What’s your (x)? It’s a question that Nancy Goldstein, Founder and Chief Strategist at Compass(x) Strategy likes to ask her clients in order to help companies overcome their most difficult marketing and growth strategies and put something good, useful, and powerful into the world. And while Compass(x) has been a proud certified B Corporation since 2011, the business was initially an LLC and Goldstein originally worked in brand management – not exactly in the same world as the one the B-Corp resides in!
Today we asked Nancy five questions about her B-Corp and discovered more about the journey she and her business took on their way to becoming B Corporation certified and why marketing is no longer about what your company does, but rather everything that you are.
1. How did you get started?
I started Compass(x) Strategy in 2009, after a long career in brand management marketing breakfast pastries, taco shells and fluted ceramic bakeware followed by a few years at a brand strategy consulting firm. While I enjoyed the work and the strategic thinking, it left me feeling somewhat empty. So, I decided to start a new type of consulting firm where I could use my skills for good.
2. How did you fund your business?
Starting a professional services firm doesn’t involve a lot of start up costs if you can keep your overhead low – I was fortunate to be able to self-fund the business.
3. Why did you pick a B-Corp over the traditional for-profit corporation? What do you love about it?
Having left the corporate world, many people didn’t understand what I was trying to do. Finding out about the BCorp community was exciting! It was gratifying to know I wasn’t the only person that was thinking this way about business. There were many other business leaders that were trying to run profitable businesses while making a positive impact. I really wanted to be a part of this community. I took the Impact Assessment and was certified in 2011. At that time, Compass(x) Strategy was an LLC. A year or so later, the movement began to change the corporate laws in states to allow companies to change their corporate status and become a Benefit Corporation. This was an important next step as it provided entrepreneurs both legal protection and accountability for pursuing their company’s goals beyond maximizing profit. I got on board to help make that a reality in Illinois. We changed our corporate structure to a Corporation so that we could become one of the first Illinois Benefit Corporations in January of this year.
4. What advice would you give today’s entrepreneurs on how to run a B-Corp?
In today’s digital world, marketing is no longer what you say your company does. It is everything that you are. People have more access to information and are interested in the company behind the products. Companies with BCorp certification have proven that they are more than just good marketers, they are truly great companies. At Compass(x), that gives us an advantage. Plus, the BCorp community is fantastic. I am surrounded by people who are not just talking about making the world better, but are actually doing something about it.
5. Where do you the future of Compass(x)Strategy and the Benefit Corporation movement headed?
It has been really gratifying to see this movement continue to grow. Increasingly, companies making a positive impact are not just viewed as legitimate, but as role models. And I love that Compass(x) is a vital part of that movement. As a company we are excited about the next few years. We continue to get exciting and interesting projects and develop new tools to help our clients create predictable and scaleable growth. That’s what we want – to use our skills for good. The fact that I get to do that every day is pretty great!
Are you a B-Corporation that would like to be featured on our blog? Or an expert in B-Corps? Email Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!