Are social enterprises about to get a kick up the ass?

kick up the assHow often do you buy CDs? What about DVDs? Chances are, not as often as you used to. And why is that?

Well, you’ve probably got a Spotify or iTunes account, as well as Netflix, or Amazon Prime.

It’s just easier (and cheaper) to have those set up than go out and get individual discs.

Just makes more sense.

Problem is though, for the CD and DVD industries, this makes their one major USP completely redundant.

(…you might have already spotted where I’m going with this…)

And, like it or not, the exact same is true for social enterprises.

See, Impact has always been the holy grail of social enterprises and charities, but, as with all things business, if something seems to be working, it makes sense for other sectors to adopt it for their own profit.

And, impact measurement is now not the sole USP of social enterprises.

*Cue suspense sound*

With the strengthening of the Social Value procurement requirements. For (initially) central government contracts, businesses are now becoming great at measuring impact and telling their impact stories.

Rightly or wrongly, they are streets ahead of a sector that is supposed to be about impact.

Which means, we SocEnts, well, we need to wake up and smell the fair-trade coffee.

Because, these seemingly ‘traditional’ businesses? Well, they’re not wasting time on excuses…

Where some social enterprises complain that it takes too much time to get a proper impact measurement system in place, the other sectors are not letting this, nor the fact it can be complicated, stop them from implementing it.

(I must add here, that time or complexity aren’t actually an issue if you adopt the lean social impact method that I use with my clients…just sayin’).

In short, by adopting a quality typically associated (and once upon a time totally exclusive) with social enterprise, these businesses will gradually eat into the social market, perhaps making social enterprise CD (completely defunct).

So, if this is a given of the modern world, how do social enterprises compete?

Well, I suggest they take a big leaf out of their book and bloody join them!

Yes, it’s about time you actually measured your impact.

Still not convinced? Other than keeping in business, here’s a list of other benefits associated with impact measurements:

  • Supports stakeholder engagement
  • More loyalty amongst staff
  • Increased income
  • More effective marketing
  • And the most important – an ability to identify areas for improvement of services and be ahead of the curve in developing new products or services because you’re capturing and analysing your data on an on-going basis

So, if you want to make 2020 the year you nail your impact to avoid a huge ass kicking from the big boys, email me at heidi@heidilfisher.com