Social procurement involves using your purchasing power to generate value that extends beyond the goods or services you’ve purchased. As a business owner, a social procurement framework can empower you to create positive change within your community while also meeting your business needs. It’s the ultimate win-win situation, which is why it’s so important to understand the foundations of social procurement and community collaboration.
If you’re motivated to succeed in social procurement and establish strong local partnerships, here are five tips that should help you on this noble path:
1. Identify needs and opportunities in your local community
Before developing a social procurement strategy, you must first identify the current needs and opportunities in your local community. It’s no good helping people in ways they don’t want to be helped, so instead of making assumptions, conduct research and engage with local stakeholders.
Talk to community organizations, government agencies, and other small businesses in your area to gain an accurate picture of the needs and opportunities in the region. Doing so will give you the insight needed to identify potential partners and align your procurement goals to create a genuine positive impact.
2. Develop rapport and build trust
Trust and rapport are crucial ingredients in developing successful relationships with your social procurement partners. You’ll need to be fully transparent about your procurement goals and your commitment to creating social value. Central to this openness is a willingness to listen and learn from those you connect with. This is key to establishing long-term partnerships that generate value for all parties.
3. Collaborate on social procurement initiatives
As you progress down the social procurement path, you’ll need to be able to collaborate effectively with your partners to develop procurement strategies that tick all your boxes and theirs. The needs and priorities of all partners must be considered so you can align your goals for the greater good.
4. Learn about capacity building
Social procurement partnerships require an investment in capacity building for partners that may be underserved or underrepresented. You can engage in capacity building by offering things like training and mentorship programs. By developing and strengthening the skills and resources of your partners, you make your entire network stronger and more capable of generating social value.
5. Measure your social impact
Measuring, analyzing, and reporting on your social impact are all essential steps in the social procurement process. You’ll need to go in with clear metrics for measuring the success of your projects, and you’ll need an excellent reporting system to match.
If you fail to track the social value generated through procurement partnerships, you risk missing opportunities for improvement. You’ll also miss out on valuable opportunities to expand your projects, create more good in the community, and garner positive press for your business.
To truly master data analysis and reporting, you’ll need to work closely with your partners to collect and analyze relevant information on the results of your efforts. By measuring and reporting the social impact your procurement projects are having, you can demonstrate the value of the partnerships you’ve forged and identify areas for future development.
Social procurement is an effective strategy for business owners who wish to make a positive impact on their local community while simultaneously meeting the operational needs of their enterprise. To find success in your social procurement projects, it’s crucial to establish strong local partnerships. By following the tips outlined above, you’ll be in a strong position to forge valuable local partnerships that contribute to a stronger community and a more sustainable future.