As female founders, striving to make our mark, the road to success is not just about creating a product but ensuring that it meets its intended purpose and drives impact. This is where Impact Mapping becomes a game-changer!
What is Impact Mapping and Why Fempreneurs Need It?
While most planning methods start with features or tasks, Impact Mapping starts with the end goal. It’s like starting a journey with a clear destination in mind and then plotting the route, ensuring that every step you take brings you closer to your goal.
Step 1: Start with WHY?
Before diving into the ‘what’ and ‘how’, Impact Mapping prompts you to define your goal clearly. As fempreneurs, our businesses often arise from personal passions or identified gaps in the market. Impact Mapping ensures that this core purpose isn’t lost amidst the operational nitty-gritty.
Step 2: Identifying Key Players:
It’s rare for a business to operate in isolation. Impact Mapping helps you identify ‘Actors’ – the individuals or groups who can influence the success of your product or service. This can range from end-users and internal teams to partners and even competitors.
Step 3: Mapping Actions to Outcomes:
With a clear goal and key players identified, you can then determine how each actor can either aid or hinder your goal. This action-oriented approach ensures that you’re not just building features for the sake of it, but they genuinely contribute to your desired outcomes.
Step 4: Streamlining Deliverables:
Lastly, based on the impacts you want to create, you can decide on the specific features or deliverables. As fempreneurs, resources (time, money, and energy) are often limited. Impact Mapping helps in prioritising features that genuinely matter and avoiding unnecessary frills.
Real-life Application for Fempreneurs
Let’s imagine you’re launching a platform connecting female artisans in South Africa with global markets.
Goal (Why): Increase artisan income by 50% within a year.
Actors (Who): Female artisans, international customers, local suppliers, shipping agencies, online influencers.
Impact (How): Artisans creating unique products; customers purchasing and promoting these products; suppliers providing quality materials on time; influencers promoting the platform.
Deliverables (What): A user-friendly e-commerce site, secure payment gateway, efficient inventory management system, partnerships with influencers, and customer reviews and ratings.
Impact Mapping is not just another planning tool; it’s a mindset shift. It’s about ensuring that your product or service makes a genuine difference. For fempreneurs, who often juggle multiple roles and face unique challenges, this clarity can be the difference between spinning wheels and soaring high.
So, whether you’re kickstarting your entrepreneurial journey or looking to pivot, remember to map your impact. It’s your compass in the dynamic business landscape.