S2 E15: How to Crack Business Growth With a Social Conscience, With Lara Hodgson, Now.

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How do you crack business growth and become an advocate for under-represented groups? Lara has the secret sauce that sets her apart as an entrepreneur and activist.

Lara and her Co-Founder Stacey Abrams are behind Now, an invoice payment solution that redefines when businesses get paid.

Nicole and Lara get into conversation about how they started Now to solve their own problem, why it takes intention to be an advocate for people whose voices are often left out, and the story of their entrepreneurial journey.

You’ll also hear why Lara and Stacey’s differences are their superpowers, why you don’t need a finance background to be successful in fintech, and more about their new book Level Up, a guide for entrepreneurs.

And our sponsor MainStreet is making it easy to find thousands of dollars worth of R&D Tax Credits. You only need to plug MainStreet into your payroll and let their team of experts do the heavy lifting, scanning hundreds of federal, state and local tax credits on your behalf. It’s going to save you so much time and your company so much money.

Head to MainStreet.com to sign up for their limited time offer.

And if you love listening to Humans of Fintech, please leave me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast: https://ratethispodcast.com/humansoffintech

Thank you so much!

Follow Lara:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/larahodgson

Twitter: twitter.com/NourishWater

You can keep up-to-date with everything Humans of Fintech at https://workweek.com/brand/wtfintech/

And if you’ve enjoyed Humans of Fintech why not try: Chicks of FinTwit, Tech Unlocked, Breaking Banks or Fintech Insider

How to Grow Your Business Ethically: Principles and Best Practices

Today’s consumers expect companies to be responsible, fair and honest. They want to know that the company stands for something other than profits. Customers are also much more willing to switch brands if they feel a company has betrayed their trust. If you want your business to thrive in today’s market, you need to grow your business ethically—and here’s how:

Be Transparent

Businesses that prioritize transparency have a built-in advantage over those who don't. When customers know everything about your company, they are less likely to feel invested and more inclined towards trusting your messaging.

You can build transparency into your company in a variety of ways. Start by creating a regular blog where you can share information about your industry, your company, and even the people who work for you. This can be a great way to showcase your values, as well as give potential customers a real-life look at who you are.

You can also be transparent with your customers by listing all of your business details on your website. This includes information such as your address, phone number, hours of operation, social media accounts, and even any certifications or awards you’ve received.

Run Responsibly

Your company’s operations should reflect your values as a company. If you are a socially responsible company, your manufacturing process should reflect that. If you do business in a way that is consistent with your values, customers are more likely to trust you.

When it comes to running a responsible business, there are a few areas to focus on: If you sell food, make sure that it’s sustainably sourced. If you sell clothing, make sure that it is ethically manufactured. If you sell services, make sure that your employees are fairly compensated and treated well. If you sell products, make sure that they are free of harmful substances. You can find ways to show customers that you care about more than just profit by adopting one or more of these practices.

Be Socially Responsible

Being socially responsible means that your company engages in philanthropic activities. It also means that you feature socially responsible products or services in your company. Of course, there are many ways to be socially responsible, by donating a portion of your profits to charitable causes, hosting volunteer events at your business and so on.

This also feeds into the ethos of transparency and reflects your commitment to showing a 'human first' approach to business.

Ethically-Made Goods

Consumers are more aware than ever about the potential dangers of certain clothing, food, and household products. Organically-sourced materials promote your commitment to sustainable preactice, sing about that on your website, it helps connect your values to that of your customers.

Be An Advocate

Finally, you need to make sure that you are an advocate for the things in which you truly believe. This can be anything from an industry to a political cause. If you support a cause, make sure that you talk about it in your marketing and on social media. You can also find ways to tie your support for a cause into your day-to-day operations. If you sell t-shirts, you can use them to spread the word about a cause you care about. You can also feature local causes on your site. For example, you can donate a certain percentage of your profits to a cause you believe in. This will show customers that you are an advocate and help you generate more business.

In Summation

If you want to grow your business ethically, you need to do more than just be a socially responsible company. You need to run your company in an environmentally responsible way, source ethically-made products, be an advocate for the causes you believe in, and be transparent about it all. Be the change you want to see in the world starting with your own business practices.

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