Top 10 Tips for Setting Up a Mission-Driven Business
SUS18 Panel: "Meet the impact investors"
SIS Ventures, the impact investment arm of Social Investment Scotland, is delighted to be hosting a Meet the Impact Investors panel discussion at this year’s Startup Summit.
SIS Ventures invests in impactful enterprises to help address society’s greatest challenges and needs. It exists to support social entrepreneurs in securing mission-aligned investment, allowing them to work towards their social purpose without compromise. Ahead of Startup Summit later this month, SIS Ventures has shared with us their top 10 tips for setting up a mission-driven business.
1. Be sure that a mission-driven business is right for you
Being a mission-driven organisation is more than just a label; it’s a way of doing business. Like traditional organisations, mission-driven businesses aim to make profit. However, rather than using the likes of CSR as a bolt-on solution, mission-led organisations seek to use business as a force for good and make society a better place.
2. Know your purpose
Being clear on your mission will not only give your business direction but it will also support in confidently communicating what you want to achieve to stakeholders.
3. Research your market
For a greater chance of success, your purposeful proposition needs to be meeting a problem or need. Are you confident that there is a market for your product or service?
4. Understand your proposition
Your customer value proposition is the link between your purpose and your market. Have a clear appreciation of the value your target audience sees in your offering – not simply of what your product or service is.
5. Learn to love governance
Good governance is a key part of mission-led organisations. Put your efforts into finding the right people from the beginning. Your governance structure is there to support you, not hinder your success.
6. Remember you are a business
Don’t let money be an afterthought. To create the impact you desire, it’s crucial that you understand your finances from the beginning and work towards becoming sustainable.
7. Don't go at it alone
The phrase ‘together we can achieve more’ is certainly true for mission-led organisations. Building a network of equally passionate people to support you, using their specialisms, can really take your business to the next level. This includes the team around you, partners you work with and the supporters you attract.
8. Create a business plan
In the early stages, you need a short and sweet business plan to keep you on track. This will ensure you’re doing everything you need to be doing, while still allowing the flexibility to react to the right opportunities.
9. Have a working marketing plan
Marketing and sales is vital for long-term impact and sustainability. Have a plan (it doesn’t need to be complicated) that outlines your unique proposition, who you are targeting and how you will reach them. Set aside time to deliver to your plan.
10. Measure your impact
It’s all fine and well saying that your business creates ‘social impact’, but what impact do you really have? Measuring your impact will help you better understand your business, what is working and what is not, so that you can improve, both socially and financially, going forward.
On Wednesday the 31st of October, SIS Ventures will be joining us for Startup Summit 2018. Their Meet the Impact Investors panel will be taking place at 10.30am on the Impact Stage and will be facilitated by Rachael Brown, CEO of Cultural Enterprise Office. Panellists include Steven Hamill of Scottish EDGE, Manish Miglani of Nesta and Rob Halliday of SIS Ventures.
Come along to the panel discussion and be sure to say hello at the SIS Ventures stand. The team can’t wait to meet you.
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