Inspiration Ideation Creation Implementation
The most successful strategic plan is called:
In this decade, you can start a movement for not a cent, contributing to an entirely new dimension of what it means to create change and make a difference. The highly leveraged tools of the internet make it easier to enable people, to connect them, and to amplify their work. And they are almost all free.
Going from idea to action can take less than a month and cost nothing. A lot of people worry about the risk of starting a social business and the potential for failure, but the reality is that it has never been less risky to start a movement and make something that matters.
However it is important to note that the spread of a movement can happen without technology. Nothing online is even close to a substitute for the hard work and passion of leading change, but these tools can make it easier, more powerful, more productive, and … almost risk free.
We will show you how to determine what is the baseline product or business model you can start with, so that it is less risk for you in case you need to make changes later on. We have all the tips and resources for building a website to sell your product/services, and also how to use marketing and social media to engage people with your social business or cause and turn them into customers and supporters
Then once you are up and running it is SO very important to learn and adapt to changes. For this we examine the processes of LEAN Start-up.
Most big business in the world are using a new business process to help them create efficient business, it is called: LEAN. Its about cutting out all the uneccessary business 'fat' and utilising only what is essential. When it comes to social businesses the key concern of LEAN Startup is to avoid creating a product that people don’t need or that doesnt create an impact.
Lean Startup involves testing your business model and assumptions by starting with the most basic product, service or business model you viably can: Your minimum viable product.
The primary goal of this step is to learn. To find out, do people even want pizza anymore? Or more importantly, does selling people help anyone? If the answer is no, you get to save your money and find a better idea.
Lean Startup is ideal for social entrepreneurs and startups that are still looking for a business model that drives genuine value. But it can also be used by large organisations, if they have the flexibility to respond quickly to new information and listen to customer needs.
In product development, the minimum viable product (MVP) is the product with the highest return on investment versus risk. in other words, a Minimum Viable Product is the smallest thing you can build that delivers customer value (and as a bonus captures some of that value back). There is huge value in discovering what your minimum viable product is and starting with it... you don’t want to waste your time and money building a product no one will want to use or pay for.
The idea is to rapidly build a minimum set of features that is enough to deploy the product and test key assumptions about customers’ interactions with the product, then you can build up to your full vision once you get feedback from your customers and know that your idea is definately worth your investment.
You can have the greatest social business or product in the Word, but if you don't have a place to sell it, where people can buy it and easliy give you their money, you will not succeed.
For social business folks and others, a website is a great way to tell your story, spread your cause, and sell your product/services. It can help showcase value, infuse personality, and even shed some light on your business and products in a different way from social media. It can also help you better manage your online reputation, and give you a boost should someone Google your social business. Think of your website as something akin to the new digital business card, where people you've just met can find out about your business.
And the great thing with the tools of the internet in this era, is that you can design, build, launch, and run your own website completely on your own. For Free. Meaning there is no risk is putting your idea out there, seeing the response, and getting instant sales and feedback.
The video module contains detail on the following key steps to getting your business set-up ready for sales:
1. Get your domain name - you can get a hosted domain name for free, or your own own specific one for around $10 a year.
2. Choose a webhost - easy, cheap and means basically someone else has the computer grunt to keep your website running.
3. Design and build your webpage - A very basic website can be done for free, in a matter of hours (wordpress.org, and wix.com). This makes putting your business out there low cost and thus low risk.
4. Test your website
5. Sign up for Paypal/Payment systems - you can sign up for Paypal account for free and start getting payments from over 180 countries.
6. Spreading the word and getting your site noticed - marketing, social media etc
Like it or not, a good business (social or not) does not just rely on good products or services. The success of your socila business start up will be built on whether people know about you, like you, believe in your cause, and trust you enough to part with their dollars. The key to achieving this is how effectively you communicate your products or services to your customers. Successful social business marketing requires that you have a great purpose, a great product and great marketing.
Marketing is fundamentally about communication. Engaging people with your purpose and your social business, and connecting them with your product. That also means a key thing to remember when marketing and talking about your social business is to talk about it's benefits and it's impact. After all, that is why you are doing this. The benefits are the needs and value we identified earlier. Don’t talk about the feautres, talk about the benefits. A feature is descriptive, a benefit is emotional.
Remember, people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. The better you connect and engage with people, the more successful your social business will be.
Another key of marketing is to look at HOW you will spread your message through advertising etc. For social businesses these days, advertising is like sex: only losers pay for it. With the availability and prevelance of social media, you can spread a message and product through one effective video, a series of tweets or posts, for absolutely no cost at all.
There is a reason Beyonce launched her latest album on Instagram... it has the widest reach of any alternative marketing stream. And it didnt cost her a cent.
In this video module we’re going to look at seven essential aspects of laying the foundations for an effective marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing
Customer feedback loops
Fine-tuning your messaging
A good launch strategy can help almost any social business online or offline. And it's always critical to know the launch isnt always about the money or sales, sometimes to connection and engagement with people is the most valauble outcome from a good business launch.
A good business launch is like a Hollywood movie: you hear about far before it even happens. So it is critical to use your marketing techniques (on social media etc) to generate some hype around your social business and your impact. Yes it seems a little counter-intuitive at times 'Why get people interested if i can't convert them to customers yet?' but like we said earlier: If you build it they might come... but not unless you have let them know what you’ve built and how to get there.
The important thing for long-term successful social business is customer engagement and connection. You want to get them interested, engage them with the vision, and if you do this well your social business launch could be a raging succeess.
Download our 20 step product launch check-list, and also watch the video module for more detail in creating an effective launch.
You may have heard the saying 'What measures moves' and it is important to have goals and metrics to track your social business and how it is going. But most importantly to track your impact. That is how you know what to adjust and change to make your social business more successful and world-changing. It is critical.
There are many many metrics to measure, and you do not to measure them all. It's about figuring out what matters to you and your social business, and focusing on those areas. While the finance numbers of: how much are you making? are important, you also need to determine what are the key areas and drivers that matter for your social business?:
What is the impact? How many people are you helping? Do they feel their lives are better now because of your social business?
A good social business is also a good business. So you do have to focus on the business metrics too:
How much money are you spending per month? Often called burn rate. Not only how are you burning per month, but when we just calculate that out, when will you run out of money?
These are key metrics. This is a lot more important than what is revenue in year 4, because you're just guessing about that. But these are numbers you're going to be living with every day.
You need to get these metrics that matter known, searched, understood, and don't worry, they will change, but the whole game of the business model canvas and the customer development process was for you to find them out firsthand and to experience them, not to have them happen to you.
All the feedback and metrics you use are useless unless you look to adjust and utilise them to help your social business thrive and your impact increase. A great place to start is to conduct your own business audit. Just by simply asking yourself basic questions, such as: where are you making money? How good is your message? Do people agree that you're solving a high value problem or need, and do you understand your business model going into the future?
When you get stuck ask yourself: How can I give more value? Or How can I help people more?
If your metrics and audit isnt as positive as you would have liked, you need to loook to 'pivot'. To look at perhaps changing your methods or product. Remember: Be stubborn in your goals, but flexible in your methods. NEVER change your vision, but always be willing to change your strategy or product.
A pivot is a large change, like "Gee, we need to change our pricing is from freemium to subscription." That's a substantive change in your selling strategy. Not the goal, just the strategy to achieving that goals. The key idea here is a pivoting allows you totake on-board feedback and get out and make changes, quickly and consistently.