B Corp certification is on the rise. There are now 2,000 B Corps in the UK, and over 8,700 in the world – and in March 2023, we were proud to become one of them.

We believe in business as unusual and we are on a mission to not only uphold B Corp’s high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability ourselves, but encourage others to do the same.

If you want to know how to become a B Corp, here’s a deep dive into everything we’ve learned along the way.

TLDR:

Why become a B Corp?

There’s no getting around the fact that B Corp certification does take a lot of time and effort – as it should do. So before you start out on the process, it’s good to remind yourself about why you want to do it. 

Naturally one key reason will be validating the efforts you’re already making as a values-led business. The process will also give you a framework for increasing those efforts and having an even greater impact on people and the planet.

“The benchmarking aspect was a real driver for me,” says RH&Co founder Rin. “I wanted to know what good looks like, so we can aim for that in all we do as a business. Understanding where we’ve got gaps, where we’re not doing as well as we could, is the best way to challenge ourselves to be better this year than we were last year.”

And there are harder business benefits too. According to the latest stats, between 2017 and 2020 B Corps saw average turnover growth of 26% compared to the national average of 5%, and between 2018 and 2021 B Corps saw an average employee headcount growth of 14% compared to the national average of 1%. All useful to know if you need to get buy-in from any of your more commercially focused colleagues.

What does becoming a B Corp involve?

Now let’s look at the process. In a nutshell, there are three main steps:

  1. Complete the B Impact Assessment to get your initial score
  2. Create and collate the evidence needed to back up your assertions
  3. Go through the review process and receive your final score

As part of the assessment and evidence process, you’ll need to change your company’s articles of association in order to build your commitment to people and planet into your legal structure, protecting it now and in the future. 

The B Impact Assessment

The assessment is made up of around 200 questions that cover 12 months of operations across five key impact areas: governance, environment, customers, community and workforce. You’ll be asked everything from how you track customer satisfaction to what the ratio is between the highest and lowest salaries in your organisation.

You’ll need to get over 80 points to certify and you’ll need to recertify every three years, during which time the standards are likely to go up – so you can’t just rest on your laurels. 

Gathering evidence

This is where the real work comes in. In general, you’ll find yourself needing to do three things:

Submission and membership fees

You’ll need to pay a £250 fee when you submit your application to show that you’re committed to the verification process. Then once you’ve certified, you’ll need to pay an annual membership fee, which is weighted depending on your revenue, starting at £1,000 for business turning over less than £150,000 per year and going up to £50,000 for those turning over £750m to £1bn.

How long does certification take?

Realistically, you should expect the entire process to take up to a year. We started in March 2022. It took us three months to complete the B Impact Assessment and gather enough evidence to feel confident that we would reach the required score.

We were then in a queue for our review for 9 months, during which time we continued to work on evidence gathering. Around 4-6 weeks before our interview, our verification analyst began asking for additional pieces of evidence, and then the interview itself took around half an hour. We heard back on our final score within a few days.

Tip 01: Get buy-in from your team

While you’ll need one person or team to take ownership of the project, B Corp certification is a whole-business effort. Everyone has a part to play, whether that be your IT or procurement lead choosing to buy reconditioned tech from a local supplier, or the finance department processing supplier invoices in good time, or HR ensuring that their recruitment policy encourages diversity.

There’s no point having a cycle to work scheme in place if no one uses it, or having recycling bins if everyone prints more documents than they actually need to. Remember, being a B Corp is about more than window dressing. Your values have to be lived not just written down on the About page of your website. If you haven’t got a B Corp culture, you’re really going to struggle to get the certification, and rightly so.

“I had no idea what B Corp was all about before we started our application process but going through the certification process really opened up my eyes to how important it is,” says RH&Co Sales & Marketing Assistant Ingrid Morgan.

“In a world where so many companies are doing business the wrong way – treating employees unfairly, damaging the environment, putting profit above anything else – I’m proud to be working for an organisation that is taking a stand and doing things the right way.”

Tip 02: Find a system and stick to it

B Corp certification is largely an evidence-based process. You can’t just answer the questions, you have to back those answers up. And remember, there are 200 of them. That’s 200 process documents, evidence logs, survey summaries and more.

