Many of us dream of starting our own social business. There is something glamorous about being the captain of your own ship. You determine where the business goes, who you help, and what purpose you serve. It is exciting, scary, and will make you grow like never before.
That said, starting your own business is a lot of work. Ideally, your initial passion in your venture will provide all the inner fuel you need to persevere, but even with a sustainable source of motivation it is good to optimise your efforts as much as you can.
A great way to raise funds for your launching your business is through crowdfunding. One of the greatest benefits of crowdfunding, of which there are many, is that if done right you will get exposure, word of mouth marketing, market validation, an existing customer base, and the funds you need, and maybe even more. Essentially, if your campaign is a success, you will have knocked off five birds with one stone.
Social businesses and crowdfunding are great on their own, but they are simply better when used in concert. Bacon is good. Eggs are good too. Bacon and eggs are great.
Crowdfunding is especially powerful when launching a social business. People will be more drawn to campaigns that have a great cause. The business will still have to be solid, but the potential to tap into the desire to do good can be a powerful force in your marketing. While this is a powerful force even without crowdfunding, many traditional funding channels are purely focused on the bottom line and less heart driven when it comes to making the decision to fund you.
With any business market validation is very important, but with a social business this can be even more important. Sometimes a social business will have a business model that successfully brings in revenue, is profitable, and delivers its stated social benefit. The only problem is that its social benefit doesn’t work the way it should have. A good example of this is Tom’s shoes. The idea of donating shoes to impoverished areas sounded great, the problem was that it put local shoe businesses out of business.
Crowdfunding can help avoid this type of situation because the campaign will provide plenty of space for feedback from people who are interested in and know about the social cause you are trying to address.
With some earnest effort, a robust plan, reliable guidance, and a bit of luck, you can make a social business crowdfunding campaign work for you.
Feel free to access our Social Business Canvas HERE to help you model your business ideas.