Paul Dunn: Making Something Great Happen


Trust – it’s a strong word that we tend to correlate with friends, family and our personal relationships. However, it is also an important word to consider when referring to the relationship a brand has with its customers. Building customer trust is one of the most important factors in the success of any business. A trusting relationship between a business and its customers allow it to grow sales and retention rates while bolstering its public profile and reputation. Paul Dunn, Chairman of B1G1, knows the importance of trust in business and is using it to help small and medium sized businesses build trust with their customers while making big global impact.

B1G1 is a non-profit organisation with a mission to create a world full of giving. It was created in 2007 by a group of small business owners asking the question: “What would happen if we all gave back by doing the things we do every day?” Today, the B1G1 initiative has allowed more than 2,100 businesses from around the world to make significant impacts every day.

“B1G1 started, as all good things do, from a magical moment,” In 2007, Dunn was mentoring a tiny business owner in Brisbane, Australia providing gluten free frozen meals. “Normally in mentoring sessions, it’s the mentor who asks the questions,” explained Dunn, “But this session began by [the owner] posing a thought to me. ‘Imagine what the world would be like if every time business was done, something great happened in our world,’ she said.”

Imagine what the world would be like if every time business was done, something great happened in our world”

“Imagine if every time someone bought a TV, someone who couldn’t see, got the gift of sight. Imagine if every time a cup of coffee was sold, a child in need got access to pure, life-saving water. Or, if every time a book was sold, a tree was planted.” Dunn explained that he’d never been presented with a more powerful idea.

Out of that idea, B1G1 was born, to make that idea come to life. Today, the businesses who belong to the organisation have created over 182 million giving moments, collectively. The way it works is simple: you select the project/s you want to contribute to, and a portion of the sale goes directly to that cause. So now you can say, “whenever we do this, we make something great happen in our world.” This kind of impact creates positive reputations and allows customers to feel honored to be supporting your business.

However, not every company participates in programs like B1G1. It’s still incredibly important for a business to build trust with the customer, in any way. As Dunn puts it: “No trust = No sale.” He insists it’s easy for a business to establish a trusting relationship with its customer base by focusing less on their product or service and more on the outcomes their product/service brings their customer.

And it isn’t only business owners that need to ensure they are being transparent, impactful, and trusting. Employees within an organisation also have a responsibility to build trusting relationships with the customers they face, even if the parent company isn’t great at it. Dunn says he’s always believed an employee can overcome a bad manager or structure. However, if the culture of the company isn’t a customer-focused one, he insists you have two choices. The first is to create an internal movement to change the culture. Try pitching an organization initiative like B1G1 to management. Or your second option is to leave—walk away, start something great, and take others with you if they share the same work ethic, drive, and passions. Dunn says, “there’s never been a better time to that, too.”

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