Why community services need an entrepreneurial mindset – responding to change and upheaval

No business can afford to stay static and in recent times community services and the not for profit sector has faced huge change and disruption – but at the same time also huge opportunity. With the right attitude, staff and client offering that is.

At Kiikstart, we talk the entrepreneurial mindset all the time. And when it comes to community services, they’re in need of this approach. Flexibility, adaptability, and innovation is vital to serve evolving client needs and changing funding frameworks and realities.

Services must not increase the number of clients through the door, but the level of accountability and measurable outcomes that are achieved. Wanting “to help people” and trying hard to make a difference will no longer be enough to sustain community services in the new world. And there is a need for creative ways in which to do this.

Staff need other approaches and tactics to increase involvement. More effective ways to establish a relationship between the client and Case Manager can bring about long-term change.

Changing KPI’s, obtaining outcomes. measurable change within employment, community involvement and relevant learning and upskilling – it all places greater emphasis on long term client relationships.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ask questions. Collect feedback.

In community services, we’re not only providing a ‘service’, we’re building ‘relationships.’ We can achieve this by, first, identifying customer values and perceptions. Communication is key, here. Talk to staff, community leaders and influencers, stakeholders, and of course, your clients.

So, what can come out of it? A client might tell you they don’t see any benefits from your service. Get creative about other ways to communicate the benefits of working with you. By doing this, you create a more enterprising and engaging experiences for clients.

It’s important to know how to be courageous, addressing the behaviours and concerns your customers have – in a way that is respectful but maintains progression and focus.

Just like start-ups must constantly evolve, community services need to create an experience that reflects what’s going on. We need to look at every component of our service and go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

With ever increasing competition for funds and increased client choice as to who they can chose to work with, the need to be commercial and business savvy has never been greater. The art is finding the right balance between commercial reality and the soul and personality of the service.

Curiosity, connection, value, and differentiation. Do we have these qualities? If not, you need to adapt. The success of an entrepreneur lies within the mindset.

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. They follow their intuition and constantly adapt. Good relationships are not just important, they’re critical. Entrepreneurs take risks to achieve greatness.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to allowing people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.