As a result, it’s important to create a system that works for you so that you can track what’s been done, what still needs to be done, who is doing what, where relevant files are and so on.

“You do need to be organised,” says Liz Leaman, RH&Co’s Operations Director and our lead on the B Corp project. “Make sure you break things down into bite sized chunks. Set yourself a section to do every week and just keep plugging away at it, bit by bit. It might take you months but that’s ok.”

Tip 03: Use tech to make tracking and reporting easier

B Corp certification involves gathering and monitoring a lot of data. For some tasks, a good old spreadsheet might be enough but there is plenty of tech out there designed to make it easier to monitor your sustainability journey.

For example, we’ve been using Giki Zero to track our personal carbon footprints. Each of us has a Giki profile where we’ve answered a series of questions about our habits ranging from the type of transport we use to the type of food we eat. This initial setup gives us our individual carbon footprint. From there we can try out ‘steps’ – categorised by type and impact size – to improve our score, whether that be something as simple as using the eco setting on the washing machine or as complex as installing solar panels.

RH&Co copywriter James Matthews says: “I was pretty nervous about tracking my carbon footprint at first, since I don’t have the option to make a major change like replacing my boiler or installing a heat pump. But Giki is great at giving practical suggestions everyone can take, like unsubscribing from junk mailing lists. Once you start taking small actions and seeing your score change, you start wondering if there are bigger steps you can take after all.”

Tip 04: There’s no need to go it alone

If there’s one thing B Corp does well, it’s community. So why not get into the habit of working together during the certification process? You’ll find most B Corps are very willing to answer questions and share advice, and there are also specially trained B Leaders who have been equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to support businesses on their B Corp journey.

We worked with Andy Hawkins of Business On Purpose, who runs small group cohorts on a regular basis. Getting involved in these sessions not only helped us to understand the assessment process and gave us a chance to ask questions when we weren’t clear, it also allowed us to share that journey with others in a similar circumstance and learn from their experiences.

“I really enjoyed our sessions with Andy and the rest of the businesses who were going for their B Corp certification,” says RH&Co’s Project Administrator, Kassi Marshall, who supported Liz on our B Corp project. “It kept us motivated and accountable, and it was good to feel like we were part of something bigger.”

Tip 05: Remember, becoming a B Corp is not a one-off process

If you’re thinking that B Corp certification is a quick win marketing exercise, think again. Sure, earning the right to put the B Corp logo next to yours will most likely win you points in the eyes of a values-driven audience – but if that’s the main goal then you’re unlikely to get far.

B Corp certification tests your mettle in a way that goes well beyond the surface. You can’t just appear to be doing good, you actually have to prove it. As an example, we’ve always recycled in the office. But that wasn’t enough. First, we had to submit a photo of our recycling bins to prove we’re doing what we say. And we now also track how much rubbish goes into each bin – landfill vs recycling – and have targets to reduce the landfill amount.

Rin says, “For us certification was just the first step. The real goal of being a B Corp is to keep making progress, as well as encouraging others to do the same.”

More information and how to get started

B Corp has a huge number of resources available to help you through every step of your certification process but we’ve found that sometimes so much information can be overwhelming! There are also a number of microsites, which adds to the confusion.

So here are some of the key pages you’ll need to get started:

B Lab UK home page

B Impact Assessment

B Lab UK FAQs

B Lab UK pricing page

If you still feel that B Corp certification is for you and your business, we wish you the very best on your journey. It’s an awesome community and an enormously worthwhile step in your sustainability journey. If you’ve got any questions about our experience of the process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to run a copywriting agency? We asked RH&Co founder Rin to give us an insight into a typical day, with all its ups, downs and unexpected turns, plus what she does to try and keep it all on track.

One of the things I crave most in my life is variety. That’s why I started my career as a journalist. I loved arriving at my desk each morning, not knowing whether I was going to be interviewing a celebrity, covering a local court case or heading down the motorway to cover the opening of a new arts centre.

My job isn’t quite as exciting these days but there’s still a fun mix of activities in any given week as an agency owner. Here’s what life usually looks like for me on an average day – whatever one of those is!

