Not sure of the ins ad outs of exactly how I'll set it up yet - researching it all as we speak.
But what would you advise me to do as preparation? A bit clueless, but a fast learner
Currently I am looking at 'competition' / similar businesses or charities, researching funding steams and what might be a 'gap in the market'. What else should I be doing before I take the plunge and set this thing up?
As you have suggested and like with any business (socially-minded or not) you need to access the demand/need for the services/product. So sounds like you are starting by looking at the right things.
I guess if I was your bank manager/funder I'd want to know:
* Why you are setting up x (ie they'll be testing if this is a personal crusade vs an actual need) * What is the evidence of the demand/need (figures rather than ancedotal) * What will you be doing that those competitors you mention aren't (there are nearly 200,000 charities in the UK etc) * what is the longer term strategy past the initial funding? ie is this a sustainable model?
As you may know Gov cuts are resulting in charites/non-profits having to shut due to lack of funding. And non-stat funding pots cannot make up the shortfall...
If you are planning to 'serve' a local community, your Local Authority might be able to offer help/support too. They might also be able to give a hint as to "who" in the community would attract the most funding, which you can then include in your plans.
If I was you, I might also be inclinded to visit/contact a non-competing small social enterprise/charity to see what it is like running a small not-for-profit. I have generally found the charity sector very willing to share learnings.
Then I'd try to find a successful version of what you want to do and try to learn from them, even if it is from afar.
On a personal finance note, the people I know that run small non-profits do it almost for the love. Not saying that all non-profit CEOs earn nothing, (or that you are doing this to enjoy a large salary!) but generally paying yourself seems to come after all the other stuff that needs paying for. Iknow a CEO of a charity that turnsover more than £1m and they only earn c£40k FT.
If you choose the CIC legal form, I think the Regulator can have a say in what you are paid (to ensure that you aren't creaming off too much etc).
Hi there, I recently set up a social enterprise that has a registered charity as the parent company. Depending on the nature of what you're doing I think there are some good benefits to structuring this way. Are you still working on your plan? If so I'm happy to share more about my experience - I just won't write lots now as this thread is labelled as dormant! Cecilia