Bear Paw Creative officially opened for business on April 18, 2021. We set out to be a creative branding shop. We made a promise to devote a significant portion of our time to helping nonprofits do important work. We set forth to consider our people, planet and profit when we make decisions that affect our bottom line. We opened our “doors” with an aim to become trusted partners and friends with the clients we won. As we close out 2021 and head into 2022, scrutinizing where we started means so much to the future of Bear Paw and our Family.
“As we close out 2021 and head into 2022, scrutinizing where we started means so much to the future of Bear Paw and our Family.”
REGARDING REVENUE AND PRO-BONO TIME
We came out of the year having devoted more than 50% of our time to the nonprofits that are now part of our family. The work we’ve been able to do with Health Fund For Children, Nationz Foundation and Waves 4 Women has been incredibly rewarding. Doing this was hard for a lot of people to swallow. It’s been called “touchy-feely”, “gimmick-y” and worse. But this year has been an exercise in tuning out the nay-sayers and driving our own ship. I couldn’t be more proud of our steadfast commitment to this aim and I can’t wait to see where we take it in 2022.
The revenue we generated certainly isn’t enough to sustain full-time employees or anyone else. However, by offering introductory rates over the last eight months, we’ve had an opportunity to build a portfolio that we are very proud of. By postponing a deep dive into sales, we’ve given ourselves the opportunity to work out kinks, put things in place that will guide operations and develop a rapport with our cornerstone clients that truly establishes them as family and trusted partners in our growth. All of that said, to generate $16K+ is no small feat. And every dollar of that was earned and celebrated as a win for Bear Paw. More than one-third of revenue was reinvested in the company over the course of the year.
“As we grow, we look forward to building an agency where benefits are abundant, life and work are balanced and inclusion is the norm.”
REGARDING OUR TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
Bear Paw adopted the triple bottom line theory before launch, meaning that our bottom line comes down to not only profit, but also our people and the planet. We committed to considering all three in daily operations and high level decisions that would trickle through the company.
For our people this meant flexible schedules, no commute and bonuses in the amount of 1% of total profits. As a strictly work-from-home company, we estimate that a full time employee will save approximately $9K annually. As we grow we look forward to building an agency where benefits are abundant, life and work are balanced and inclusion is the norm. This growth of our people will be a benchmark for our growth in the coming year and beyond.
Our commitment to the planet is tied to our carbon footprint as a company. We see the biggest opportunity in mitigating this footprint through conscientious daily operations. By remaining work-from-home we reduce emissions from a company site as well as through our team members’ commute. By operating with paperless transactions, we make a tiny dent in the deforestation of our planet. However, as a marketing company, a great deal of the work we do involves computers and computers involve servers. Servers are a big contributor of greenhouse gasses. Our footprint is small, but it exists. To neutralize this footprint we have made offset purchases through Terrapass. We purchased far more than was required to balance us out, so in the end, our company turns out carbon negative. We aim to keep this proactive practice going even as we grow and offset purchases become more costly.
THE PATH FORWARD
We head into 2022 with 4 active clients and 1 pending proposal. We are prepared now to hit sales harder in the coming year and to more actively pursue nonprofits that could use our help. We hope to institute a quarterly bonus program for our team. We will continue our efforts to keep our carbon footprint as minimal as possible and seek out other ways to get involved in environmental initiatives. We’ll be competing in awards shows this year, participating more actively on social media and creating much more content. We look forward to the growth that’s ahead of us and are so grateful for those of you that have been on the journey with us.
From the Bear Paw Family to yours, a very happy new year filled with hope, health and heart. Get out there and DO GOOD WORK this year.
Bear Paw Creative is a creative branding agency specializing in human connections. We help businesses and nonprofits reach the communities they serve in a way that resonates and ignites new relationships. Our nonprofit work provides incredible organizations with the marketing support they need to connect with their community. We offer brand development, website design and strategy services in Charleston, South Carolina and throughout the U.S.