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Got an Entrepreneurial idea? Here’s how to make it a social impact business.

Do you want to save the world but also wish to make money. Good news!

Social Enterprises are the next and now big thing. And the most important thing.

Consumers are increasingly making choices from their drive-times, hearts, wallets, cards and mobile payment systems based not just on price, convenience and discounts, but on value. Financial and social impact. Companies that can demonstrate that they have a product, service or offering that both provides value in the goods they are selling and to the social good they are providing, are winning.

Case in point. My mother, who is 75 years old, has made a conscious choice to buy Tom’s Shoes. She is fit, if you asked her her age you would be shocked as she looks, acts, speaks and is 20 years younger; yet in all the choices she makes of amongst creams and Yoga and diet which are unstructured, what she adheres to most is her choice in footwear. She is not unique. She is the middle class, informed, research-driven, social media aware person who chooses to use her pension-actualised income to buy products from a forward product that is more expensive than factory-outlet, discounted sales alternatives that she has access to. She. Chooses. Tom’s. Because she is proud of that company. And she is proud of what they stand for.

And her choice is one of many. Especially the millennial generation who are increasingly seeing owning a home, car, stuff, as being a moniker of success and, at her age, Legacy. The old model broke itself. All the advertising and marketing in the world failed across the board when it came to people like my mom who are used to being told what to do and now have their own voice, and people like my young friends or younger people whom I Coach who don’t know the past.

They don’t research price, proximity or shipping costs; they decide on double-bottom line value. “I will spend going to give me an excellent product which I will enjoy and will also help someone else.”

This is important

This is valuable

This is a metric that can be measured.

Having an idea is easy. Sharing that idea to others is easy. Executing on it is not. Most businesses fail because of execution. Purely commercial business have, traditionally, had an advantage because those who have money want to make more money. But if you throw Social Impact into the mix, it is disruptive.

Investing is about the 5 “Ps:”:

  1. People
  2. People
  3. People
  4. Product
  5. Place (which actually means time and timing)

To actualise an idea into a product, service or platform is a miracle. But to do so with social impact, ironically, makes it easier. This is because of passion. To want to make money and work ruthlessly to achieve that is, basically, the history of the world. To want to make money so that you can do good and to want to do good to make money is, basically, the future of the world.

You can decide. If all you want to do is make money that is fine and best of luck.

But if your motivation to make money is directly and intrinsically and ultimately aligned with doing good, well. Well, then, you are onto something special.

You go from “important” to “vital.” Your messaging, positioning and UVP evolves from “buy my thing” to “join me”. Your Sales goes from “listen to me” to “hear me”. Your marketing goes from “SEO/SEM, social, digital, agency, content and link building et al to “my story.”

It’s a paradigm shift.

It’s about finding people who will not just listen, but hear.

It’s about access to not just people who invest but people who invest with purpose

It’s not easy.

It’s not for everyone

If it speaks to you, come to us.

Written by Chris Adams

Entrepreneur In Residence. Impact Academy

Greater Outcomes. Doing Good, Well.

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