Whether you’re running a nonprofit, a healthcare center, or a social media platform, software is an important tool for making a positive social impact. By improving relations with those you want to reach, software helps you reach goals while helping your customers see your vision and follow suit.
As companies pivot toward more consciousness of issues like the environment, human rights, and our need for community, software plays a bigger and bigger role in making the world a better place. Social impact software puts business practices in line with a more compassionate vision by providing feedback and offering solutions.
So what exactly is social impact software? Does your business really need it to make real change? Is a custom approach the right way to go?
Let’s take a look.
Understanding Social Impact
Before you can make a positive social impact, you need to know what the term actually means. Businesses don’t merely serve customers—they make up one half of the two-way street of commerce. Both buyers and sellers are crucial to this relationship, so when companies fail to respect their customers’ interests, problems follow.
One great example of a negative social impact is this stinky sriracha factory in California. Manufacturer Huy Fong Foods was sued by local residents who were fed up with the smell, leading to millions of dollars in fines and repairs.
Had this manufacturer asked how those fumes might affect nearby residents, they probably would have avoided a lawsuit.
If you want your business to stay in your community’s good graces, your strategy must involve asking how to make the best possible social impact. In many cases, this means making none at all.
How Does Software Make the Difference?
Social impact software gives businesses new and better ways to serve their communities. Depending on the size and scope of a business, this can mean different things.
For a business with a narrow customer demographic, social impact software might offer training on how to better serve that unique community’s needs. For global networks, social impact software gives stakeholders a chance to weigh in on how to serve a broader customer base, such as how to make logistics more environmentally sound.
Understanding your business’s social impact starts with the social impact assessment. Here, you’ll find out how your business practices affect people, whether economically, environmentally, culturally, or in some other way.
Most companies want to make a positive social impact on the communities they serve.
Social impact software can help by:
- Keeping track of sustainability goals
- Organizing campaigns to engage local communities
- Measuring the success of customer outreach efforts
- Putting company goals where everyone can see them
- Building surveys to find ways to reach company goals
Unsure if your platform is creating the optimal social impact? It may be time to look at a web design and development service that can help you fix that.
Starting from Scratch
Think of how you want your business to be seen in the community. Do you plan to sponsor local events? Will you raise money for important causes? Are your hiring practices helping to diversify your workplace?
All of this can be included in your company’s software.
If you’re building a company from the ground up, now is a great time to design an inclusive platform that is as accessible as possible.
Are you collaborating with a global team? Make sure internal platforms are built accordingly. Scheduling systems should respect different time zones. Your platform should be written in multiple languages. In short, your business tools should work for all who use them.
In the early stages of your company, it’s a lot easier to plot out your short-, mid-, and long-term goals. How can your system connect internal teams to outside users? How big will the user base be? Is it capable of rapid growth?
Social impact software should address these questions and provide helpful solutions.
Revamping Existing Platforms
Ease of use is a big part of your social impact. We’ve all seen websites that are decades out of date. As time moves on, though, clunky navigation and cluttered design aren’t just difficult to use—they exclude people who might not be as tech savvy.
If your platform isn’t easy to use, most people won’t take the time to figure it out, regardless of any benefits it offers. No matter your intentions for your customers, outdated tools will keep them away.
To rework an outdated platform, it’s important to find a developer who understands your customer base. Experienced developers can offer tips and strategy about how to build a platform that is more intuitive for users.
Your developer can’t do this job alone, though. Before starting any work on an existing platform, map out the day-to-day process for your team as well as any specific needs they may have. Write down all those big picture goals.
The better you understand your desired social impact, the easier it will be for your developer to help you get there.
Custom Tailored Software Solutions
Social impact software comes in two forms: turnkey programs or custom developed solutions. No matter what your business goals are, getting the most bang for your buck is key.
While prepackaged social impact software may seem cheaper upfront, monthly subscription costs and custom options can add up and cost more down the road. This is especially true if you plan to hire more staff over time.
Tailored software solutions are the more efficient solution. By keeping features limited to just the ones you need, you end up with a lean product that’s intuitive to your business.
Finding the Right Team
When choosing a custom web development service, it’s crucial to find a team that understands your needs. The last thing you would want is to invest all of your time and resources into a custom platform that doesn’t serve your team and users perfectly.
Experienced developers know how to leverage software for a positive social impact. Ideally, your software team will have some knowledge of your specific industry, too.
Your platform has to be ready for the future. When your development team understands your short-term and long-term goals, it’s easier for them to implement the solutions you currently need, both now and later down the line.
Social Impact Is Good for Business
Custom software isn’t cheap. However, it’s possible to minimize costs by working with a team that understands your company’s goals. The better their grasp on the ins and outs of your product or service, the less time you’ll spend explaining it to them. That’s more time for you to focus on growing your business.
Plus, better software can speed up operations. Not only can you make a more positive social impact, but you can do so without spending loads of extra time and money.
This is also true for users. When they interact with your business on an intuitive platform, it makes them more loyal to your company, since the sleek and comfortable experience cuts down on time and stress.
When your users have a better experience, your platform can do a better job making the social impact that your team is made for.
Learn more about maximizing your company’s social impact with custom software.
Click here to schedule a free consultation about your goals.