When you’re building a business, there’s a giant list of things that you measure to check you’re on the right path.
Fortunately for us, we’ve had a solid idea of what that path should look like since the start of the Nous journey.
We’ve always wanted to build a business that is on the side of consumers, which has a positive societal impact, and acts as a force for good.
We also wanted to solve a problem. Bills.
It’s an ugly problem that’s costing us all dearly in money and in hours. Almost all of us are paying more than we should, and/or spending more time than we want to.
Unfortunately, companies are all too aware of this, and are more than happy to shunt people onto an unfair deal as soon as they miss a renewal date or forget about a contract ending.
We started Nous to fix this problem and to make life simpler and fairer for everyone. We now have a product that’s doing just that.
Our household money-saving tool saves our members many hundreds of pounds and hours of time by managing their bills, finding fairer deals and handling the hassle of switching.
We give our members any commissions we earn from switching them, boosting the amount they save, keeping things fair, and allowing us to always stay on their side.
And through Nous for Business, we offer a way for companies to make every employee better off.
Of course, we want Nous to be profitable as we go about doing all this. But we want to make sure that profit-seeking never comes at the expense of helping people win at a game that’s rigged against them.
In setting out on this route, the question arose as to how exactly we could prove that we were doing what we said we would.
It’s hardly controversial to say that setting targets and monitoring whether you’re meeting them is essential to ensure you’re achieving your aims as a business. Perhaps even more importantly, doing so establishes the areas where you need to change and improve.
We wanted to work out the best way to measure success when it comes to questions that might not have a black-and-white answer, that you can’t always rank on a scale of one to ten.
Early on we decided that marking our own homework wasn’t the best way forward. We set out to find a set of expert-designed standards that we could strive to meet, and to prove we were doing what we set out to do.
That’s why I’m delighted to announce that Nous is now B Corp Certified.
B Corps are organisations that are committed to making the world a better place. They solve social and environmental challenges through the business that they do, and each has made a commitment not to seek profit at the expense of all else.
It wasn’t easy to join the ranks. We completed a detailed, independently-verified audit – The B Impact Assessment – to give us a scorecard of our impact. We were rated in a number of areas, from how well we take care of our workforce to how much we give back to the community.
Completing the process was a whole-team effort (including a particularly herculean shift from my colleague Lydia). It involved input from numerous ‘nousmates’, and one seriously epic spreadsheet. And it doesn’t stop now. Being a B Corp holds us to account, and there are rigorous standards that we are now committed to upholding in the future.
The Nous mission
Becoming a B Corp has cemented our commitment to succeeding as a company and as a force for good. To do both of those things, we need to be improving our members’ lives.
In short, if we aren’t saving our members time and money, they won’t be members for very long. And if we’re not saving them time and money, we’re not solving the very problem we set out to fix.
Luckily, the evidence is stacking up to show we’re managing it.
The money and time we’ve saved people is helping out in a variety of ways. Some have used the cash for holidays, or have put money aside for house deposits or for their children’s savings pots. Others have splashed out on their pets. We’ve eased the stress of moving house and freed up time for getting fit.
Without going too mushy, seeing examples like these makes coming to work every morning worthwhile.
The last 18 months have been tough for so many families, and knowing that we’re able to ease that burden is extremely rewarding. At a time when households are facing record hits to their disposable income, it feels good to know that we’re able to do our bit to make things a bit less painful.
We know that we’re putting money back into people’s pockets to spend on the things that matter to them, and giving them back time to enjoy it. We know that people are willing to pay us to do that.
And Now, by upholding the B Corp standards, we’re also making sure that we’re doing good as we do business.
No-one should be dealing with the cost-of-living crisis all alone. We’re building a new service to liberate households from drudgery and make people’s lives simpler and fairer.