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Challenges of Social Impact Businesses

If you’re an OBM navigating the seas of purpose-driven companies, this is your guide to understanding their challenges and how you can be the right-hand wrestling with those tensions. In this podcast, our guest  Jess Sato, will delve into crucial insights for OBMs seeking to navigate and thrive in this industry. 

The Lay of the Land: Challenges Shared and Unique

Picture this: social impact businesses, like any other, face the usual suspects of business challenges – visibility, aligned marketing efforts, and a strategic sales approach. These are the common threads weaving through the fabric of every business landscape. But here’s the kicker – social impact businesses have an additional layer of complexity.

What sets them apart is the constant balancing act between purpose, mission impact, and profitability. While traditional businesses focus on making money, social impact ventures must dance on a tightrope, ensuring their mission stays front and center. It’s like a seesaw, always oscillating between purpose and profit. Now, here’s the real question: How do they keep that balance, ensuring they don’t sacrifice impact for the sake of the bottom line?

The Challenges: Purpose vs. Profit, Measurement, and Communication

The tension between purpose and profit is a constant companion for social impact businesses. It’s a struggle to elevate and maintain the mission without inadvertently making decisions that undermine the impact for the sake of financial gains. Imagine a scale where purpose and profits are the weights – the goal is to tip it more towards purpose.

Then there’s the Herculean task of measuring and communicating impact. Unlike traditional businesses, where outcomes can be easily quantified, social impact is often a long-term game. How do you showcase the effectiveness of your work when the impact might not be visible immediately? It’s the Everest of challenges in the industry.

Real Talk: An Example of Doing It Right

This podcast episode highlights a shining example – Lisa. She’s revolutionizing the narrative around substance use disorder, focusing not only on the individual but also on their families. Lisa embodies the delicate dance between profit and purpose, ensuring her business thrives while making a positive impact.

Tips for OBMs in the Social Impact Space

If you’re an OBM eyeing the social impact niche, here are some nuggets of wisdom:

Align from the Start: When taking on a new client, make sure your values align. Dive deep into their stance on social issues and ensure it resonates with your principles.

Build a Yardstick: Establish non-negotiables for yourself. What values must align for you to consider a partnership? Don’t compromise on your principles.

Be the Fluid Partner: Embrace the fluidity of purpose and profit priorities. Be the right-hand person who guides the CEO through the constant ebb and flow.

Constant Communication: Keep the conversation alive. Regularly discuss revenue, lead pipelines, and resource availability. Stay in sync with the CEO’s vision.

Remember, the relationship between an OBM and a social impact business is a two-way street. Both parties must be comfortable with the fluidity, interconnectedness, and constant evolution.

So, go out there, find the perfect fit, and be the badass OBM your purpose-driven CEO needs!

Don’t forget, for all the details, listen to the podcast episode. Enjoy your journey, OBMs!

CLICK HERE  for that awesome experience! 

Have some experiences about this that you want to share? Let me know in the comments below! 

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