Principles for Long-Term Success for Social Entrepreneurs

Natalie Jones Verified / April 28, 2022


Every small business or nonprofit is a little different, but regardless of your products or structure, there are some fundamental principles every entrepreneur needs to practice, especially if you are a social entrepreneur aiming to serve your community. These principles may look like basic common sense, but you might be surprised at how often people don’t translate theory into practice.  

Net Worth Space wants you to know it’s a good idea to evaluate your own management and make sure you are actively following ethical and sustainable practices. 


Set clear objectives and have a plan to meet them

It’s difficult to complete projects successfully if you’re always flying by the seat of your pants. This is especially the case if you are a non-profit company or any company trying to implement responsible and ethical practices. Yes, there are cases when you need to think quickly and improvise. But that needs to happen within the context of a comprehensive plan. And when you have to make rapid alterations, you should also reassess your plan to see whether your objectives need to be changed—or whether you need to come up with a different strategy for meeting them. Think of objectives as stages on the way to long-term goals for your business and your community, so changing them doesn’t really mean the nature or role of your company has changed.

As a business, you may decide that an LLC is the way to go, thanks to its tax advantages and liability protection. However, it’s important to research LLC information beforehand so you know precisely what to expect. You may have heard that it’s possible to set up a Legal Zoom LLC. Working with a formation service can help ensure that all the necessary paperwork is filed with the state.

Communicate clearly and promptly

Good communication is a hallmark of good leadership. No matter how awesome your ideas are, failure to communicate them clearly means they may never become realities. When it comes to communicating with clients and employees, you need to take the initiative. Don’t wait for them to come to you with questions; open the lines of communication yourself. And remember, you can’t expect anyone to read your mind, no matter how long you’ve collaborated with them.

Infographics are an excellent means of communicating ideas and information. If you’ve never created one before, you can start by using an infographic template to help you begin. Then, once you have your idea mapped out, you can customize it with text, graphics, colors, and backgrounds.

Be meticulous in your bookkeeping

A lot of successful social entrepreneurs are big-picture people. They see the market’s place in society, and can envision how their enterprise will grow, well into the future. They understand their work according to the role it plays in society’s overall well-being. The downside of this is that sometimes they may end up neglecting those little details so crucial for getting your company from A to Z. This can be disastrous when it comes to overseeing your accounts. 

Mistakes in accounting are not always solved easily or cheaply and can correlate with unethical practices that harm those in collaboration with you. It’s a good idea to hire a professional accountant to assist you and to use accounting software, too. If you haven’t already, look into an integrated bookkeeping system for nonprofits. Besides helping you avoid mistakes, this will free you up to run your business as well as take breaks when needed.

Keep your employees happy

How you treat your team makes a difference not only within the workplace. What happens there radiates out into individual lives, family life, and your broader community. So make sure your employees are well compensated for their work, and give them credit for their accomplishments. It’s also important that your employees be paid on time and correctly. To this end, you need software that makes managing your payroll as simple as possible. Software that incorporates bank account authentication technology will make your payments seamless. Look for software tools that include timesheet tracking, automatic payroll scheduling with built-in tax calculating and filing, as well as same-day direct deposit. 

Consider enhancing your skills

One of the best ways to grow your business is to have a solid grasp of business management principles. From operations to marketing to data analysis to communication to leadership, you should have a foothold in each of these areas. If you feel a bit wobbly, you can bolster your knowledge by returning to school. Business-related courses or even a degree program will provide the necessary insight you need to level up your game and be a truly better leader and entrepreneur. 

Know your community

An entrepreneur or non-profit organizer with a vision for serving their community needs to be aware of which needs must be met, and whom they can hope to work with. Spend time learning from community leaders and getting to know other area entrepreneurs who share your vision of ethical business as a component of community development. Joining your local chamber of commerce is one great way to make purposeful connections with leaders in business, government, and education.

Social entrepreneurs and directors of nonprofits need to abide by many of the same principles of best practice that any company owner would follow. But they need to do so with an eye to broader context and long-term effect. They also need to be sure they aren’t skipping over the details.

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