Growing a social business

Growing a social business can be seen as a route to improved sustainability and social impact. However, it must not be taken lightly or in an organic, unplanned way.

Points to consider:

  • Growth, as such, may not necessarily contribute to the achievement of the social mission. Growth for growth's sake is sometimes an indication of mission drift.
  • Growth may improve business performance but this is also not a necessary truth. It is worth looking at Business Planning for a Social Business.
  • Growth may improve the strength of the business, especially if it generates profits and build reserves and enables the recruitment of a stronger and more capable team, but it may also generate a high-risk situation where relatively small fluctuations in profitability or cash flow on the larger turnover can overwhelm a small capital base or low cash reserves - a situation known as 'over-trading'.

Assuming that these considerations have been taken into account, a social business can consider the routes to growth shown below either individually or in a mix.

In this section:

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