6 June 2018: Measuring your Impact - Simple Strategies To Grow Your Business

Charlie Bradley Ross Monday, 30 April 2018

Measuring and communicating your impact is a crucial strategy for marketing and business growth - so why do so many creative businesses struggle to do this? Not only can you proudly see how much impact your company has, month on month, but knowing exactly how much positive change you're making can be vital in securing grants and investment to grow your business!

Los Angeles
Sunday Apr 29th, 2018 - 17:00pm
Monday Apr 30th, 2018 - 01:00am
Monday Apr 30th, 2018 - 05:30am
Monday Apr 30th, 2018 - 10:00am

Measuring and communicating your impact is a crucial strategy for marketing and business growth - so why do so many creative businesses struggle to do this? Not only can you proudly see how much impact your company has, month on month, but knowing exactly how much positive change you're making can be vital in securing grants and investment to grow your business!
Join Kat Luckock founder of Share Impact as we discover how to measure your impact business' social and environmental impact and how you can communicate this to help grow your business.

Many entrepreneurs see 'impact measurement' as a daunting task that needs an expensive expert researcher or academic to carry out. Kat Luckock believes differently and shares her insight in this webinar for designers, creatives and social entrepreneurs who are trying to do good in the world through business. She considers measuring and communicating your impact to be a key strategy for marketing and business growth. Developed from her own experience as a social entrepreneur and now Business Coach for other creative entrepreneurs, Kat shares her simple steps for identifying, measuring and communicating your impact in relevant ways to your vision and strategy.

We cover:

  • Understanding what social/environmental impact is and how it's relevant to your business.
  • Discovering why impact measurement matters to your business strategy.
  • Learn how to measure your impact in simple, achievable and realistic ways.
  • Simple steps to communicate your impact better to attract customers.

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Key Takeaways

1. My story as a Social Entrepreneur

It started for me in 2012 when me and my best friend, Jen Baughan, were given an amazing opportunity to take over a small education programme which had been running for about 8 years, previously, in Yorkshire.

At the time I knew nothing about social entrepreneurship but had been working in the third sector for most of my career and was confident about organisational development, education programme design and applying for grant funding. My friend, Jen, had just finished her Masters in Business & Community so was much more familiar with the social enterprise model.

We were both interested in running a business underpinned by our social and environmental values and a mission that created change in the world; whilst generating an income and profit.

So we dived right in and took the business from £14k / annum to over £100k / annum in 18 months.

Solutions for the Planet is an education programme delivered in secondary schools encouraging 11-13 year to apply their learning of sustainability and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills in creating a business. We sell the programme to businesses in the energy, utility and construction sectors as a partnership opportunity for them to achieve their CSR, HR & Marketing objectives.

It was a steep learning curve and we learnt a lot, being constantly self-critical and seeking feedback and improvement, we developed things quickly and with agility.

We realised our skill was being able to communicate our impact to the needs of our customers (corporate partners) rather than just telling them what we did, we sought to understand them first and then map our impact to their needs and desires.

