“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” Ernest Hemingway
It is now over three years that I started my online business journey, yet I have not been able to come up with a brand of my own. Why should I care about having a branded product?
Your Own Brand
Most of the courses I have been through, each coach after another have emphasised the need for your own branded product, as the ultimate online success. Then there are two types of a brand:
Digital versus Physical
There’s a particular trainer who favours ONLY digital products. His reason for preferring digital products to physical products is that you are encumbered as your business grows. With physical products, you are burdened with costs of production, warehousing, insurance, thefts, post and packing, damages and returns. He said they all add up to eat into your profit. He went on and on to discourage his students about physical products.
With digital products, the customers get instant access, and it is all profit after the guarantee return has ended. What are the digital products out there? Most are training, one form or the other, coaching in one skill or the other. So in real life, we find a lot of online training, most recycling old ones while others improve on existing ones.
Am I convinced about the huge profit on those digital products out there? Not really I am afraid. I am interested in setting up a socially responsible enterprise, with whatever brand I have. Yes, any of the physical and digital products can be set up to be socially responsible. But a huge profit or big financial reward need not be the only motivation.
A Social Enterprise Company
According to its definition, a social enterprise company has a specific SOCIAL OBJECTIVE that serves as its primary purpose. There’s this myth that you cannot have a business that gives profound service and make money at the same time, especially on Spirituality & Health Niche. This is not true. You will be burdened with not being able to meet your day to day financial needs as time goes on. This will make you unhappy, irresponsible and lose focus.
Success is about making a difference in the world. I believe there’s no room for being mean in life anymore. A business should not focus on keeping all the profit. A business should care, ready to touch the lives of people, animals and the planet. A business that educates and is much more involved in upbuilding the world at large.
Different from a Non-Profit Company
A non-profit company is run primarily NOT TO make profits, but rather rely solely on donations from people that support their cause. The cause can also be a social cause nevertheless. They are known to make use of volunteers for most of their services.
A non-profit organisation is accountable to its donors who want to ensure donations are in line with the values they represent.
A social organisation is run FOR-PROFIT but committed to using a percentage of its profit for the social cause. Does have a team of the paid workforce.
Who Is A Social Organisation For?
You might be interested in a social enterprise if :
You value community and support change
You want a socially just and sustainable planet.
You have a big bold and clear plan of action and also want to be financially rewarded while doing all these.
Training On A Social Entrepreneurship
There’s this webinar I attended, directed by Ryan Eliason. His training was based on teaching people how to set up socially responsible companies, which he termed visionary businesses. He is quite impressive and has successful students. One is Ocean Robbins of the Food Revolution Network.
Coming Up With An Idea
An idea of a social enterprise business can spring up from anywhere really, ranging from a day to day activities to deep-thinking on what you are worried or concerned about. Also, it can come from what gives you joy too.
“Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.” Rachel Naomi Remen
There are so much evil and injustices going on in the world perpetrated by people, WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND what they are doing. Proper education will, therefore, have a massive impact. So much we can do to help the world at large.
Ocean Robbins in Food Revolutionary Network wants people TO START EATING RIGHT. He is disgusted with so many illnesses that come from people being careless with what they eat. He wants to prevent tons of diseases that spring from bad nutrition.
Another example is Christy Whitman of Quantum Success Coaching Academy. She wants you to create a business where you are paid abundantly for helping others achieve their life goals and visions.
The Happiness Factor
Why would I or anyone be interested in supporting a larger audience through a social organisation? It is a balancing act in nature to bestow on others part of which has been given to us. That is one reason we feel happy and good about helping others. It also has a significant effect on our well being. Helping does boost our self-esteem giving us the ‘’happiness factor’’.
“We rise by lifting others.” Robert G. Ingersoll
On the business factor, Cone Communication and Echo Research (2017 study) noted these key findings:
63% of Americans are hopeful businesses will take a lead to drive social and environmental change, moving forward in absence of government regulation
78% want companies to address important social justice issues.
87% will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they care about.
76% will refuse to purchase company products or services upon learning it supports an issue contrary to their belief.
Elephant Gin- Some percentage of your purchase goes to support elephant conservation in Africa.
Tom Shoes — stated categorically that every pair you purchase, Tom will give back a pair of shoes to children in need.
Pooch & Mutt — help feed rescue dogs from your purchases.
Many of the huge corporations like Coca-cola, Nike, Unilever, Smithkline Bechams do have the social causes they support.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Pericles
Help Is At Hand
There are various organisations, both governmental and non-government giving the needed help and support to whoever is interested in setting up a social organisation, whether at a start-up level or to coordinate into an existing organisation. Examples are; Fairtrade Foundation, The Soil Association, Social Enterprises (UK) and Inspire of Enterprises to name just a few.
Tips on Setting Up A Social Enterprise Company
Set out your goal clearly enough for customers to understand. That means who you are supporting and why. Simple enough for customers to see the need to buy into your brand.
Motivate your team. Success comes first from inside. There’s the need to let your team see your whys and carry them along. They will be your happy ambassadors.
Do you want partners? Ensure they support your dream and share the same value and mission as you.
Ask for help where and when necessary. People who ask receive.
Monetise your idea right from the beginning. After all, it is a business that you expect to be sustainable.
Do not be overwhelmed with too many issues at a time. One thing at a time will give much-needed focus.
Passion is important, as this enables you to enjoy the journey and build credibility.
Are you interested in a social enterprise? You have a bit of knowledge about it now until you decide what to do.