2. Defining Your Business Model /

2.4. Keeping business activity simple and focused

STANDARD:

We keep our business activity clear, simple and focused on needs.

To meet the standard in full, you will be able to demonstrate that your business activity is clear, simple and narrowly focused on solving a social problem. Any changes to your business activity are in keeping with your mission, planned carefully and based on regular feedback from the people most affected by your work.

The ability to achieve a clear focus can be a big challenge for social enterprises.

Many social entrepreneurs are driven, ambitious, and idealistic. They start their social enterprise because they are very passionate about a particular social issue or problem. However, it’s easy to get distracted by all the problems you will come across and the temptation is to try to solve too many issues at once.

Where possible, stay focused on your mission and be specific about how you will achieve it. For example, if your mission is to end homelessness its best to start by being specific about how you can first achieve this on a local or very concentrated scale.

Also, try to be as straightforward and transparent as you can about what you offer. The easiest way to build trust is to be clear with others about what and you are doing and will not be doing.

Continue to refine and develop the work of your social enterprise over time. You may find better ways of organising your services, reaching customers and doing so more profitably. Changes should be driven by the goal of making more impact.

In Section 10 we look at how you can use the feedback and data you gather to increase impact.