Growing your social business can be a great way to improve sustainability and social impact.
Consider the following as part of your growth strategy:
Social business growth plan
When planning to grow your social enterprise, start by determining whether growth is the best course of action. Growth for growth's sake may be an indication of mission drift rather than a step towards achieving your social mission.
To make sure growth will actually improve business performance, take a look at our guide to business planning for social business.
Growth may also result in a high-risk situation where fluctuations in profitability or cash flow overwhelm your capital - a scenario known as 'over-trading'. But if it generates profits or makes your team stronger, growth may improve the business.
If you’ve established that growth is a feasible course of action for your social business, there are a number of ways you could go about it. You can broaden your market, your offering or your geographic coverage. Growth may also mean teaming up with other businesses by cooperating or merging.
Consider the routes to growth shown below either individually or as a mix:
Ways to grow your social enterprise:
Social business expansion
Growth through expansion is achieved by opening up your offering to a wider marketplace.
Social business diversification
Growing your social business through diversification means widening the range of goods or services you offer.
Consortia working for social businesses
Consortia working is a growth strategy which involves creating a team of organisations which can aggregate their budgets, skills and resources.
Social business spin-outs
Social business growth can also be achieved through breaking up the organisation into smaller, more efficient social enterprises
Social business mergers and acquisitions
You can also grow your social enterprise through aggregating existing organisations with similar social mission.
Social business franchising
Social franchising provides a replicable social business package which can be used in other locations and contexts.
Employee ownership for social businesses
This section examines the unique routes for growth available to businesses that are owned by their employees.
Social business growth case studies
Examples of social businesses across Wales we’ve helped grow and transform.
Social business help and support from Business Wales
Business Wales offers a wealth of information, advice and guidance for business owners. Below, we’ve listed some useful resources for growing your social business: