When you hear the words ‘cause-based business’, the first thing that usually pops up in your head is ‘non-profit’. That is not the case anymore. With the rise in social media which has now given a much-needed platform to people to voice their pain-points, a business that actually solves a real-world problem for people or serves a bigger cause, can now also be a profitable one. How?
The first thing to figure out is why such a business needs to exist in the first place, and what purpose does it fulfil. There’s no one answer to this question – it could range from being a niggling thought in your head about something not being right to having a full-fledged idea about changing the world. The ‘why’ is the key here because businesses that bet big on their purpose, tend to base entire processes like hiring, strategy and operations around it, and when all of these align under one higher purpose, the companies tend to think long, not short – which is not exactly a secret when it comes to successful brands.
Define The Vision
Such a business also needs to define what the ideal world they are trying to create will actually look like. It helps convince the people involved on how to achieve that goal. The vision could be small in scale or a grand one that encompasses a detailed timeline about the company and its work’s future. For example, let us say a company wants to solve world hunger by creating a technology that addresses food wastage. The vision can be something small like “making sure your next meal is not a compromise” or something more ambitious, like “Ensuring no one sleeps hungry. Ever.” The key is to not necessarily market the tech and all the engineering behind it but to hype up the humanitarian vision that birthed this tech.
Nail The Strategy
Once the purpose and the vision are defined, all it takes is to hire the right people who can zero in on the most efficient strategy to create this business. Here are a few proven methods when it comes to absolutely nailing the strategy.
Just because your business solves a major problem does not necessarily mean it will be always in the best position to do so. Having the ability to do something and putting yourself in the right place at the right time are totally different things. Imagine running a company that wants to solve the babysitter problem for mothers but at a larger scale. Identifying that their core user base is this huge subset of humans called mothers is one of the foundational layers of the business strategy. Without it, the entire thing might topple at the first sign of trouble.
Identifying Users’ Unique Problems
Once you’ve identified your TG (target group) it is time to put on your empathy shoes and see the world through their eyes. Skipping this step can seriously hamper your strategy because then you would mostly be shooting in the dark. Continuing our earlier example, once mothers have been established as your core market, it is time for you to understand their most constant pain points. Mothers have trust issues when it comes to looking for someone to leave their child with. So how about a shared daycare, where each mother can take up a day and help all the other mothers. See how that worked? First the pain point was identified, and then a solution was suggested. This would not happen in a company without empathy.
Suggest Multiple Solutions
Once your targeting and empathy exercises are fulfilled, it is time to come off as a total pro, someone who knows their users, understands their challenges and offers marketable solutions for multiple pain points of the TG. This implies that no matter at what point of their journey the TGs are, they have access to solutions for each and every paint point. This also helps your clients to see you not only as a company that wants to solve a series of problems, but also as someone with the actual ability to do so. This kind of validation from the industry insiders helps you not only stay afloat but also positions your company as the industry leader who can solve said problems. And that means more business. More business, more profits. And eventually, more trust of people whose problem you are solving.
The execution of the roadmap has to be unique because unlike most other strategies, this one will value people over profitability. That does not mean it will not be profitable. It only implies that the profit will not come at the cost of the core vision – something that reminds you why you are doing what you are doing in the first place.