World Food Day on October 16 brings attention to the issue of global food security. Ending severe childhood acute malnutrition has been the mission of This Saves Lives since its founding. Here, actor and cofounder Ryan Devlin shares his tips for success in founding a purpose-driven business.
While This Saves Lives’ mission and focus has been on helping children globally, the cofounders recognized the increased need for support at home during the pandemic. In spring 2020, they matched every purchase on the website with donations of bars to families experiencing food insecurity in the U.S. as a result of Covid-19. They then partnered with another giving brand to launch a #BeTheOne Essentials Kit, which helped save children’s lives worldwide and also provided virtual tutoring to children in underfunded neighborhoods across the United States.
This Saves Lives recently launched instant oatmeal and granola products for kids.This Saves Lives“Mission-driven companies are the future of all business—because they work,” says Devlin. “Listen to your heart, identify how you want to make the world a better place, and then get after it. It feels good to do good, and doing good is good for business! A deep connection to a mission fuels everyone through the grueling startup life, and the business wins become that much sweeter when they go hand-in-hand with social impact.”
Here, Devlin offers his top 6 tips for starting a mission-driven company:· Start for the right reason. There are a lot of brands out there that have added a mission to their existing business model. We started with a mission and then built a world-class brand around it. Clarity of focus and passion are incredibly important because they help to fuel you through the tough days of startup life, and they resonate authentically with the public. headtopics.com
· Choose a mission people can join.You not only have to find a way to be profitable, but also create a vehicle for which people can join you in your mission. That’s where the magic happens and you start seeing significant impact.
· Keep it simple. People are constantly inundated with brands and advertisers trying to get them to sign-up here and give back there. If your message is not easily understood, it will be 10 times harder to capture their attention. The simplicity of our mission starts with our brand name: This Saves Lives. It’s a loud, in-your-face, crystal clear name that all but demands someone’s attention.
· Don’t forget about your product.A genuine mission will drive trial and build loyalty, but if your actual product or service doesn’t deliver then you’ll never get past the early-adopter stage. Early on we knew that if our snack bars (and now our new products, such as krispies, granola, and oatmeal) weren’t amazing, then we wouldn’t be able to scale. Our bars are ridiculously delicious, non-GMO verified, gluten-free, and packed with premium ingredients. Our kids’ products level up even further, with a full serving of fruits and vegetables in every product.
· Give your community new ways to generate impact. No matter the demographic, everyone has the desire to be of service to others and do good in the world. But for many people, the question is, “Now what?” For example, severe acute malnutrition is difficult for a child to understand. We made it fun with kid-friendly options for breakfast and snack time that open up opportunities for parents to talk to their kids about the importance of giving back. We also recently launched a new platform called headtopics.com
, which is a community of changemakers committed to making giving a part of their everyday life.· Take time for yourself. As entrepreneurs, we’re deeply involved in the day-to-day of our brands. But for me, I also need to know when to turn the phone off and be fully present with my family and friends. I still make time to get involved in other causes and be in nature. Quality is far more important than quantity. Recharging your batteries will sharpen your focus and allow you to bring 100% to your mission and brand.Read more: ForbesWomen »
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