THE 4 ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
There is no better feeling than doing work that you love.
When that work has a direct and positive impact on the lives of other people, that good feeling is amplified.
Little wonder that so many of us are seeking to build a successful social enterprise and use our skills to give back to the greater good.
But to be truly successful your social enterprise also needs to be seen (by you and others) as a business first and foremost.
Just because you’re doing work for good, doesn’t mean you don’t also need to make a profit; the same principles of a successful small business still apply.
With that in mind, here are what I would consider the 4 most essential steps that help to create a successful social enterprise.
1. Understand your value proposition
This is the most crucial step in any business undertaking! Before you invest any more of your own time and money into your social enterprise, be clear about what it is that your product or service does and who your ideal customer is.
2. Set a budget and identify expenses
No matter what kind of business you’re starting you need a pool of funds to get you underway. Having some idea of what you expect to spend each month and an estimated figure for outgoings needed to get you there, is critical.
3. Write a business plan
A good business plan is the simplest way to build a roadmap for your successful social enterprise. It forces you to articulate the vision and “why”, define your budget, expenses and revenue stream. It helps you take a long-term view of the social enterprise you’re building and identify any potential risk factors.
4. Identify potential investors
This step is directly linked to your business plan; without a business plan you won’t be able to have a serious conversation with potential investors in your social enterprise. Being clear and purposeful about what you wish to achieve, who you wish to serve and how you intend to meet those goals once you have secured funding, is absolutely crucial.
5. Get support
Setting up any kind of business can be a stressful experience. While the support of family and close friends is always helpful, a good business mentor is an invaluable resource. This is especially true for the beginning stages of setting up your business when it helps have guidance in terms of steering your initial decisions in the right direction.
I have decades of experience helping people make sensible and informed business decisions. Thinking of starting a social enterprise? Reach out to me for a chat: [email protected]