The ability to affect positive change and tackle social or environmental issues is one of the most satisfying parts of owning a social enterprise.
A strong sense of purpose and the desire to change the world motivates social entrepreneurs to start this business. If you are ready to change the world, then start it with proper planning.
Need help writing a business plan for your social enterprise business? You’re at the right place. Our social enterprise business plan template will help you get started.
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How to Write A Social Enterprise Business Plan?
Writing a social enterprise business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:
1. Executive Summary
An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the entire business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.
Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:
Introduce your Business:
Start your executive summary by briefly introducing your business to your readers.
This section may include the name of your social enterprise business, its location, when it was founded, the type of social enterprise business (E.g., fair trade organizations, socially responsible manufacturing, social healthcare enterprises), etc.
Summarize your market research, including market size, growth potential, and marketing trends. Highlight the opportunities in the market and how your business will fit in to fill the gap.
Products and Services:
Highlight the social enterprise services or products you offer your clients. The USPs and differentiators you offer are always a plus.
For instance, you may include consultancy and training as some of the services you provide.
Marketing & Sales Strategies:
Outline your sales and marketing strategies—what marketing platforms you use, how you plan on acquiring customers, etc.
Briefly summarize your financial projections for the initial years of business operations. Include any capital or investment requirements, associated startup costs, projected revenues, and profit forecasts.
Call to Action:
Summarize your executive summary section with a clear CTA, for example, inviting angel investors to discuss the potential business investment.
Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.
2. Business Overview
The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your business. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:
Describe your business in this section by providing all the basic information:
Describe what kind of social enterprise business you run and the name of it. You may specialize in one of the following social enterprise businesses:
- Fairtrade organizations
- Community development enterprises
- Socially responsible manufacturing
- Trading social enterprise
- Education and skills development enterprises
- Describe the legal structure of your social enterprise, whether it is a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or others.
- Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.
List the names of your social enterprise’s founders or owners. Describe what shares they own and their responsibilities for efficiently managing the business.
Summarize your business’ objective, core principles, and values in your mission statement. This statement needs to be memorable, clear, and brief.
If you’re an established social enterprise, briefly describe your business history, like—when it was founded, how it evolved over time, etc.
Additionally, If you have received any awards or recognition for excellent work, describe them.
It’s crucial to convey your aspirations and vision. Mention your short-term and long-term goals; they can be specific targets for revenue, market share, or expanding your services.
This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its future plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.
3. Market Analysis
The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.
Start this section by describing your target market. Define your ideal customer and explain what types of services they prefer. Creating a buyer persona will help you easily define your target market to your readers.
For instance, socially conscious consumers or cause-oriented organizations would be an ideal target audience for a social enterprise business.
Market size and growth potential:
Describe your market size and growth potential and whether you will target a niche or a much broader market.
The global market of social enterprise business totaled USD 6.4 in 2021, which is expected to rise to 26.5$ billion by 2032.
Identify and analyze your direct and indirect competitors. Identify their strengths and weaknesses, and describe what differentiates your social enterprise business from them. Point out how you have a competitive edge in the market.
Analyze emerging trends in the industry, such as technology disruptions, changes in customer behavior or preferences, etc. Explain how your business will cope with all the trends.
For instance, sustainable & ethical consumption has an increasing demand; explain how you plan on dealing with this potential growth opportunity.
List regulations and licensing requirements that may affect your social enterprise business, such as legal structure, registration & certification, taxation, employment & labor laws, etc.
Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your social enterprise business plan:
- Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
- Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
- Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
- Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.
4. Products And Services
The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:
Describe your services:
Mention the social enterprise products or services your business will offer. This list may include products or services like,
- Eco-friendly household products
- Sustainable fashion items
- Job training
- Healthcare services
- Renewable energy products
Explain the benefits:
Explain in detail how your products and services have a positive impact on society or the environment. Be sure to highlight how they help in environmental protection, community empowerment, and sustainable development. To corroborate your claims, use specific examples or figures.