Getting prepared for the day

My alarm usually goes off anywhere between 6:30 and 7am, depending on how much quiet time I want before the kids get up. If I’m being good, I’ll choose the earlier option and make sure to get some journaling, reading or meditation time in before everyone else is awake.

Then it’s time for the madness that is getting everyone fed and dressed and ready for the day. If you’ve ever had to watch a six-year-old eat a bowl of dry Cheerios one at a time when you’re on the clock, you’ll understand why meditation is such a good idea.

By 8:30am my children have headed off to school with my partner – I am inordinately grateful for his flexible freelance schedule, which means he can do more than his fair share of childcare and home management while I work full time.

This first half hour at my desk is dedicated to checking my emails and getting my tasks sorted out for the day. I use Trello to organise my to-do list and have a Default Diary spreadsheet that allows me to view my whole month in one go. It’s colour coded so I can instantly see what proportion of each week is dedicated to strategy, meetings, client delivery and so on.

If this all sounds very organised, don’t be fooled. I’m naturally very creative and reactive and not at all organised, so I’ve had to work incredibly hard to create systems that keep me efficient and effective.

Internal meetings and looking after the team

In 2021, the RH&Co team grew from 5 to 9 people. As a result – and because we’re still operating remotely for the moment – it became necessary for us to put some sort of structure in place that would allow me to catch up with everyone regularly. 

We’ve always had a weekly team meeting on a Monday but we now also have various departmental meetings on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, depending on what’s needed. This means I always know what’s happening with our finances, our client projects, our own marketing and our writers, even if I’m not directly involved with those things myself.

My fellow director Liz and I also use 15 minute ‘LIONs’ meetings (something we learned from Action Coach) to keep in touch with individual team members each week. As well as going through what happened Last week, any Issues, Opportunities and what they’re up to Next week, it’s good to just have that bit of face to face time and connect as human beings.

Client delivery – working in the business

The holy grail for business owners is to step out of ‘doing the do’ and focus entirely on strategy and leadership. I’ve certainly been shifting the balance over the last couple of years but it’s not quite time for me to down tools just yet.

My role still includes a fair amount of consultancy and training work, covering brand voice and messaging as well as content strategy. I’m also RH&Co’s floating jack of all trades, so at any given time I might get called in to take a briefing if an account manager is ill, for example, or edit a piece of work if our senior copywriter and editor has too much on his plate.

At the moment I’m working on creating a training programme for one of our clients, to help around 60 individuals in their marketing and commissioning teams improve their persuasive writing skills. It’s always tricky trying to work out what level to pitch things at, as there will be a range of experience levels and I want to ensure everyone stays engaged throughout.

Taking a break – the importance of lunch time

I’ll admit, I’m not always very good at taking a proper lunch break. If it weren’t for my other half very kindly making me something to eat, I’d probably forget half the time. But my schedule has an hour blocked out for lunch from 12:30 to 1:30pm – 30 minutes to relax and eat, and 30 minutes to learn something.

I’ve doubled down on my efforts to stick to this schedule recently because I know how beneficial it is to inject some rest and inspiration into the middle of my day. Whether I’m reading a personal or professional development book, watching a Ted talk or listening to a podcast (one of my favourites is 2Bobs with David C Baker and Blair Enns), I always find I start my afternoon feeling genuinely refreshed.

I’ve just finished reading The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel, am almost done with Agencynomics by Spencer Gallagher & Pete Hoole and am just starting The Future Starts Here: An Optimistic Guide to What Comes Next by John Higgs. If you have any recommendations, hit me up on LinkedIn.

Sales and strategy afternoons

Afternoons are usually set aside for dealing with two of my most important tasks as an agency owner: Sales and Strategy. 

I still find it quite strange to describe myself as a sales person, because I’m really not at all what you’d typically expect if you watch something like The Apprentice (or Only Fools And Horses!). 

The way I look at it, we offer a service that many businesses genuinely need. During a sales call, my job is to find out what their challenge is and whether we can help them within their timeframe and budget. It’s not about trying to convince anyone to spend money on something they don’t need.

Strategy is my catch all phrase for all of the ‘on the business’ work I do, and it’s probably the bit I find most challenging and most fun, depending on how it’s going. It can cover anything from reviewing our marketing or pricing strategy to putting together ideas for how to develop our client management team or expand our writing team.

