Social Focus Consulting: Evaluating its Long-Term Feasibility
(7 pages of text)
Since the founding of Ontario-based Social Focus Consulting (SFC) in 2011, its founder had led a team of over 100 members to work on more than 30 projects for over 30 non-profit organization (NPO) clients from London to Ottawa. SFC’s competitive market included NPO consulting firms that were more established, larger, or offered pro bono services. SFC set itself apart by exclusively hiring undergraduate and graduate students. The organization specialized in youth-oriented marketing strategies that helped NPOs raise more funds and awareness in a highly fragmented multi-billion-dollar Canadian market. Although SFC had achieved some success, the founder wondered if SFC's recent declining revenues and failure in new project acquisition meant that its business model was not feasible over a long-term horizon. In September 2017, he had to decide whether to continue running SFC with long-term goals for success or avoid the risk of ruining his professional reputation and wasting time and money by ending his work with SFC.
The case is suitable for courses on management consulting, entrepreneurship, non-profit management, social responsibility, and social enterprise at the undergraduate or graduate level. After completion of this case, students will be able to
- analyze a complicated business model problem and make a decision that takes into consideration many factors that are internal and external to an organization;
- examine how unique people strategies can have benefits and trade-offs;
- understand how a founder’s story can set a company apart from competitors in a market with a relatively low barrier to entry and low switching costs; and
- understand how to learn from successes and failures to improve a business.
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Canada, Small, 2017
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