Top Tips for Social Entrepreneurs: Think Creatively to Win Work

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This is the second post in our Top Tips series to address strategies for winning work from buyers and commissioners. The last post addressed how to use your own common sense to attack the problem logically and pragmatically, drilling down to focus purely on your proposal. For this post, we’ll be looking at slightly more creative, big picture approaches to winning business.

These aren’t creative in the “going crazy with a glue gun and sequins” sense, but they are all about thinking a little outside just your own offer and plugging into the assets of the entrepreneurial community. 

1. One size doesn’t fit all.
Recognise that tender opportunities are not for every venture and you may be too early stage, too small or simply too innovative to fit their criteria, which can be an inflexible and time consuming process.

2. Find an innovator.
If possible, try to seek and build relationships with trailblazers and innovators in their field who are willing to experiment and try new solutions which offers much more flexibility in comparison to responding to invitations to tenders.

3. Utilise personal recommendations.
Commissioners are influenced by the recommendations of other commissioners, as are doctors, teachers etc. Ask your key clients if they are willing to introduce your service to a fellow peer.

4. Charm and charisma.
Use your leadership qualities to inspire commissioners and buyers to partner with you. True passion is very hard to fake and is therefore priceless.

5. Tailor your pitch.
Consider if your audience is driven by the impact of your service or how you can make their lives easier? In reality they will driven by multiple motives, so ensure your message addresses this.

6. Reflection.
Once you’ve won a contract or commission, ask the buyer why you won, so you can recognise and build on your strengths in addition to unpicking invaluable insight into the motives of your commissioner or buyer.

7. Retention.
Find and retain customers you like and want to work with!

We’ve got just one more Top Tips post to go on strategies for winning business, which will give you some advice straight from the horse’s mouth. See you then!

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This blog entry was part of our second Ventures Network Newletter.

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