So, you want to change the world with your business. Brilliant. You’re now in the top 9% of socially-focussed SMEs in the UK. Go you!
However, being a social entrepreneur means there are a few extra things you need to think about that non-socents don’t.
One of these things is an ‘Impact Led Strategy’. New to you?
This will help…
So, what is it, then?
Simply speaking, an impact led strategy is where your business operates on not just ‘having’ a social mission, but actually ‘being’ your social mission.
It’s unique, because instead of building a strategy around current operations, an impact led strategy is the heart and soul of the organisation and everything is based around that.
It asks the question: How can we create the most impact for what we want to achieve?
Then, from there, EVERY aspect of the business is considered in order to achieve it.
For example, instead of thinking about how your current services will adapt to achieve it, services are actually created to achieve it from the start, which means adopting an impact led strategy in the early stages of your business is mega important.
It also considers the funding you need to get the ball rolling. With an impact led strategy, potential investors or lenders could be more inclined to help, as they can see exactly where their money will be used to create the desired impact, which is something a social enterprise operating without an impact led strategy doesn’t always allow.
OK, but why bother having one?
It’s a good question, and the simple answer comes down to how serious you are about affecting change.
Put it like this:
Metaphorically speaking, say the impact you want to make is chronic headaches. Operating without an impact led strategy is similar to taking paracetamol to soothe the pain, but it doesn’t actually address the cause. Now, with an impact led strategy, you’re not just soothing the pain, but eradicating the cause, say with a better diet and more exercise, which in turn will eventually stop the headaches!
See the point, now?
Many organisations have got bogged down in the cycle of just continuing to exist, which means chasing funding and contracts to continue delivering the same services and keeping their employees in jobs, which isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t always address whether their real mission is being delivered properly, or at all.
These organisations may have achieved their mission, in which case they can get complacent and not evolve.
By focusing on an impact led strategy, organisations can review what they do with fresh eyes and see if whether every aspect of their business is working towards the same goal, from the ethics behind the suppliers they use, right down to the welfare of the staff.
It truly is the most secure, practical and effective way to ensure your social enterprise does the most good it possibly can!
Make An Impact CIC are experts in helping social enterprises create and implement impact led strategies that DO NOT cost the earth.
If you’d like a friendly chat about whether your organisation needs one, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll happily talk you through it.