Introducing Fit for the future: A new series helping social businesses build financial health, agility and staying power
Buzzacott’s Eddie Finch introduces our new series, which aims to help social entrepreneurs lock in the essential elements of a solid business that’s set for growth. Want to retain your spirit of adventure and sense of purpose without sacrificing the longevity of your enterprise? Start here
Social entrepreneurs need to deliver on their social mission. Their passion to change something is often what has driven them to set up an enterprise in the first place.
But they also face the everyday challenges of running a viable business – with all the accounting, tax, employment and other requirements and regulations that brings. Many also have to get to grips with other rules and processes when it comes to public procurement, charity or other public benefit frameworks.
Fit for the Future is a new series that aims to help social entrepreneurs retain their disruptive spirit and sense of purpose while growing the resilience of their business. A partnership between Buzzacott and Pioneers Post, it looks at both strategy and operations, helping leaders to identify the key points of improvement that will set you up for long-term sustainability.
Some social business models are best suited to highly local, specialist activity: for them, small is beautiful. But many social entrepreneurs will build companies that – with the right people, processes and financing – can scale up and disrupt existing ways of doing business, bringing more goods, services and social outcomes to more people. Wherever you set your growth targets, Fit for the Future aims to help social businesses like yours with expert advice, practical resources and downloads, and honest insights from founders and CEOs who’ve been there before you.
We’ll draw on the expertise of our specialists at Buzzacott, and the experience of those we’ve worked with, to explore some common challenges of business growth, including:
- Culture: how do you stay true to or embed your company culture as your team grows? How do you build awareness of social value throughout the enterprise, from the boardroom to the coalface?
- The right finance: how do you find the right investors – those who believe in the bigger purpose as well as seeking financial returns?
- Social value: how do social businesses evaluate and articulate the social value they create – and what insights can we learn from leading social entrepreneurs?
- Growth: how do you handle the growing pains of transitioning from seat-of-the-pants start- up, to mature, strategically-driven business? At what point should you think about switching your leadership style, about governance that doesn’t stifle innovation, or about planning for your succession?
- Navigating risk: how do you enable your organisation to thrive while managing risk? Where are the possible pitfalls when it comes to contracts and procurement, VAT and other taxes?
- Operational efficiencies: how can you build internal systems and processes that can scale along with your business? How do you set up clear management information systems that enable compliance with accounting, tax, employment and other regulatory frameworks?
- Impact management: how do you make sure your systems and processes for managing and reporting on impact, as well as on operations and finances, are robust?
We hope you’ll find the upcoming articles, podcasts and other resources useful. We would also love to hear about your experiences and ideas – please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to share them.