Start and Grow an Ethical Business
WHY THIS BOOK AND WHY NOW?
Vegan living is 'hot' right now. In just the past 12 months veganism has regularly hit the headlines – in a positive way.
With vegan food being served at the BAFTA Awards in the UK, a vegan cheese company getting a deal on the popular US TV show Shark Tank to Bill Gates investing in a company providing vegan alternatives to meat and Beyonce's plant-based food delivery service, the vegan lifestyle is starting to shed its image of bland, drab and unhealthy.
As an ethical vegan since 1996 and a longtime animal rights advocate, my mission is Vegan World Domination where animals are no longer exploited, abused, commodified or killed for human consumption. Ethical businesses play a key role in moving closer to this ideal. I want to be able to walk down high streets, go into shopping malls or the airport and for every business to be run on vegan principles – which includes treating people fairly and being as environmentally sustainable as possible.
For me, the question was: How could I, with my skills as a journalist, content creator and curator, interviewer and media coach/trainer launch my own business to help vegan business owners and entrepreneurs to start and grow their operations?
I knew there were a ton of general business books out there, many of them excellent for any small-business owner starting up. But there was nothing specifically for the owners of vegan-run businesses. While many of the challenges, advice, and strategies apply to any business, running an animal-free operation brings its own set of extra, specific challenges.
So, I wrote this book because I wanted to read it. And I figured others would find it useful too. I wanted to find out from vegan business owners and entrepreneurs themselves what their secrets of success were. How did they cope with the challenges of running an ethical business? What did they learn? How did they grow?
Thus began this book project. I conducted extensive, indepth interviews with more than 60 owners of vegan-run businesses in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, along with vegan marketing, PR, and business growth professionals. Some are larger operations with high numbers of staff, while others are small businesses.
Among the interviewees whose insights are woven throughout the book are:
· Seth Tibbott, Tofurky
· Adrian Ling, Plamil Foods
· Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza, Candle Cafe, Candle Cafe West and Candle 79
· Tim Barford, Yaoh and VegFestUK
· T.K. Pillan, Veggie Grill
· Jane Velez-Mitchell, broadcast and multi-media journalist, JaneUnchained.com
· Victoria Moran, author and director of Main Street Vegan Academy
· Kezia Jauron, Evolotus PR
· JL Fields, vegan lifestyle coach and author
· Sharon Gannon, Jivamukti Yoga
· Karin Ridgers, Mad Promotions and VeggieVision TV
· Stephanie Redcross, Vegan Mainstream
· Jessica Bailey, The Cruelty Free Shop
· David Benzaquen, PlantBased Solutions
· Sugandh G. Agrawal, GUNAS
· Lee Coates, Ethical Investors and Cruelty Free Super
· Elizabeth Olsen, Olsenhaus
· Leigh-Chantelle, Viva La Vegan!
· Renia Pruchnicki, Truth Belts
· Ella Nemcova, The Regal Vegan
· Wally Fry, Fry's International
And many more.
Wherever you are on your journey – perhaps you have an idea to start a business, are in the early stages of development, or are in the throes of expanding your empire – you'll be educated and inspired by this book, which is, as far as I'm aware, the first book to focus specifically on vegan-run businesses, the particular challenges they face, and how they deal with them to succeed and grow.?
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
Featuring insights and advice from over 60 vegan business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing, PR and business growth professionals, among the numerous nuggets of wisdom in Vegan Ventures, you'll learn:
- How to figure out the purpose of your business and why it's so important
- How your mindset can sabotage your business success and what to do to ensure that
- How to get regular, positive media coverage for your products or services, no matter what your PR budget is
- Common branding mistakes and how to avoid them
- Social media 'Do's' and 'Don'ts'
- How much you should use the word 'vegan' in your branding or marketing
“A timely addition to the reading list of every vegan entrepreneur.”
- Philip Wollen, former VP, Citibank & philanthropist
TABLE OF CONTENTS
DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
- What is Your “Why"?
- Ego vs. Higher Ideals
- Money Mindset
- Entrepreneur Mindset
- Qualities Needed to Run a Business
- Confidence Mindset
- Overwhelm and Time Management
- Breaking Old Habits and the Six Human Needs
SET-UP, STRUCTURE AND SYSTEMS
- The Importance of Market Research
- Have a Business Plan
- How Big and/or Fast Do You Want to Grow?
- Do You Want to Work on or in Your Business?
- Manufacturer or Marketer?