Recently I spent several days creating the RH&Co ‘blogging playbook’, a 7,500 word document that brings together everything I have learned about blogging over my years as a journalist and copywriter. Right now it’s an internal tool but I suspect it will end up becoming part of a book one day.

When it all goes wrong

Of course, my Default Diary can only ever be a goal to aim for. Inevitably things come up that threaten to derail my carefully constructed plans and sometimes there’s no way around them. If a big new client wants to talk about a lucrative new contract at a moment’s notice, I’m hardly going to refuse. Likewise if one of the team has a problem, I’ll always make myself available to talk.

And let’s not pretend that I’m always as self disciplined as I should be. The worst days are usually the ones where I let the ‘urgent’ jobs get in the way of the important ones, or when social media, email and general faffing about keeps me from doing what I actually need to do.

I can be a terrible procrastinator, especially when a job feels a bit scary or I don’t quite know where to start, and my big goal for this year is to get better at ‘eating the frogs’ and prioritising ‘deep work’ (if you haven’t read them, I highly recommend Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy and Deep Work by Cal Newport).

Shutting off for the day

When I first started my business I was a single mum with 9-month-old twins working part time in whatever blocks of time I could find – when I had childcare, when the babies napped or in the evenings – pretty much seven days a week.

Today I work full time but am very strict about finishing at 5pm so that, even though I can’t pick them up from school, I can sit with my girls while they have their dinner and find out how their day went and then get them ready for bed.

I try to finish up any meetings by 4:30pm so I have that final half hour to check any last emails and tie up loose ends. When I do, I find I can switch off more easily and I’m far less likely to wake up in the night thinking, “Did I actually do X?”

Being an agency owner is something that happened almost by accident, without me really knowing what I was getting into. But I have to admit, I really enjoy it. Every day is different and, although it’s not without its stress, it is satisfying to be in charge of my own destiny.

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Isn’t the quality of writing subjective? Why should I care about the personality of my copywriter? Our #EditorInResidence, Sam Whitlock, reflects on what he’s learned from coaching writers this year. 

I used to spend most of my time writing. These days, I spend almost as much time reading the work of others and talking to them about it. 2021 was a year of putting down the pen and learning to coach university students, mentor interns and teach RH&Co’s small team of trusted freelance writers.

 Somehow a lecturer and a friend also duped me into marking a mega drop of university coursework. And sometimes I can still feel the headache. But hey, that’s how I get my kicks – and at least I learned a few things along the way.

1. Writing is a science

When I told people I was handing out marks to student writers, some people asked, “But how do you do that? Writing is so subjective, isn’t it?” 

Well, after placing a grade on 40ish student writer submissions, I passed them over to a second marker. They proceeded to give them the same marks, give or take a point or two. We had our own preferences but the margins weren’t wide at all.

While writing leaves room for subjectivity, it’s not merely a matter of opinion. Disagree? Let me point you to my friend: neuroscience. 

Our brains chemically respond more to some sentences more than others. Is the writing short, clean and clear? Good, you’ll create processing fluency. Does it have a strong rhythm and cadence? You’ll hear it even if you’re not reading it aloud. Does it pick a route using an audience’s existing frames of reference? Your cognitive shortcuts will give the reader less time to get bored and look away. 

One of the most rewarding tricks is surprise. To create it properly you need to subtly subvert a person’s existing frame of reference (sometimes called a schema). Twist too far and you’ll miss the point. Play off the reader’s expectations just right and you’ll release dopamine, shift neocortical patterns and even reinforce long-term memory. 

It’s like magic, except it’s science – and an art. Some of the best copywriters I’ve coached are more instinctive about these things but they’re still able to pull a new animal out of the hat every time. 

“The best writers I’ve coached haven’t just been able to write like you. They’re able to draw on their understanding of adjacent industries, ask the right questions and begin to think like you too. ”

2. Not every ghostwriter is invisible

 No matter what brand they’re writing for, every writer I’ve worked with leaves their own fingerprints on the page – but some know how to press more lightly than others.

