By Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC
Let’s be honest. Since BBB formed back in 1912, the organization has been about stamping out false and misleading advertising and attracting legitimate companies who wish to uphold an ethical marketplace by earning accreditation and upholding our standards of trust. That, of course, still happens. Over 400 thousand businesses in North America proudly carry our logo, nearly 4000 in British Columbia. That number continues to grow, and even now in Mexico BBB has gained momentum in advancing marketplace trust.
Fast forward to today. What types of businesses is BBB known to have on its roster? Largely skilled trade service providers right? Yep, we have plenty of roofers, plumbers, electricians, painters and more. No argument, they make up the bulk of our Accredited Businesses right now. The services they provide take a certain level of expertise and may take more time than just a simple one-stop point of sale, in fact, it may mean the building of an entire house. But our roster is changing.
Brick and mortar aside, in 2016 we see new economies sprouting up as technology changes in leaps and bounds and offers entrepreneurs a plethora of new ways to capitalize on consumer needs and spending. No longer is our roster of Accredited Businesses filled with just tradespeople and handymen. We are seeing a pick-up in IT companies, web and software development companies, and other firms that deal with the new and emerging ‘sharing economy.’
Today, BBB serving Mainland BC has 167 Internet and computer related companies that now carry the BBB logo. Thirty-seven of those companies deal with web design, the rest offer services in web hosting, software development, and computer repair. We even have sixteen Accredited Businesses that deal with graphic design. The upstart car share companies, Car2Go and Modo, are now BBB Accredited. Vacation timeshare companies are not overly new in concept, but there are several throughout North America that sport the BBB logo as well. That is almost 5% of the Mainland BC roster, and more apply every day. If you take into account the Vancouver Island BBB operates separately from Mainland BC, there are even more of these types of business across the province earning BBB Accreditation. New IT and app development companies seem to be sprouting up all the time. This article from Vancity Buzz looks at twelve BC companies looking for more talent...almost all are tech based. That is plain, solid growth in that sector.
It really should be no surprise this is happening. No doubt more IT, tech, and sharing based companies will continue to earn BBB Accreditation and find the value in what BBB offers as the current and next generation place more and more emphasis on tech, online reviews, complaint reporting, and the growth of social media platforms. Accredited Businesses can even take advantage of the BBB dynamic seal that is employed on their company website. Yep, BBB has tech too! Not to mention our fully accessible online database of Accredited and non-Accredited Businesses for public use.
At the end of the day, as technology provides opportunities to those who can see it, the market will change and so will our list of Accredited Businesses. I look to the future when the first autonomous car company applies for BBB Accreditation and each car that comes to pick you up will sport our famous blue Torch logo.