For Tim Frick and the team at Mightybytes, sustainability means more than trending on a Google search – it’s how they do business. A full-service creative firm for conscious companies in Chicago, Mightybytes provides branding, content strategy, and web based services to its clients along with being a certified B Corporation. They’re passionate about making a social impact with their work to make the world a better place, even if it happens, “just one small pixel at a time.”
1) How did your business get started?
After a brief career in corporate America I started freelancing in 1995, which eventually evolved into what is now Mightybytes. The freelance lifestyle was attractive to me due to the freedom it offered and the DIY philosophy of being an entrepreneur. Quality of life and doing impactful, cause-driven work I can be proud of is at the core of who I am as a person. We imbue those principles into all we do at Mightybytes.
2) How did you fund your business?
Mightybytes is an entirely bootstrapped company. It was started in a back bedroom and continues to thrive and grow because of the talent, drive and independent spirit of its team. As the product development side of our business grows and evolves, we will likely reach a time when we need outside investment. At that point we plan to take advantage of B Lab’s GIIRS analytics platform for impact investing. Any outside investors will have to be aligned with Mightybytes’ mission to provide not just shareholder, but stakeholder and environmental value. That’s where we draw our line in the sand. Being a certified B Corp helps us draw that line in a clear manner that others can understand. Being an Illinois Benefit Corp means that mission stays legally in place, regardless of whether company ownership changes hands.
3) Why did you file for a B-Corp over the traditional for-profit corporation and what do you love about it?
We had the more traditional corporate designation of S-Corp, but found that becoming first a certified B Corporation and then a legal Illinois Benefit Corporation allowed us to more effectively align our aspirations with our business model. We were already a very sustainably-focused company with a large cadre of cause-driven clients such as nonprofit organizations, museums, educational publishers, arts organizations, and so on. The framework provided by B Lab’s B Impact Assessment offers a great set of tools for continual evaluation of company performance on all levels as well as a roadmap for ongoing improvement. We’re a creative company and this framework allows us to put that creativity to work in devising new and unique ways to be a better corporate citizen.
4) What advice would you give today’s entrepreneurs on how to run a B-Corp?
It’s simple common sense, really. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, customers want to know they are doing business with companies who operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Innovations like smartphones and social media enforce a level of transparency the likes of which the world has never seen before. That transparency is already built into the B Corp model. So walk the walk: be transparent, treat everyone well, act in good conscience. Prosperity will follow.
5) What do you see for the future of Mightybytes and for the Benefit Corporation movement?
The Benefit Corporation movement will continue to grow and build momentum, bringing its message of environmental stewardship and social responsibility to more and more businesses around the world. As the community grows, we plan to grow along with it and help other B Corporations thrive in whatever way we can. When B Corps join together we collectively become a powerful force that makes a real, measurable difference in how business is done until eventually B Corps represent the majority of businesses and not the minority.
Connect with Mightybytes on their website, Facebook page, on Twitter @Mightybytes, YouTube, and Pinterest. Get to know more about Tim on his Google+ page and on Twitter @timfrick.
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