There are a lot of good writers that have a go-to formula for sentence composition. And they’ll use it every time, regardless of context. You’ll see the same turn of phrase, the same writing rhythm or the same metaphors creep into their work, regardless of whether they’re selling flower arrangements or HR consultancy.

But some writers are natural ghosts. I’ve seen them adapt their voice to sound just like the director general of the National Trust. Or shapeshift into the guise of a certain consultant. Or evoke the distinct personality of a founder. Just as a voice actor can play the role of Mrs Doubtfire, these writers can fade into the background almost anywhere – perhaps advising you on your housework, or maybe on your career in law.

However….

3. Not every copywriter needs to be invisible

Not every brand has a distinct personality yet. A company might be at an early growth stage, or they might just never have locked in their brand tone of voice guidelines. Or they might have adopted a generic businessy voice that doesn’t actually resonate with their target audience. 

It’s here that you want more than an absence of writer fingerprints.

Some of my favourite experiences are when a writer passes me work that snaps me out of my reverie, inspires me or even makes me laugh out loud. And it’s because they’re using what in rhetoric is called using ethos to create a sense of arête – a relatability or likeability.

In other words, they’re using their own voice to turn up the heat on a company’s personality. And they warm me to a brand I felt previously indifferent towards, along with the target audience of the piece. So while not every ghostwriter is invisible, not every copywriter needs to be.

4. Good writing is easy; good thinking is hard 

 Shifting gears, I’ve noticed that sometimes a writer’s best quality isn’t their writing. Good writers can often get away with relying on rhetorical devices, deft turns of phrase and an instinctive grasp of tone of voice. But when you’re dealing with expert-led businesses, that’s often not enough.  

The best writers I’ve coached haven’t just been able to write like you. They’re able to draw on their understanding of adjacent industries, ask the right questions and begin to think like you too. Sure, they might not understand the intricacies of data science until you tell them. But with just enough explanation, they can create new roads between the expertise you have and the issues your audience cares about.

As we’ve written about before, outsourcing your blog to the right people doesn’t just help establish your expertise, it builds it. You’re not just inviting someone to get words down on a page and out into the world. You’re inviting an outside perspective to help you join the dots in new ways – and articulate your expertise in ways that will be convincing, refreshing and even exciting to readers. It’s fair to say that you’re not just buying words.

5. You can teach people how to write 

Honestly, I’m pretty hot on this one. Sure, not everyone who undertakes a writing course is going to turn out the winner of the next Man Booker Prize. But a solid routine of learning, writing, receiving feedback and writing again will elevate anyone’s words to another level. 

One of the best moments I had this year was when a writer, who was always clear and concise, learned how to leave some personality on the page. A second was when a writer abandoned cliche descriptions of an Italian city for their own original ideas. A third was when a writer drew on what they’d learned about UX design and began to invent knockout one-liners about a highly technical product.

You can’t hack expert copywriting. While some people instinctively know their way around a good sentence, it still takes years to learn to make writing (and the thinking behind it) land with audiences every time. 

But it can be taught. I’ve seen it. The best writers aren’t usually born that way, they’re the ones who have learned the most from the editors, clients and readers they work with. Even as an editor, I still have an editor. And I wouldn’t trust my own words if I didn’t.

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Around 60% of businesses never make it to their fifth birthday. As we reach this important milestone, Rin looks back on some of the important factors she believes have helped us to beat the odds.

This month RH&Co turns five. I say this month because I can’t remember the exact day. I can’t remember an awful lot from that period in my life, to be honest. I was single-parenting 9-month-old twins at the time, so I spent most days in a fog of feeding and changing and bashing out the odd email or blog post in between.

If you’d have walked down my street around then, you may well have seen me in the front passenger seat of my car, tapping away at my laptop while the babies slept in the back. Or I might have been asleep too, my head lolling against the window. Goodness knows what my neighbours must have thought.

Things have come a long way since then. We’re now a team of six with two more starting in September and job ads out for two more. We have clients around the world, we’ve won awards, attended events at Number 10 Downing Street and the House of Lords…

If you’d predicted any of those things when we got started, I would have laughed in your face. I know you’re supposed to start a business with a strategy and a vision and a plan of some sort, but honestly I started mine with little more than bullheaded determination to make it work.

