2021. It’s time to put our hearts on our sleeves. This month we launch our new website and, more importantly, move forward with a new purpose: helping you do good, better.
It’s a direction we’ve been working towards for some time, but now is the right time to put it front and centre. To make it the focus of what we do and why we do it.
What does it mean to ‘do good’?
I realise that ‘doing good’ has many different connotations and will mean different things to different people.
A friend recently asked me: “If a large polluter came to you asking you to work on their new green initiative, would you take it on, even though their polluting ways will continue for the time being?”
It’s a good question.
For me, and for Dux, helping others do good means helping people who are genuinely trying to improve lives and make the world a better place.
We’re talking about enterprises and organisations that want to create positive change, from NFPs and NGOs to NDIS providers, health practitioners, community organisations, local governments and businesses that are making a difference.
You don’t have to be a health or eco warrior, but you do need to be doing something meaningful. Something for the greater good.
For example, we work with a prominent demolition company. Their aim is to recycle and divert as much material from landfill as possible.
To us, that’s doing good.
We’ve always enjoyed doing good
Looking back, the desire to do good has been at the heart of Dux since we started. It just took us a while to realise it.
When I started Dux, I wanted to produce quality work that helps people. We’ve always been transparent. We’ve always been passionate about doing the best possible job we can, even if that means working on a project more hours than we’re being paid for.
We’ve never been profit driven. Instead, for us, it has always been much more about doing good work, with people we enjoy working with – clients across a broad range of industries. Some have been altruistic; others, not so much. But as an agency, our greatest enjoyment has come from working with people who are doing good in the world.
Over the last 18 months, we noticed that we’ve been drawn to these types of organisations more and more – organisations like Breast Cancer Care WA, Kern Allied Health and Brighter Connections. And we’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
We’ve found that our clients’ enthusiasm for the work they’re doing is infectious and leads to a great working relationship and an excellent end product.
Why switch our focus now?
Media on Mars, a great digital agency in North Fremantle, has a billboard on the side of their building that rotates messages periodically.
Once, driving past it, the headline said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
I’ve seen this before, but for some reason it stuck with me this time.
I realised it was time to step up and be true to our values, to stand by the type of work we enjoy most.
Of course, the inevitable doubts about upsetting our existing clients crept in. And then there were worries about the potential financial impact on the business. Both kept me from making the switch immediately.
Then COVID happened, and one of our long-term clients – one that didn’t exactly fit into our definition of ‘doing good’ – cancelled their contract and disputed the amount we were owed. After receiving a series of threatening emails (including one stating “I have no hesitation in bankrupting you”), it came to a head in their boardroom.
The owner of the business spent more time talking about his luxury yacht than the issues at hand. Then, he proceeded to offer me half the amount owed.
As I sat there, listening to him talk, I realised that I didn’t want to be in this situation ever again, and now was the time to change direction. The work we’d been doing for them got results, but it wasn’t fulfilling work and the relationship had become one-sided – their demands had become more and more unreasonable.
Regardless of the potential financial impact on the business, I decided we were never going to work with this type of client again.
The result? Doing good feels good
Simply put, ‘helping you do good, better’ has made our future direction crystal clear. Our entire team is on board and excited about where this will take us. Our company culture has improved, and we all genuinely enjoy the work we do.
But other than warm fuzzies, what does this mean for the work we do for our clients?
Our change in focus and direction has meant we’ve had to learn new skills and brush up on others. We’ve looked internally at everything we do and judged it by the standards we expect of others. We now have a new and improved focus on website accessibility.
We’ve changed our approach to SEO by moving away from outreach and securing backlinks to creating quality and engaging content. And we’ve embarked on many other initiatives, such as improving our technology stack so it’s more applicable to the clients we aim to work with.
What’s more, we plan on becoming carbon neutral and B-Corp certified this year. We already offset my vehicle and we’re part of Carbon Neutral’s Plant-a-Tree program. We donate a tree for every invoice that we send. And, we take great pride in sponsoring a child through the Smith Family.
But there’s more that we can and will do.
We all look forward to seeing where this new direction will take us. And we can’t wait to help more people do good.