Need Advice About Starting A Business With A Social Mission

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by Adam Silverstein, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Adam Silverstein

    Adam Silverstein
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    Hello!

    I am currently working towards starting up a new organization, one that has a social mission but also a business aspect to it, which is why I am coming to this forum. I am a junior in college studying Social Work as my major, and my goal is to create and run my own organization as my career. I am very new to this and I need some solid advice from experts who have experience in this area.

    At its core, this is an organization about making positive change in communities and in individual peoples’ lives and helping people live their best possible lives and be their healthiest and happiest. I have two main goals for this organization.

    First, it would function as a sort of a social club-type thing that would operate in communities and have membership open to everyone. People could join this organization to be part of a supportive network of people and make new friends. Employees of the organization would run workshops for its members that focus on helping members bond with each other as well as touch on topics related to mental health improvement and just general mental wellness and happiness (meditation, self-care skills, interpersonal/communication skills, leadership skills, etc.). The organization would also host events and activities that are just for fun and help the members form a close-knit group of friends, almost like a family, and feel comfortable turning to each other in times of need. As a side note, I currently run a student club at my college that I started up myself when I was back in high school that has basically the same goals, so I do have some very basic experience with this kind of thing, and I would say I have been quite successful with it so far. So basically I want to create a larger-scale version of that.

    Second, this organization would partner with other organizations to help other orgs develop a more positive climate and culture and generally help members of the organization function well socially/emotionally. We would partner with a variety of different organizations, such as schools, colleges, businesses, youth groups, and many others. I feel that this kind of work can be suited to just about any type of organization, so it provides me with a lot of possibilities. To work with an organization, my organization would contract with them and basically act as a kind of consultancy service where we would assess the organization’s needs and work with its leaders to help them create the kind of positive change they want to see in their organization. We could also run workshops and other activities for members of our client organizations to help implement our services more directly.

    So those two parts above form my basic vision for how this organization should run. Now I need to start forming a business plan and I need some advice and direction on where to start. First, I need to decide what kind of organization this is going to be, whether it will be a non-profit, a for-profit, some combination of the two, or something else entirely (I’m very new to this and don’t fully know the distinctions/different types of things there are). Let me make it clear that I do not care about making a fortune or getting rich off of this, I want to do this to help make positive change in people’s lives. That said, of course I need to be able to make a living off of this work and give myself and whatever family I may have a comfortable life (right now, if I were to make about $100k a year off of this when it’s fully up and running I would consider that a basically comfortable living based on where I live). Of course I also want to be able to give the same kind of comfortable living to my employees as well.

    I mainly see the revenue coming from this organization’s partnerships with other organizations (we would charge a fee for, say, a yearly contract, or something like that). Another option is to have a membership fee for any individuals who would like to be members and gain the benefits described in the first main goal for this, although I do not love that idea because I don’t want the fee to pose an obstacle to people joining this. Ideally, membership for all would be free.

    So basically, I need advice from people who know about this kind of stuff. I need to know how I can develop this into something that I can make a living off of and what the path towards that might look like. And I am ready to get started now, so I need some guidance as to how I can get this off the ground and what I should be doing right now. If anyone would like to talk with me more about this and get to know more about my goals, please feel free to PM me at any time. I would greatly appreciate any advice or suggestions, even if it is a suggestion of someone else who I can contact for better advice. Thank you all so much in advance. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have an amazing day!
     
  2. fisicx

    fisicx
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    Hi Adam and welcome to the forum,

    How much money have you got?
    Where do you live?
    Are there other local organisations and charities offering community help and support?
     
  3. Adam Silverstein

    Adam Silverstein
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    Hello and thank you so much for your response!

    Money is a good question and is something I will need to think about a bit more. Like I said I'm still in college so I will need to think about how much I can realistically devote to this at this time.
    I live in Northport on Long Island, NY if that helps.
    I have not yet reached out to local organizations or charities, but I believe that some will be able to offer help and support. But my question right now is how exactly I would go about starting this up. I guess my first question, above anything else, is whether I should start it as a nonprofit, for-profit, or something else... I don't know too much about that kind of thing yet so I need some advice on that. If you could offer any I would very much appreciate it! :)
     

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