Change Means Business toolkit: how to create change through entrepreneurship

Got a business, or looking to turn your side hustle or creative project into one? Want to have a positive impact on the world? Then this is the toolkit for you!

Throughout October and November 2021, The Dots collaborated with Today at Apple to present Change Means Business, a 6-week series of virtual studios to help you create positive change through entrepreneurship.

In this toolkit, we’ve put together the top tips and actionable steps from the inspiring leaders, founders and Today at Apple team that took part in the series. It will help you to find your brand’s purpose, create a positive social impact, pitch like a boss, and more.

This toolkit is perfect for anyone at any stage of their business, side hustle or freelance journey – even if you’re just starting out, or not sure where to start!

If you’re keen to continue the conversation, ask for advice and network with other entrepreneurs and founders, join the Change Means Business channel on The Dots.
What is a business purpose, and why is so important to have one?

To put it simply, your business purpose is the reason your business exists beyond making money. It’s your brand’s foundation and is super important because it can help with things like helping you to set goals and targets, make decisions day-to-day, and persevere through the hard times.

Having a brand purpose is also good for your wallet! A study by Interbrand found that brands with a purpose set on improving our quality of life outperform the stock market by 120%. Nice!
A quick exercise to help find and articulate your business’ purpose

Download the template here and follow the steps below.

Here are examples of purpose statements from different companies:

‘We're in business to save our home planet.’ – Patagonia
‘Our purpose is to empower the next generation to transform fashion.’ – Depop

To help write your own, spend a minute answering each of the questions below. Then, circle trends or words that keep coming up. Use those to come up with a purpose statement for your business.

1. What do you want to change about the world?
2. ​​What do you want to change about your industry?
3. What problem are you trying to solve?
4. What do you want to be remembered for?

Want some feedback on your purpose statement? Post it in the Change Means Business channel for feedback from business mentors, and fellow founders and entrepreneurs!
Pip Jamieson’s top resources:

Books:
– The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
– Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

App:
– Blinkist

Podcasts:
– Conversations of Inspiration with Holly Tucker
– The Beautystack Podcast with Sharmadean Reid
How do I figure out what my purpose or passion is?

As creative people, it’s sometimes easy to come up with ideas, but discovering your purpose and turning that into a business can be the tricky part. Some of us might find our purposes very quickly, but for many of us, it takes time. It’s important to know that it’s a journey and that’s OK.

It’s by doing the doing, trialling, failing, improving, iterating and trying again is where we often figure stuff out and things start to make sense.

One way to discover your purpose is to ask the questions below to your family and friends. Use these people to mirror you and get feedback, then, look for themes and trends in their responses:

– What am I doing or talking about when you experience me most energised and happy?
– What do you see as a special gift I’m gifted with?
– What are your 3 favourite qualities you see in me?
– How have you been impacted by knowing me?
5 top takeaways to find your passion and turn it into a business:

1. It’s your journey, set your pace
2. Purpose is fuel
3. Being naive is a strength
4. Let people be your mirror (see above!)
5. It’s an iterative process

Got a question or need some advice on finding your purpose? Post it in the Change Means Business channel for feedback from business mentors, and fellow founders and entrepreneurs!
Abraham Asefaw’s top resources:

Books:
– The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
– Distinguishers: Winning customers at speed, scale and lower costs by Prof Sandra Vandermerwe, David Erixon

App:
– Toggl

Podcasts:
– 50 things that made the modern economy
– Masters of Scale
– Planet Money
How do I work out what my values are?

To create a brand with values, you first need to figure out what those values are (see activity below) and then practice them in your work and your projects. Once you’ve worked out your values, the best way to begin to express them is to incorporate them into your side projects and passion projects. This way, you’re not under any client constraints, and it’s a great way to attract brands and show them what you can do and what you stand for.

When working on these projects and then creating your business or brand, having a community around you is very important. It can be a lonely process sometimes being a freelancer or founder! Create a circle of like-minded peers with similar values with who you can collaborate, challenge each other and share feedback.
How to create a values board:

Download the template here and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Define your style in five words
Although it might appear to be external, your personal style is deeply internal and reveals who you are in a very unique way. What’s yours?

Step 2: Identify one memorable moment
Find examples from both your career and personal life. What factors contributed to your feeling of fulfilment?

Step 3: Name three remarkable people you admire
Consider your own skills and values, then find one trait that connects you with each person you’ve listed and notice how you both practice it.

Step 4: Review your answers
Take some time to reflect on your responses. Recap them and create your values board.

