When you are thinking about starting a social enterprise, you might have some moments where you are wondering if a social enterprise is the right path for you to take. Well, we are here to give you some advice that you can use when making that decision.
What is a Social Enterprise? Social Enterprises are businesses that have a social goal to make the world a better place. It's a business with the purpose of creating and delivering an impact to its community.
So, now that you have a basic idea of what a Social Enterprise is, let's get started with the 10 steps that you need to take when starting a Social Enterprise. Actually, there are more than 10 steps that you need to take when starting a Social Enterprise, but we will discuss the top 10 steps to get you started.
1. Ask yourself the question: Are you Ready to Start a Social Enterprise? Starting a Social Enterprise is just like starting a regular business, wherein you will have the For-Profit part of your business where you will be promoting or selling your products and services, then you will have the Social Cause Section of your business where you will be offering the same product or services at a reduce or free cost (this is just one type of business model). You can either do this on your own or partner with a non-profit organization, or you can allocate a certain percentage of the funds that you make from your For-Profit Business and donate it directly to the specific Social Causes.
2. Define your Cause This is the part where you decide which Social Cause you would like to Champion and Why? You need to be committed or attached to the cause because when you are soliciting from other people or agencies to support your Social Cause, you need to be able to tell them a good story (https://www.tvacon.com/blank-6/telling-profitable-stories) about your Social Cause. if you want to learn how to tell a good story, you can watch this video for some tips. If you want to be Business Storyteller, you can join the “Telling Profitable Stories” class now. 3. Choose the Type of Entity for your Social Enterprise Choosing the right type of social enterprise is important to your success in the Social Enterprise industry. There are many Social Enterprise entities that you could choose from and determine which of these entities will be beneficial for you. 4. Create a Plan of Action When you are starting any type of business, you always need to have a plan in place, like a business plan or a strategic plan. You need to think about what you are going do, what are the things that you will need for the For-Profit part and Social Enterprise Part of your business; all of the important things that come with creating a business must be planned out twice as important, and be integrated to create Systems and Processes that will work efficiently when running your Social Enterprise. 5. Create A Budget No business runs without a budget, and you need to find out how much money you will need to run your business. You need to make sure that the For-Profit part of your business is making enough money to continue its operation and support the Social Enterprise Part of your business. 6. Identify your Funding Sources As mentioned above, you need to figure out where the funds for your Social Enterprises will be coming from. You can either choose to get contributions or investors. When it comes to contributions, it's almost similar to donations for non-profit, but you need to specify that the difference between a contribution or donations to a Social Enterprise is that they don't get a Tax Write-off for it because you are not a 501-C3 Organization. Instead, they are providing contributions out of the goodness of their heart, and they want to support what you are doing. You can also consider getting a loan from a bank or have investors.
7. Get Professional Advice When starting a Social Enterprise, you need to ask someone for professional advice and assistance because you are essentially combining two businesses, and there are a myriad of things that could go wrong without the right assistance. We, at TVA Consulting, provide expert, professional services to those who are looking to start a Social Enterprise. 8. Put together an Advisory Board When it comes to making decisions about your Social Enterprise, it is better to ask for advice from a group of experts and from the people that are part of the community of the Social Cause that you want to champion. This allows you to deliver products and services to that community based on what they need or want and not based on what you want. Remember, the main reason for your Social Enterprise is to create IMPACT, and delivering something that the community will not be able to use according to their needs just doesn't make sense.
9. Launch - Advertise - Promote Now that you have laid out the foundation of your Social Enterprise, now is the time to let people know about it. You need to tell the masses about your Social Enterprise and how you are impacting the community. You can utilize your website, social media platforms, and other forms of advertising. Create a buzz about your Social Enterprise. 10. Open your Social Enterprise Congratulations! Now that you have finished all the initial steps, it's now time to start selling your products and services. Take note that whatever you do on-stage, ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT. That is how you can get the money that you need to stay in business. Remember, a Social Entrepreneur is a person that starts a for-profit business and then integrates a social cause into the fabric of the business. On the other hand, Social Enterprise is formed specifically to solve a societal issue from the onset. If you need help in starting your Social Enterprise, visit our website and send us a message! We will be happy to take on the challenge of helping you build your Social Enterprise for you to help and create an impact!