Beginning work on identifying the difference you make, to your customers, can be difficult. Do you have enough information? Are the right people involved? Is there any information to collect? Will people be interested? How much of a plan do you need before you can start? Do you need a plan B?
Also, this type of work is not just about you but also about the people you work with, your team and your customers. Just sticking with your team, are you clear about their perspectives of their role? Also, how they view the difference they believe they make to your customers? It can all get really overwhelming!
So, a great starting point with all of this is to gather your immediate team together and get the kettle on. Get the flip chart paper ready and a few post-it notes and be prepared to spend an hour in an open and honest discussion. Then ask three questions:
1. Who are we?
2. What do we do?
3. Why do we do it?
Simple questions, yes. But hopefully they will encourage everyone to put forward their views about their role and job, which may also include some assumptions and expectations. Now you have some notes on flip chart paper and some completed post-it notes. What next? We will be sharing our thoughts on this in the near future.
You run a successful business and also see yourself as socially minded. You like to support your local community by employing local people. You try to make good environmental choices and recycle when you can. You encourage your staff to volunteer. You also like to give some of your time to a local community group, to help them support other local people.
Does any of this make any difference to your customers? After all you know they are happy with the service and products you provide. Do they really need to know anything else? Maybe….
You know that measuring the success of your business is straightforward in relation to turnover and profit; these can be counted. However, trying to measure the difference your business choices, your staff, your processes and systems, and your time, make to both your customers, and the people, and places, within your local community, is much harder. The ways in which you bring value to your community cannot be told by numbers alone.
Does employing local people make a difference? If so, how? Does giving time to a local community group make a difference to them and the people they work with? Does any of this actually matter to your current and future customers? Maybe. Have you asked them? You might be surprised.
If you would like to spend time with other socially minded business owners exploring some of these issues, as well as being introduced to some of the tools that will help you tell your social value story, then please get in touch or check our the details of our next workshop here…https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/give2gain-summer-workshop-tickets-61625673047