Got a question or need some advice on your values board? Post it in the Change Means Business channel for feedback from business mentors, and fellow founders and entrepreneurs!
Jordane Salomez’s top resources:

Books:
– The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
– The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
– Social Matter, Social Design, a collection of essays edited by Jan Boelen, Michael Kaethler

Apps:
– Instagram
– Things
– Bear

Podcasts:
– At a Distance
– Serpentine Podcast
– Into the well by Ryan Willms
What role should social media play in my business?

Your business mission and purpose (see above for this!) should be directly affecting how you approach social. This is especially true for a small business, as social media can often be the most important way to find customers and communicate with them. It’s also a really great opportunity to visualise, as well as verbalise, your mission and values.

You also need to think about how you want to use your socials and what role they play for you.
Here are some ways social media could be handy for your business:

– Awareness driver
– A mouthpiece for your brand
– A way to be discovered by likeminded people
– Sales and leads
– Engage with customers

Remember, social media is very much a two-way thing, and shouldn’t be just about broadcasting your messages. It’s about how you engage with your community and your customers.
How to translate your brand’s values on social media:
Download the template here and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Add your brand’s values to the template
Start thinking about the tone of voice and visual style/language for each of these values. Next, decide which content pillar each value falls into. Content pillars can be broad buckets like culture, inspiration and community.

Step 2: Translate these values into visuals
Now, use the info you’ve added to the template and start to create your own visual identity. A good place to start is to look around at what’s already out there on socials. What can you take inspiration from? What do you want to steer clear of? This will help define the lane you want to be in! Here are some handy questions to ask yourself:

– Who do you follow on social? And why?
– What posts do you engage with? And why?
– What don’t you like on social?
– What have you seen too much of on social?
– What posts can you remember from a while ago? And why?

Look at your answers to help identify the opportunities for you and your business. What are the gaps? What areas could you explore?

Step 3: Create a visual mood board
Things to think about:

– Your brand’s colour palette. This will help inform how you define your style
– The style of photography that you use
– What sort of content you want to feature

Use your mood board to help choose the sort of images that will start to define what your brand’s visual style is.

Got a question about growing a community or your social strategy? Post it in the Change Means Business channel for feedback from business mentors, and fellow founders and entrepreneurs!
Simon Beckerman’s top resources:

Books:
– The biographies of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs
– The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
– High Output Management by Andy Grove

Apps:
– For productivity: Slack, Things, Notion
– For inspiration: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Feedly
– To stay connected: iMessage, Signal, Whatsapp

Podcasts:
– Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
– WorkLife with Adam Grant
– How I Built This with Guy Raz
– Making Sense with Sam Harris
– Lex Fridman Podcast
When does a founder or entrepreneur need to pitch?
We probably all know that pitching is a fundamental part of entrepreneurship, but it’s also a fundamental part of work for most creatives. It’s selling your vision and idea and is what you often need to do to win customers, investors and clients.

If you have a team, you’ll also find yourself pitching to future employees and also your current employees to get them on side for projects and directions you want to implement within your business.
How to pitch like a boss:
Download the template here and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Killer vision
Tell your story visually to get your audience (clients, investors etc.) hooked. How will the world look fundamentally different with your idea in it?

Write your vision using this format:
‘You + verb + outcome + customer + market = vision’

Examples:
– Company Name will change the game for children all over the world
– Our Agency delivers gamechanging key insights for energy companies in Africa

Step 2: Problem/solution
How will you change the world? What’s the big opportunity? Where are things not working eficiently and how can you improve them? Write what’s broken and how you’ll fix it.

Examples:
– Women don’t feel safe walking at night / we will provide a hotline for them to call while walking.
– Junior Bankers are experiencing burnout resulting in loss of earnings / we will provide on demand therapy for finance industry.

Step 3: Right mindset
How do you mentally prepare for pitching? What do you want your audience ro think about when you leave?

Examples:
– I want my audience to think... I am confident, energetic, I know my industry inside and out.
– I want my audience to think... I am creative, articulate, I know a lot about architecture.

This is your new daily positive affirmation. Say it to yourself every single day, and before you walk into your pitch meeting.

Got a question or want feedback on your elevator pitch? Post it in the Change Means Business channel for feedback from business mentors, and fellow founders and entrepreneurs!
Sharmadean Reid’s top resources:

Books:
– Principles by Ray Dalio
– Work Rules! by Laszlo Block
– Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Apps:
– WeCroak
– The Pattern

Podcasts:
– The Knowledge Project
– Masters of Scale
– Freakonomics
About Today at Apple:
Free sessions in-store and online that inspire hands-on creativity in photography, art, design, video, coding, music, and more. Brought to you by Apple.

Learn how Apple can support your small business here.
Apple has provided links to all of the contributors’ top resources. Many of the items listed may be available from other sources.