Posts in Strategies
Overcoming Objections

Or: Values, Alignment, and Customer Questions

Marketing is about aligning your product or service with the values of your customers, then helping them overcome the objections they might have about purchasing the product or service.

I’ve been thinking about this concept for a while now. As of right now, I’m convinced it’s one of the most important intersections between marketing and sales. I’m going to break it down in a couple different ways. First off, aligning the product or service with values. Second, aligning those values with the right customers. Third, overcoming the objections between first contact with your brand, and the point of purchase.

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Podcast: Marty Donkervoort with Business Skills and Social Values

Marty Donkervoort is a Manitoba based social entrepreneur and educator. He's founded multiple worker co-ops and social enterprises, done consulting and teaches courses on social enterprise and sustainability.

Marty suggests that social enterprises cannot thrive without the business skills to compete in the marketplace. He also explains his story of transitioning from being an executive in a multinational corporation to working in the social sector.

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Compete With Products And With Branding.

Or: Direct, Indirect, And Replacement Competition

Who is your competition?

In some areas of life, there is an easy answer. If you play on a football team, clearly the other teams are your competition. If you are a football league commissioner, then it’s a little more complicated. You could see other team sports as your competition, from rugby to soccer to baseball. Beyond even that, if you’re a coach of a community team for 15-year olds, you’re trying to compete for the attention and focus of your players. You’re competing with school, music teachers, video games, and raging teenage hormones.

Competition is not as clear cut as we might like it to be. The same applies to marketing.

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Marketing 101: Products

Or: Sell it Again, Sell to Someone New, Sell Something New, or All of the Above.

To grow a business, it needs to raise revenue. There are two ways to raise revenues. You have to either sell more things or sell to someone new. I know there are other ways to raise revenues, such as raising prices, but we’ll be focusing on products for this post. You can read more about pricing here.

As a social enterprise, you will have to sell something. Whether you choose to sell physical products, digital products, services or advertising space, you are selling something to someone. You will also either be developing a new product or service, or you will be trying to sell an existing product to more people, or to the same people multiple times.

Let’s consider starting a coffee shop: Hypothetical SocEnt Café.

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Podcast: Shaun Loney and the Solutions Economy

Shaun Loney is a Manitoba based social enterprise developer. He has started several social enterprises, and has been an advisor for many more. He has also written three books on the subject.

Shaun urges us to examine the systems within which we live and work. He has encouraged me and many others to try to work towards finding solutions for the problems that are caused by our systems.

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Marketing 101: The 4 Ps of Marketing

Over the next couple blog posts, I will be going over the basics of marketing, and how it can be applied by social enterprises and social entrepreneurs. For this series I will be focusing on what you need to get from thinking about starting a social enterprise, to getting your first customers.

When you’re starting out as a new business, many of the decisions you make will affect how you can do marketing in the future. Your choices as you’re starting up will form the associations that people will have with your brand based on what you make, how it’s priced, where they can buy it and how you will let people know about your product or service. (from here on, I’ll be using ‘product’ to refer to both products and services)

These components make up what is traditionally called the 4Ps of marketing.





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Keep Focused on What Matters - Strategy Made Simple Strategic Review

Starting a new year is a great natural break point. Most people at this time are naturally reflecting on what happened in the past year and are at the same time looking to what the new year will hold. I took some time over the holidays to take a break from client work and focused in on what Strategy Made Simple is about and where I’m heading with it.

I’m sharing my process here so that you can use this check in format for your social enterprise. It also has the added benefit of giving you a sneak preview of the things I’m hoping to work on in the upcoming year.

I recommend doing a check in like this at least once per year if you’re a small business, but as you grow it might help to do this check in more frequently. At the end of this post I’ve included a couple different sections you might want to add depending on what kind of business you’re running.

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Podcast: Our Stories and Our Values with Cate Friesen

What do our stories say about us? How do we show our values through our stories? How can we change the way we feel about ourselves by changing how we talk about ourselves?

These are all things that Cate and I talk about in this episode of the Strategy Made Simple podcast. Find out how you can tell better stories about your social enterprise.

Cate Friesen is the person behind The Story Source. She does coaching and facilitates workshops to help you or your organization find your story and teach you how to tell your story.

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Podcast: Animal Assisted Social Enterprise with Kathryn Kimbley

Kathryn Kimbley is pursuing a PhD studying nascent social entrepreneurs, in addition to running her own animal assisted therapy social enterprise called HumAnimaCIC. She is based in the Midlands in the United Kingdom.

She spoke about her personal story of getting into social enterprise, what it looks like for people to participate in animal assisted therapy, and how social enterprises might be able to incorporate animals into their operations. We also talked about the gaps between academics and practitioners, and the lack of a solid definition of social enterprise.

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Podcast: A National Network of Collaboration with Mike Toye

Mike Toye is the Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCED-Net). Through his work, he attempts to bring together diverse perspectives on Community Economic Development and share successful innovations across the national community.

I got a chance to speak with him while attending the CCED-Net Manitoba Gathering, a national conference where CED academics and practitioners get together and share ideas and perspectives.

