As they say, fail often, fast and cheap, but don’t fail big. By failing, in a lot of small ways, you are able to make appropriate course corrections. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 80 percent of social businesses will fail to achieve what these companies have set out to do with regard to social impact.
What are some of the key reasons for this high level of “big” failure and, conversely, what can you do to help make sure your social enterprise succeeds?
Build it and they will come
Entrepreneurs care about their businesses almost as much as they care for their own families. They have to. Their passion and drive is the impetus to create what will become a successful business that will also have positive ramifications for the greater good of society. However, just
because an idea seems to be a good one, that doesn’t mean it will work. There has to be a niche for the business to fill and it needs to make sense, both from the business and societal aspects.
Lack of skills and expertise
Oftentimes entrepreneurs possess a great vision but when it comes to the execution and details, they don’t know where to start or continue. If you don’t have a background in business, as well as a thorough understanding of the societal benefit you are looking to provide, then you need to obtain it. Entrepreneurs do learn elements of their businesses on the fly, but they don’t learn the entire operation. It is essential to study everything possible about running a successful social enterprise.
One team, one win
A good leader knows that he or she must have the right team. It is important to have experts around you. As the leader, one of your primary tasks is to bring the passion, drive and energy to the business. It is also your responsibility to learn everything you can and keep the foot on the gas pedal. However, a great social entrepreneur knows that he or she needs to make an investment in the right people who will bring skills and expertise in business, finance, law, technology, marketing and other areas necessary to the enterprise.