2. What I know & believe

There were many things I learnt about operating as a social enterprise and from being part of leadership / scale-up programmes with other social entrepreneurs during my time at Solutions for the Planet (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Most people in the corporate world had no idea about social entrepreneurship. They didn’t understand how it was different to a charity. And thought we were just asking for sponsorship.
  • Social entrepreneurs struggled with sales, marketing and the idea of making a profit
  • They didn’t understand how we were successful in selling our programme to corporates, and not just asking for support or sponsorship
  • The other huge challenge was they had a huge passion and commitment to the good they did in the world but they [social entrepreneurs] couldn’t articulate their impact or back it up with the facts.
  • Playing small and wanting to earn “Just enough to pay the bills” not create profitable and sustainable organisations.
    What I believe and teach my clients:
  • Anything is possible, if you have a clear objective, are intentional, take consistent action to achieve it, and are flexible and humble enough to accept when you make a mistake and adjust.
  • Social entrepreneurs can and should make a profit
  • Your unique vision is important and valid (e.g. Charlie as an example)
  • Fear is a great indicator of where you should go
  • There is a growing appetite for businesses doing things differently,being social & environmentally responsible but we need to be cautious of green-wash, there’s still a huge amount of education that needs to be done, and it’s important to make a genuine connection with people
    3. What is social/environmental impact?Put simply, social or environmental impact is the change you create which has a positive net difference on people, society, the environment or the economy.Some examples include:
    • Employing people and paying them fair & decent wages
    • Reducing water pollution through your manufacturing or production process
    • Creating a creche or school for employees’ children to go to or learn whilst they’re at work
    • Empowering women to participate in society, community life or politics
    • Creating opportunities for people to start their own business
    • Supporting the organic cotton trade so global prices become more competitive
    • Reducing waste to landfill
    • Reducing carbon emissions during the production process
    • Using recycled or up-cycled materials instead of raw, virgin materials limiting the environmental impact of production, reduces landfill waste, and inspires creativity.
    • Working directly with highly skilled artisans and craftspeople, to keep skills, technique and culture alive through their craft.
    • Create job opportunities and skills training for marginalised communities, facilitating financial independence, sustainable economic development or improving health & well-being.
    • Sourced locally to reduce carbon footprint
    • Work with natural, biodegradable materials such as cotton, linen, or wool. These materials will naturally decompose at the end of their life.
    • Vegan or cruelty-free
What are you doing that has a social or environmental impact?

Get in touch if you want to understand more about the incredible impact you’re already creating in the world.

4. Why impact measurement matters to your business strategy

Simon Sinek’s (Video: How great leaders inspire action) talks about the importance of communicating why your business exists, rather than just the how and what? (He also has a book “Start with Why?” I believe essential reading for any entrepreneur).

People connect with your why. And for social enterprise your why is usually connected with the problem/challenge you’re seeking to solve and the impact or change you create.

When you can back this up with evidence to demonstrate you actually achieve what you say you are, people really pay attention. Including funders, customers, and investors.

So measuring your impact and communicating this to your target audiences makes a big difference to how you generate income and your business strategy.

In my experience, most people aren’t doing this yet. And so if you do you’ll be ahead of the curve.

I figured this out whilst I was at Solutions for the Planet:

  • We weren’t known or trusted
  • We were small & under-funded
  • We were bold and ambitious and could communicate how we wanted to take with us on a journey
  • We could explain the impact we wanted to create

Point 2 – Changing consumer attitudes for ethical, sustainable practices

Point 3 - People want transparency, accountability, values and to influence change

5. Learn how to measure impact in simple ways (aligned to your capacity and knowledge)
  • What difference do you want to be creating? Why?
  • What is the baseline data/evidence that exists to demonstrate the problem (or status quo)
  • What do you do to create change?
  • What indicators would demonstrate any change has taken place? Recognise your own capacity and capability. Find baseline data that already exists. E.g. What data already exists about the difference Fairtrade makes to individuals, families and communities? What data already exists about what proportion of clothing bought goes to landfill? What data already exists about the average carbon emissions from transporting jewellery to sales locations? What do you do differently? And how do your processes deliver different results?Data types – not just statistics and metrics...you can also:
  • Capture people’s experiences
  • Tell stories (before & after)
  • Take photographs
  • Create case studies
  • Measure the distance travelled, use surveys, face-to-face interviews, focus group, observation, record keeping, blogging/diary, outcomes star, videos.
6. Simple steps to communicate your impact better to attract customers
  • Who is your message for?
  • What do they want and need to know?
  • Where are they? Go to where they’re at.
  • What format will they want the information in? (Video, post, blog, article, report, presentation/pitch etc)
7. Wrap-up & Summary
  • Reading list
  • Facebook Group – The Impact Entrepreneurs Club
  • Freebie offer
  • Contact me for more details at [email protected]
8. Q&A