What Is This Flow Thing?
Sometimes is seems like what FLOW does is a mystery to people.
I though it might be fun to do a "Q&A" to make things more clear:
Q. "What is it that you do?"
Great question! Thanks for asking. FLOW's team members all work within their own area of specialty to serve the various needs of small businesses and not for profit organizations. Generally these fall under the category of "administrative services" but can also include coaching and consulting.
We may take on one small project at a time for a business, such as:
* organizing an event
* creating a website
* solving a technology problem
* distributing promotional materials to local businesses
* creating a database
* organizing an office space for maximum efficiency
* creating a marketing strategy
We also take on long term projects, such as
* providing assistance with the implementation of a marketing strategy
* writing and designing print materials
* managing websites and social media feeds
* booking venues
* making connections, etc...
* providing bookkeeping services
* creating and managing a fundraising campaign
* providing executive assistance
* auditing and re-designing office policies, procedures, and organization
On a larger scale we have the capacity to provide all necessary administrative functions for a client as well. Small businesses and not for profit organizations need many of the above services, and others such as
* Office supply monitoring and ordering
* Project Management
* Secretarial Duties etc...
Not needing to provide space for, or manage payroll for the large amount of staff that would be needed to carry out all these tasks is a great benefit for small businesses and not for profits. FLOW is a one stop shop for administrative needs.
Q. "So are you like a temp agency?
No, not at all actually. It may appear that way because our team members will be spotted around the region working with various different businesses, but these people are all officially employed by FLOW. Some team members work with one client full time, others divide their time between multiple clients, but they are all responsible to FLOW Office Wisdom and are considered permanent staff.
Sometimes it seems like what we are is a mystery as well.
Here are some definitions to help out on that front:
A for profit business that believes in doing social good as well as making a profit. For FLOW, this means that we allot 10% of our gross income to paying our team members for time spent assisting our partner organizations. So far, this has resulted in a few fundraising events, a fundraising presentation (script, slides, etc...), a website, social media support, and camaraderie for Malgorzata Smelkowska and The Hunger Project Canada, as well as a website (in the works), a fundraising event, and the commitment to register 200 "Toonie Twins" for Kathy Lucking and The Madagascar School Project.
Triple Bottom Line:
This expands on the idea of social enterprise.
A Triple Bottom Line company measures success in 3 categories :
1) Financial Profit,
2) Social Impact and
3) Environmental Impact.
The financial aspect speaks for itself (our clients pay for our services), but the other two can be misunderstood. FLOW measures our social impact by monitoring what we contribute to our partner organizations, and also by our team members commitments to being good neighbors, volunteering, and contributing to community betterment where they are able. We also take into consideration that our interactions with our clients can serve to inspire them to become more socially responsible. We want to inspire other businesses to abandon the "business as usual" mindset and join us in our journey towards a more socially responsible method of doing business. FLOW's environmental commitment is monitored by the commitment of our team members to behave as environmentally conscious citizens in both their home and work lives. Often these overlap due to the virtual nature of our business. Each team member has had a home energy audit by eMERGE, and is expected to to what they can to heed the recommendations of the auditor. We carpool whenever possible, use recycled paper and other environmentally responsible office supplies, and source things from ethical suppliers at every opportunity. We make a point of discussing the environment and our impact on it at team meetings, and are committed to enhancing awareness of these matters in our own communities as well.
So there you have it folks! That's the nuts and bolts of what FLOW Office Wisdom does and what we are. If you have more questions or comments please get in touch! We are very passionate and dedicated to what we do and why we do it, so any FLOW team member would be happy to discuss things further!