What are the income or profit centres for your social business?
A great challenge for social enterprises is the area of finances, particularly for non-profit organisations, NGOs and even for some for-profit social enterprises. Creating multiple profit centres can be one of your challenges. This is something you need to consider when selecting the best business ideas for you.
Create Multiple Profit Centres
But finding your income or profit centre doesn’t have to be so hard. Finding it and insuring that your cash flow is ongoing and consistent is the significant part of the life blood of your social enterprise.
If your funds are not there, your social enterprise is not there. And if your social enterprise is not there then the social impact you’re wanting to create in the world will definitely not be there.
So finding multiple income sources or multiple profit centres for your social enterprise is highly significant.
5 Ideas for Multiple Streams of Social Enterprise Income
Now how can you find a profit centre or an income source for your social enterprises?
Well think laterally.
- Products/Services Linked to Your Mission: Think about firstly your mission statement and what you’re on about. As a social entrepreneur you are obviously driven by your passion to want to improve something whether it be the environment and producing goods or services that enhance environmental sustainability for example.
- If you are in that area for instance, and you wanted to do and create a social enterprise that enhances the environment, then think of products and services that you can actually provide that can give value and also create a profit but don’t just think of one area, think of multiple ways that the idea of environmental sustainability could produce profit making products and services.
Sometimes social entrepreneurs have that challenge between making a profit as well as doing good in the world but my point of view, it doesn’t have to necessary conflict.
- Fair Trade Goods: For example, one idea to increase your profitability and financial sustainability is to think of fair trade goods. Think of how your business relates to certain products that are fair trade. By thinking of different fair trade products whether they be chocolate, or pens, or handcrafts, or different types of clothing that are fair trade, you also help build greater sustainability financially for your business as well as actually helping people in developing countries with a fair wage; a fair earning. So you’re actually helping their livelihood as well, while helping your business be sustainable. Fair trade is just one example to increase your profit centres.
- Micro-Franchise: There’s also the idea of micro-franchising, selling your actual business system in developing countries so micro-entrepreneurs can use that system to build a livelihood for themselves.
- Micro-Finance: It can be though micro-credit, as I’ve talked about before, be through providing environmental solutions such as a service of fitting solar panels in people’s houses if you are in the area of environment sustainability.
- Informational Products/Services: Think of different items or products or even informational products such as books or brochures, or speaking engagements, to share your information and to get out there.
Increased Profitability Can Help Increase Your Social Impact
Think of all these different ways and it can improve your profitability.
Increasing your profit centres and your different income streams is a great way to help the life blood of your social enterprise. But it is also significant in building greater self-reliance in your own company so that your enterprise doesn’t have to be compromised by outside donors and their agendas.
By finding different ways to produce valuable products and services you’re able to help give value to other people while allowing you to keep within your values and mission statement. So building multiple streams of income is a great way for cash flow in your business but always do remember to stick within the mission and values of your social enterprise to make most of the best business ideas.