Tops Tips for Social Entrepreneurs: Think Logically to Win Work

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I’m often asked what the secret is to winning contracts and commissions. Of course there isn’t a magic bullet, but the solution we’ve found most effective is a mix of common-sense, imagination and drawing on the experience of others. This post, and the next two Top Tips posts will give three quite different but useful strategies for successfully winning work from buyers and commissioners.

For this post, we’re going to approach the challenge with a dose of common sense. Here are seven logical and pragmatic solutions techniques to help you convince a buyer that you’re the one for the job.

1. Perspective.

Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer, and look at things from their perspective.

2. Clarity.
Ensure your proposition is clear, simple and concise. Clarity will ensure your idea is conveyed and understood quickly. Test this by asking someone outside your venture to read and feedback the exec summary of the proposal – this will quickly tell you if and where you need greater clarity.

3. Synergy.
Ensure your proposal has synergy with the strategic priorities, aims and goals of the commissioners/ buyers you are pitching to.

4. Impact.
Evidence the change you will create i.e. your theory of change.

5. Realism.
Be realistic about what and how you plan to measure and capture your impact. A mix of hard and soft outcomes ensures robustness in your reporting supported by qualitative impact.

6. Credibility.
Draw on your track record and expertise as a social entrepreneur and a social venture.

7. Mitigation.
Highlight the risks to your proposal and how you plan to mitigate them. Don’t be fooled in thinking that it is best not to highlight problems, as this is only a recipe for disaster. Recognising and managing risk demonstrates a credible provider to potential buyers.

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

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