Showcase the innovative side:
Emphasize any unique features, technology integration, or distinctive value proposition your products or services may offer. Describe how they set your products apart from the competition and help you reach your goal of having a positive social impact.
Mention if your social enterprise business offers any additional services. You may include services like education & training, consulting & advisory services, product service & customization, etc.
In short, this section of your social enterprise plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.
5. Sales And Marketing Strategies
Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:
Unique Selling Proposition (USP):
Define your business’s USPs depending on the market you serve, the equipment you use, and the unique services you provide. Identifying USPs will help you plan your marketing strategies.
For example, product & service quality or ethical & transparent practices could be some of the great USPs for a professional social enterprise business.
Describe your pricing strategy—how you plan to price your products or services and stay competitive in the local market. You can mention any discounts you plan on offering to attract new customers.
Discuss your marketing strategies to market your services. You may include some of these marketing strategies in your business plan—social media marketing, influencer marketing, brochures, email marketing, content marketing, and print marketing.
Outline the strategies you’ll implement to maximize your sales. Your sales strategies may include targeted marketing & segmentation, partnering with other local businesses, offering referral programs, etc.
Describe your customer retention strategies and how you plan to execute them. For instance, introducing loyalty programs, discounts on bulk purchases, personalized service, etc.
Overall, this section of your social enterprise business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.
Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your social enterprise business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.
6. Operations Plan
The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:
Staffing & Training:
Mention your business’s staffing requirements, including the number of employees or volunteers needed. Include their qualifications, the training required, and the duties they will perform.
Outline the processes and procedures you will use to run your social enterprise business. Your operational processes may include legal structure & compliance, resource management, operations & production, etc.
Equipment & Machinery:
Include the list of equipment and machinery required for social enterprise, such as manufacturing or production equipment, kitchen & cooking equipment, recycling or waste management, etc.
Explain how these technologies help you maintain quality standards and improve the efficiency of your business operations.
Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.
7. Management Team
The management team section provides an overview of your social enterprise business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.
Mention the founders and CEO of your social enterprise business, and describe their roles and responsibilities in successfully running the business.
Introduce your management and key members of your team, and explain their roles and responsibilities.
It should include, key executives(e.g. COO, CMO.), senior management, and other department managers (e.g. operations manager, customer services manager.) involved in the social enterprise business operations, including their education, professional background, and any relevant experience in the industry.
Explain the organizational structure of your management team. Include the reporting line and decision-making hierarchy.
Describe your compensation plan for the management and staff. Include their salaries, incentives, and other benefits.
Mentioning advisors or consultants in your business plans adds credibility to your business idea.
So, if you have any advisors or consultants, include them with their names and brief information consisting of roles and years of experience.
This section should describe the key personnel for your social enterprise services, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.
8. Financial Plan
Your financial plan section should provide a summary of your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:
Profit & loss statement:
Describe details such as projected revenue, operational costs, and service costs in your projected profit and loss statement. Make sure to include your business’s expected net profit or loss.
Cash flow statement:
The cash flow for the first few years of your operation should be estimated and described in this section. This may include billing invoices, payment receipts, loan payments, and any other cash flow statements.
Create a projected balance sheet documenting your social enterprise business’s assets, liabilities, and equity.
Determine and mention your business’s break-even point—the point at which your business costs and revenue will be equal.
This exercise will help you understand how much revenue you need to generate to sustain or be profitable.
Calculate costs associated with starting a social enterprise business, and estimate your financing needs and how much capital you need to raise to operate your business. Be specific about your short-term and long-term financing requirements, such as investment capital or loans.
Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.
The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.
- Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections.
- In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more.
These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
- Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
- Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
- Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.
Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.
Remember, the appendix section of your social enterprise business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.
This sample social enterprise business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful social enterprise plan, including all the essential components of your business.
After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our social enterprise business plan pdf.