely to have a positive impact while also being achievable and cost-effective.


In some cases, prioritizing sustainability initiatives may require a trade-off between short-term financial goals and long-term sustainability goals. For example, a company may need to invest in renewable energy sources or sustainable production methods that have higher upfront costs but can deliver long-term cost savings and environmental benefits.


One example of prioritizing sustainability initiatives is Patagonia, an outdoor apparel company that has made sustainability a core part of its brand identity. In 2019, Patagonia announced that it would donate the $10 million it saved from tax cuts under the Trump administration to support grassroots environmental organizations. This decision aligned with the company’s values and demonstrated a commitment to investing in sustainability initiatives that have a positive impact beyond its own operations.


Ultimately, prioritizing sustainability initiatives requires a holistic approach that takes into account a company’s goals, values, stakeholders, and broader social and environmental context. By prioritizing sustainability initiatives, companies can not only reduce their environmental impact but also create value for their stakeholders and contribute to a more sustainable future.


Engaging With Stakeholders


Sustainability initiatives often involve engaging with a range of stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, investors, and local communities. By involving these groups in the sustainability process, companies can gain valuable insights, build stronger relationships, and create a shared sense of purpose and commitment towards sustainability.


One example of effective stakeholder engagement is Unilever, a global consumer goods company that has made sustainability a core part of its business strategy. Unilever engages with a range of stakeholders through its Sustainable Living Plan, which outlines a set of targets and commitments aimed at reducing the company’s environmental impact and improving social outcomes.


Through this plan, Unilever has engaged with suppliers to reduce their environmental impact, launched sustainable products to meet consumer demand, and collaborated with NGOs and governments to address social and environmental challenges. By engaging with stakeholders from a purpose perspective, Unilever has created a sense of shared responsibility towards sustainability and built trust and loyalty among its stakeholders.


Engaging with stakeholders also creates opportunities for innovation and growth. By listening to the needs and concerns of stakeholders, companies can identify new market opportunities, develop more sustainable products and services, and strengthen their brand reputation.


For example, outdoor clothing company Patagonia has engaged with its customers and employees to develop sustainable products and initiatives that align with its brand values. Through its Worn Wear program, Patagonia encourages customers to repair and reuse their clothing rather than buy new items, reducing waste and promoting a culture of sustainability. This program has not only reduced the company’s environmental impact but also created a loyal customer base that values sustainability.


Creating a Culture of Sustainability


Creating a culture of sustainability within a company means embedding sustainability into every aspect of its operations, from its core values to its daily practices. This involves creating a shared sense of purpose and commitment towards sustainability, and empowering employees to take ownership of sustainability initiatives.


Deep creativity freedom is a key element of creating a culture of sustainability. Companies that foster a culture of sustainability encourage employees to think creatively about how to reduce their environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future. By giving employees the freedom to explore new ideas and approaches, companies can tap into a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and drive innovation and growth.


One example of a company that has successfully created a culture of sustainability is Interface, a global manufacturer of commercial flooring. Interface has a mission to become a sustainable, restorative company, and has implemented a range of sustainability initiatives across its operations.


Interface has created a culture of sustainability by empowering its employees to take ownership of sustainability initiatives. The company encourages employees to think creatively about how to reduce their environmental impact, and has established a Sustainability Task Force to drive sustainability initiatives across its operations.


Interface has also embedded sustainability into its core values and business strategy. The company has set ambitious sustainability targets, such as becoming carbon negative by 2040, and has aligned its business model with the principles of the circular economy. By creating a culture of sustainability, Interface has not only reduced its environmental impact but also created a strong sense of purpose and commitment among its employees.


Relevance for today is another important aspect of creating a culture of sustainability. In today’s world, consumers and investors are increasingly focused on sustainability and are demanding that companies take action to address environmental and social challenges. By creating a culture of sustainability, companies can stay relevant and competitive in today’s market, and build a more sustainable and prosperous future.


Measuring and Reporting Progress


Measuring and reporting progress is essential for sustainability initiatives. It enables companies to track their performance, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to stakeholders. However, many organizations face limitations when it comes to transparency, such as concerns about disclosing sensitive information or uncertainty about what to measure and report.


Sustainability initiative mapping can help companies overcome these limitations. By developing their own sustainability initiatives, companies have more control over what they measure and report. They can tailor their sustainability initiatives to their unique circumstances and priorities, and report on progress in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their stakeholders.


Moreover, sustainability initiative mapping can help companies identify the most effective metrics for measuring and reporting progress. By engaging with stakeholders and understanding their priorities and expectations, companies can select the metrics that are most relevant and credible, and ensure that their reporting is transparent and accurate.


One example of a company that has used sustainability initiative mapping to measure and report progress is Danone, a multinational food products company. Danone has developed a comprehensive sustainability initiative called “One Planet, One Health”, which aims to create sustainable value for all stakeholders, including consumers, employees, suppliers, and communities.


As part of this initiative, Danone has set ambitious sustainability targets, such as achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and using 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The company regularly reports on its progress towards these targets, and has developed a sustainability reporting framework that is aligned with international standards and guidelines.


Through sustainability initiative mapping, Danone has been able to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, engage with stakeholders on sustainability issues, and identify areas for improvement. By reporting transparently on its sustainability performance, Danone has also built trust and credibility with its stakeholders, and strengthened its reputation as a responsible and sustainable company.



We strongly believe that sustainability initiative mapping is a game-changer for businesses. It not only helps them achieve their sustainability goals but also enables them to take meaningful action towards creating a more sustainable future. By identifying opportunities for improvement, prioritizing the most impactful initiatives, engaging with stakeholders, creating a culture of sustainability, and measuring progress, businesses can stay on track and hold themselves accountable. Through sustainability initiative mapping, businesses have the power to break free from the limitations of today’s transparency standards and chart their own course towards a better future. By taking these steps towards sustainability, your business can not only make a positive impact on the environment but also set itself up for long-term success.