Luckily, I’ve learned a lot along the way….

Surround yourself with people who understand

About a month or two before I launched RH&Co, I was invited to a networking group called Freelance Mum where you could (and still can) bring your kids along. Bored of baby groups full of mums on mat leave talking about the benefits of baby led weaning and whether or not to try sleep training, I gave it a go.

Being surrounded by other mums juggling kids and running a business was both encouraging and inspiring. These women got it! They loved their children but they had other passions to follow too. They made me feel normal and they became my cheerleaders as well. I’m still friends with them today.

My business has changed since then though. So now I have a monthly Zoom catch up with a small group of female founders who all have teams of between 5 and 15 people and who are dealing with many of the same issues as I am. Again, our meetings inspire and encourage me, helping me to see that it’s not just me.

Running a business can be so lonely at times. It really does pay to have people around who understand.

Actively pursue knowledge

One of the best things that happened to me as a new business owner was hearing about what was then called Entrepreneurial Spark and is now the Natwest Accelerator. I started on the programme when the agency was just six months old and was thrown headfirst into one of the steepest learning curves of my life.

I learned from my mentor (thank you, Andy!). I learned from other business owners on the programme. I learned from the many experts they brought in to talk us through the first steps (and next steps) in everything from recruitment and finance to growth mindset and resilience.

I’ve continued to learn since, devouring books, podcasts and webinars, attending conferences and simply talking to other people. I genuinely believe that everyone has something to teach me – even if it’s what not to do.

I think a lot of founders feel a pressure to know everything, but to me there’s nothing as important as being teachable and prioritising your own development. 

“Don’t try to be all things to all people. Understand what you do best and keep getting better at it. ”

Understand what your zone of genius is 

This is something that works at both an individual and a business level. Just as we need to remember that we don’t always know everything, it’s also important to admit where your weaknesses lie. 

I am not an especially organised person. I’m more about creative ideas and enthusiasm than Gantt charts and forecasts. While we should always be developing ourselves, there are times when we need to stay within our ‘zone of genius’ and let others operate in theirs. 

Learning to delegate has been one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in business and I’m so pleased to have incredibly talented people in my team who are far better at their role than I would be.

The business equivalent of this philosophy of staying in your zone of genius is strong positioning – check out the amazing work of David C Baker for everything you need to know on that subject. 

As a copywriting agency, we could write anything for anyone. But we don’t. We don’t write advertising copy or press releases or leaflets or tenders. Instead, we help expert-led businesses to clarify and communicate their message and establish their expertise through content.

Don’t try to be all things to all people. Understand what you do best and keep getting better at it. 

Trust the marketing process

There is so much content out there promising a quick fix for generating leads. But the truth is that there is no rushing business development.

We ramped up our content marketing efforts around the middle of 2019, increasing our blog frequency (from fortnightly to weekly), social media presence (from posting ad hoc to three times a week) and newsletter output (from monthly to fortnightly). 

For six months, although engagement was good, we didn’t see much in the way of that translating into leads.

As 2020 started, however, things began to shift. And with the exception of the first couple of months of lockdown, our revenue has increased steadily month on month ever since. In the last financial year turnover was up 55% on the year before, and we’re on track to significantly better that this year.

Overnight successes are rare. Create a solid marketing strategy and then give it time to work. Tweak your tactics, by all means, but don’t chuck the baby out with the bathwater just because you don’t see overnight results.

Don’t be afraid to fire a client

When we were first starting out, I was so grateful to anyone who wanted to use our services that I didn’t stop to think too hard about whether I enjoyed working with them. As a result, I was involved with a fair few projects that caused way more stress than they were worth.

In a creative services business like ours, bad clients usually fall into one of three categories. 

There are those who simply don’t value you and who expect you to jump when they say so. There are those who say all the right things but then disregard your advice and insist on doing things their own way. 

And then there are the really sweet and lovely clients who are nevertheless so needy that they end up taking far more time than you’d budgeted for – something the authors of Content Fortress refer to as the ‘damsel in distress’ client.

While we’re making an effort to not include any of these in our client base, it is the first group that is an absolute no-no for me. If a client treats anyone in my team with anything other than the respect they deserve, I won’t hesitate to walk away, no matter how much they contribute to my bottom line.

