Much emphasis is placed on leaflets, posters, websites and business cards when planning a community based enterprise project. And thankfully when you look at what is produced these are pretty poor channels for reaching potential entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities.
- Ever wondered about working for yourself?
- Got a business idea?
- Want to be your own boss?
- Thinking of starting a social enterprise?
Now there is very good chance that your answer to all of the above would be a resounding ‘No!’. Especially if you life in an area of multiple deprivation and have a history full of failure to deal with.
Yet these are the opening gambits on so many fliers, leaflets, posters and websites that hope to get people to say Yes!
A better start to such marketing collateral might be;
‘Looking to make a better life ?
Fed up with the same old, same old…?
Looking for ways to make some more cash…
Then come and meet….’
But the reality is that it does not matter what you put on your marketing collateral. You will find it very difficult to push your way into a community. You can only work successfully upon invitation – when people invite you to help them on the basis of your strong track record of helping others in a similar position.
So if you want to do enterprise work in a community make sure that you have trusted advocates inside the community who will encourage others to seek you out. Most of the effective community enterprise workers that I know get over 90% of their referrals from word of mouth and very little from the leaflet drops and the websites.
Is your experience any different?