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Podcast: Teresa Prokopanko - Community Based Social Marketing

Community Based Social Marketing (CBMS) is a system for promoting ideas and advocating within groups of people. It has been used by advocacy agencies to understand where their efforts are most likely to produce the results they are looking for, and whether people are likely to respond positively towards their initiatives.

Teresa Prokopanko is the Composting Coordinator for Green Action Centre in Winnipeg. In this episode she explains how small organizations can use CBSM practices as a framework for their impact campaigns.

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Podcast: Organizational Incentives and Structures with Frank Atnikov

Frank Atnikov is the program coordinator of Social Enterprise Manitoba, an initiative of CCED-Net Manitoba. He helps connect social enterprises with resources to help them with developing their business, and coaching them through the stages of starting and growing a social enterprise.

In this episode of Strategy Made Simple, Frank walks us through a different definition of social enterprising, how to align the incentives within an organization with desired outcomes, and when it might not be a good idea to start a social enterprise.

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Podcast: Siloh Moses - Aligning Business With Impact

On this episode of the Strategy Made Simple podcast, I interviewed Siloh Moses and we spoke about how to align your business operations with your desired impact. More specifically, we spoke about how to find out what kind of impact your business should pursue, and how to amplify the existing impact you are creating.

Siloh Moses is the founder behind WeWin360, a social good consulting agency. His book Better Than This is available on Amazon.

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Podcast: Caryn Birch - Non-Profit Supported Startup

RaY or Resource assistance for Youth is a non-profit based in Winnipeg, Manitoba that helps youth get into the workforce. They use several social enterprises to provide workforce training for their Level Up program. Caryn Birch is the manager of their newest social startup: Level Up: Gift and Thrift.

Caryn walks us through some of the steps that were involved with setting up a new social enterprise, and what challenges are to be expected for anyone who is thinking about starting a social startup.

Gift and Thrift is a gift shop stocked with artists' works and thrift shop for the downtown community. It is based on the Graham Mall, the main transit hub for the city, just four blocks from the Winnipeg Jets' Bell MTS place.

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Podcast: Matthew Rempel: What is Social Entrepreneurship

This episode features Matthew Rempel as he explains some of the basic aspects of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. He explains how social entrepreneurs think about how they solve problems through their businesses, and how you might be able to take some of the concepts they're using and apply them to your work, whether you're with a social enterprise or not.



If you want to do marketing for your social enterprise with confidence, and develop your business for greater impact, please contact me, and we'll build better business together.

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Podcast: Growth and Social Enterprise

What do people in the social enterprise sphere think about business growth? I've asked 5 of my previous guests how they think about growth and how that impacts the way their organizations operate.

Guests include:

Carinna Rosales - SEED Winnipeg, an employment focused non-profit

Yacine Bara - Changewealth, a wealth management social enterprise

Philip Mikulec - Peg City Car Coop, a car sharing co-op

Sarah Leeson-Klym - Canadian Community Economic Development Network, a community industry network and advocacy group

Brendan Reimer - Assiniboine Credit Union, a for profit credit union.

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Podcast: Systems of Leadership Development with Carinna Rosales

Carinna Rosales is the Co-Executive Director of SEED Winnipeg. She helps clients develop businesses to work their way out of poverty.

Carinna works at helping to build systems to teach leadership to potential business operators. Her main goal is to help clients build a stable income that can provide for them and their families, while working through the local markets.

We also speak about some of the big challenges of businesses and non-profits that seek to make an impact, and where the leaders of social enterprise movements around the world are likely to come from.

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What is a Fair Price?

Or: Pricing Products for Social Enterprise

There’s a common occurrence when doing freelance design work. You’ll be meeting with a new client. Everything is going well. You’ve established the scope of work. you’ve shared some drafts to get a general feel for what they’re looking for and what they need. Then you bring up your fee for the amount of work they’ve proposed and this new client is shocked and appalled that you would bring up money. “Why would we pay you? We’re bringing you so much exposure!”

This should seem ridiculous to you as a social entrepreneur. You know that your work has costs, and that exposure does not put food on the table, nor does it keep the lights on. There can be exceptions when you have a reciprocal relationship where you provide service to each other, or when you are part of an extended network of support. These are exceptions, not the rule.

Knowing this, you have to price your products and services somehow, so how do you pick a price?

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Podcast: Mobility Collaboration with Philip Mikulec

Philip Mikulec is the operations manager of the Peg City Car Co-op. They provide hub based car sharing in the Winnipeg downtown area. We spoke about how financial capital can be difficult to raise for social enterprise and co-ops, and how we might begin to build systemic source of capital. We also spoke about how the Canadian shared mobility industry is actively collaborative in trying to find solutions to their shared problems.

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How Small Can A Product Be?

Or: Principles of Minimum Viable Product

One of the biggest parts of business is providing a product or service. Once you’ve decided what problem you would like to try to solve, the next step is developing the solution. Whether your solution is delivered as a product or a service, there will come a point where you have to release your product or service into the market. So, how long should you develop your product before you release? How small can your service be before you start selling? These are important questions, but there is a single key question that underlies all questions of this type.

Where and how is value created?

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