Dwight Peters is a Social Entrepreneur and the founder of QuarterWaters.Â He interviews successful Social Entrepreneurs to learn how they did it. You can listen to his interviews at QuarterWaters.comÂ
Rule #1: Stick to one thing and do it well!
Ok, ok… so you want to save the world, end poverty, global warming and create world peace all in one shot. That probably wont work, well if definitely will not work in one attempt but there is good news my friends. You decided to become anÂ entrepreneurÂ because you care about the world and you realized that through the power of business, change can come. What you need to do is focus on one service at a time. Who are you? What does your social entreprise embodied? What do you guys (and/or gals) do and do well?Â If your startup tries to do too much, youâ€™ll lose.
Rule #2: Engage with your audience!
Quit pretending that youâ€™re smarter than everybody, fortunately enough there is always somebody who is smarter then us and thats a good thing. If you have an idea, get out their and tell people about it. Be open to feedback. Do not fall in love with your idea so much that you dont keep an ear open for constructiveÂ criticism.
Rule #3: Be crappy
Its ok if your productÂ isn’tÂ perfect, this goes back to rule #2, just launch it. You need to put something thatâ€™s truly unique and will be of value to others, but your first version doesnâ€™t have to be perfect. If you wait for perfection before you launch, you will end up waiting forever.
Rule #4: Its ok to copy!
You do not have to create something brand new! Innovate, Innovate, Innovate! Great ideas come a dime a dozen, there are so many products currently out their that will the slightest twist they can be turned into a product to start off your social entreprise.
Rule #5: Keep your day job, if you can…
Your excited. Your ready to go. You ready to quit your day job…. well not so fast. You don’t need to give up your day job to get your start-up off the ground.Â It used to be you had to go out there and raise a lot of cash on a business plan and you’d run the huge risk of failing pretty miserably. Now you can start a company on the side while you keep your full-time job. Do it at night, network on your off-hours and get it out to market.
Rule #6 : Build it and they will come!
Social Entrepreneurship is a tough market for raising money. Before you waste your time trying to raise money, work on building your product. Focus on getting a working prototype and a great looking (and functional) site. If you followed Rule #3, andÂ receivedÂ feedback on your idea you should make theÂ necessaryÂ changes. Who knows? After doing that, you might find that you donâ€™t even need investorsâ€™ money.
Rule #7: Failure is ok
Its ok if your ideaÂ doesn’tÂ stick. Just get up and brush it off. The world needs Social Entrepreneurs now more then ever. Learn from your mistakes and get back on the saddle.