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Guest Blogger: Tim Bursch and "4 Tips to Profit and Impact"

Apr 06, 2009

6a010534a53f1d970b01156ff58705970b-320pi.jpgGuest blogger Tim Bursch is a passionate about integrating business and social change. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Heather and two great kids. You can see some of his ventures at http://timbursch.com/about-tim-bursch/



GUEST POST:


So you've heard the buzz about Social Entrepreneurs and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It seems like a movement that is here to stay.

 

More people want to integrate their social interest and business. But how do you make a profit and social impact? It doesn’t matter if you're running a bakery or a bank. You can make a difference.

 

Consider these 4 steps and integrate a social mission into your business:

 

1. LISTEN AND THINK

  • Research the needs in your community. Start talking to non-profits, educators and city officials. Ask them what they see, what are the needs and what are their challenges.
  • Ask yourself some questions. What gets you excited?
  • Brainstorm ways your business could make a practical difference? A bakery could offer discounts. A dry cleaner could offer an job interview special.

 

2. PLAN AND SHARE

  • Choose your challenge and set a goal with your team or business.
  • Get input from those already working with the issues in the community. Continue to build relationship with the non-profits, educators and/or city officials.
  • Consider collaboration. You might find another business or leader that has the same vision.

 

3. JUST DO IT.

  • Start.
  • Measure and record. Just like you have sales goals and profit margins, make it fun to make a difference. Keep track of giving, recycling, planting, and volunteer hours.
  • Revisit and adjust. Every 6 months or so, revisit your measurements, your plan and get feedback from your community relationships. Don’t be afraid to adjust.

 

4. MAKE IT PART OF YOUR BUSINESS.

  • Be honest. Social mission is not a ploy to gain more customers, but more customers are looking for businesses engaged in social issues.
  • Tell your story. Talk about what you are trying and what you are learning.
  • Keep it simple. Make it easy for people to talk about. If you decide to invest 5% of profits in a local school, make that clear on your receipt.
  • Invite. Ask customers to join you. Maybe they can volunteer to paint a house alongside you. It might be a donation jar on the counter.

How are you integrating a social mission into your business? Share your story.



Tags:
Category: Strategy

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