- Money, Money, Money
- Systems and Tools
- Relationship with Yourself
- Relationship with Family
- Relationship with Staff
- Relationship with Consultants and Other Professionals
- Relationship with Customers
- Relationship with Suppliers, Wholesalers, Retailers, Manufacturers
- Relationship with Collaborators and Competitors
- Relationship with Adversaries
- Branding Mistakes
- Personal Brand vs. Business Brand
- How to Hire a Branding Consultant
- The Importance of Marketing
- Market to the Right People
- What is Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
- Market to More Than One Group of People
- Storytelling and Emotions
- Diversify Your Marketing Strategies
- Allocate a Marketing Budget
- Working with Marketing Professionals
- Test and Measure
SHOULD YOU USE THE 'V' WORD IN YOUR BRANDING AND MARKETING?
- Those Who Say "Yes" to using the word 'vegan'
- Those Who Say "No" to using the word 'vegan'
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
- What Type of Content to Post
- Build Your Tribe
- Can You Make Money on Facebook or Other Social Media?
- Plan Your Content
- Pay to Play
- Should You Buy Fans or Followers?
- Tips on Hiring Social Media Professionals
- Test and Measure
PR AND MEDIA
- Importance of Media
- What is the Media?
- Become the Media
- How to Get Media Coverage
- Respond to Journalists' Callouts
- PR FIRMS
- When to hire a PR firm
- What to consider when hiring a PR firm
- Expectations and guarantees
- PR mistakes
- Create a Media Room and Online Media Kit
- What About Paid Ads?
OTHER WAYS TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS
- Take a Booth or Stall at a Festival, Expo or Other Event
- Free Stuff
- Speaking, Presenting, and Training
- Email Marketing
- Branded Products
- Google and Other Search Engines
- Team Up With a Non-Profit (or Start Your Own)
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
"We need a business book that speaks to people motivated by compassion and the desire to make the world a better place, while at the same time wanting to make a living and, ideally, build a business that's a rousing success. Vegan Ventures is exactly this guide, and it applies to every sort of vegan business and to every vegan who's in business. It helped me so much myself that I've made it required reading for prospective students at Main Street Vegan Academy, the program I run to train Vegan Lifestyle Coaches and Educators.."Victoria Moran
Author & Director of Main Street Vegan Academdy
"Vegan businesses can’t just be good. They can’t just be compassionate. They can’t just be coming from the right place. They’ve got to be a thousand per cent better than the alternative product – and that is a high bar. That’s what it’s going to take for vegan businesses to survive. So let’s all grow our businesses, let’s all be fierce in our activism, fierce in our efficiency. Let’s all read Vegan Ventures by Katrina Fox.."Jane Velez-MitchellBroadcast journalist, Author & Founder, JaneUnchained.com
"Vegan Ventures is the most exciting book release of the year. As veganism worldwide continues to grow, Vegan Ventures is right on time to guide those wanting to get on board the vegan train and launch a vegan business. I really enjoyed reading the advice and tips from successful vegan business owners featured in this book. For anyone wanting to run and grow an ethical vegan business, Vegan Ventures is a must read. I cannot recommend it highly enough and have the utmost admiration for Katrina for writing this
ground-breaking book.."Kathy Divine
"What a fantastic, practical and inspirational book. Everyone who’s interested in running an ethical business should read it - actually, Vegan Ventures is a great resource for any new business owner, vegan or not, but it is certainly a must-have for vegan entrepreneurs”.Alexandra PaulActor, director, activist & athlete
"I’m a big believer in businesses with a mission other than profit - we need more people running more businesses in this way, where the key outcomes are environmental and social. Encouraging other entrepreneurs to adopt this business model is a key part of that – Katrina's book does this brilliantly.”Dale Vince
Founder, Ecotricity & Chairman of Forest Rangers Football Club (UK)
"‘Katrina's passion for veganism, ethics and business have collided and I think mankind is the winner. I always admire a writer who is prepared to stand by their beliefs, and Katrina most certainly does this. Vegan Ventures is a book that a lot of people are going to be talking about and raving about.”Andrew GriffithsBestselling author, INC columnist & CBS Small Business Commentator
- Winner, Voiceless: The Animal Protection Institute Prize for Print/Online Journalism
- Contributor, Forbes (vegan & plant-based business)
- Co-Author/editor of 3 books
ABOUT KATRINA FOX
Katrina Fox is an award-winning vegan journalist and animal advocate originally from London, UK, and now residing in Sydney, Australia.
She has over 17 years’ experience writing about social justice issues, ethical business and animal advocacy for a diverse range of niche and mainstream media in the UK, US and Australia.
She writes, edits and publishes material that challenges the status quo, stimulates thinking and inspires positive change for people, animals and the planet. She also teach others – social change advocates and ethical leaders – to get free publicity through media coverage.
She is the founder and editor of VeganBusinessMedia.com, an online content hub for vegan business owners and entrepreneurs, the host of Vegan Business Talk podcast (available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio & Tunein) and a regular contributor to Forbes specializing in writing about vegan and plant-based business.
She was born in the east end of London (UK) and moved to Sydney, Australia in 2001 with her wife and two cats. She doesn't do beige and has a penchant for glitter, bling and disco.