Running a business is hard. Surely one upside should be getting to choose who you work with?

Never stop dreaming

When I started this business, I didn’t have a vision or a mission. Five years later, I have finally articulated both.

VISION To help individuals and organisations achieve their dreams using the power of words.

MISSION To build a market-leading agency that demonstrates the highest business practices, delivers tangible results for our clients, and is a great place to work.

It’s not all that complicated when you look at it like that. But one thing the last five years have taught me is that just because something isn’t complicated, doesn’t make it easy to achieve. These are big dreams.

Luckily, I still have that same bullheaded determination to make it work. And I think maybe that’s another thing to add to the list of things you need in order to succeed in business. A belief in yourself that you can do it.

And you know what? I think you can.

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Our newest team member, project administrator Kassi Marshall, opens up about a host of important topics, from mental health to the LGBTQ+ community and the positive power of pink hair!

Where are you from and how did you end up in Bristol?

I was born and grew up in Bath and went to school there. I think we moved to Bristol when I was 11. I’ve lived in Bristol longer than in Bath now so I would consider myself Bristolian. 

I think my favorite thing about the city is the variety of people and places. My boyfriend and I just moved into a new flat and when we walk around it’s so quiet, you can hear the birds singing, you wouldn’t think you’re in Bristol at all. But then 10 minute walk the other way and you’re in the city centre.

What did you dream of being when you were a kid?

When I was younger I did gymnastics and ballet and really wanted to be a ballerina. In my teens, I was rebellious – well, I thought I was rebellious – and wanted to be in a rock band. I had singing lessons and took up guitar but I didn’t get very far! And then when I was leaving school I thought about teaching, but then went and studied drama. I was very indecisive.

I actually fell into admin through temping and realised I’m not only good at it but I really enjoy it. Which is weird, because in my personal life I’m completely disorganised. And I don’t exactly look like an administrator. My last job was as a legal support assistant at a law firm.

Your hair is definitely one of your stand out features – is it always pink?

I’ve had my hair lots of different colours. I’ve always been the weird one and I embrace that wholeheartedly. My friends and I never really fit in at school and I was bullied terribly. For a while I tried to fit in but slowly I came to accept the fact that I was different. 

The moment I left school I put blue streaks through my hair and got my first tattoo as soon as I was old enough. I just feel better with bright hair and tattoos, more me.

What are your go-to hobbies when you’re not at work?

I’m really into craft, especially cross stitch. I also like working with epoxy resin, making jewellery and trinket trays and things like that. Both started as hobbies and grew from there, so I now have a small Etsy shop where I sell my work. 

I do a bit of knitting and crochet too, although I’m terrible at it! But I do love to sew and do quilting. A friend of mine has a degree in costume design and makes a lot of outfits for drag queens, and I had a 1-to-1 session with her to make a gorgeous skirt.

Other than that I play video games, watch Netflix and enjoy spending as much time as I can with family. My mum, my sister and I are all very close and message every day.

You’ve used your craft shop to raise money for Pride – why is the community so important to you?

I’m always very open about being part of the LGBTQ+ community and I’m passionate about representation. It’s important to me to be a voice. I never used to be, I used to get imposter syndrome – I’m in a straight presenting relationship, and I am quite femme-presenting. But I think it’s important to be able to talk about being non-binary and all that entails.

In my last job, which was at a law firm, I wrote an article for the company intranet about why Pride is important to me. I was worried about what people might say but everyone was really respectful and asked really relevant questions. It helped me realise I do have a voice.

What other subjects are you passionate about?

I’ve struggled with my mental health, so that’s another thing I’m quite open about. I have anxiety and depression, and I’m neurodivergent. 

I think there’s a taboo around talking about how you feel but as soon as you open up, people can start to understand more about how you experience the world. Learning to communicate effectively about how I feel has significantly helped.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Do good recklessly” – I have it tattooed on my right arm. It’s a quote from my favourite podcast, The Adventure Zone, which I’ve listened to four times through now! The quote is something I like to live by. It’s not about being reckless, it’s about not holding back on doing good. Do good whenever you can, at every opportunity. I like that.

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