Today we have a guest post for you from Chelsea Lamb over at Businesspop.net. Chelsea will be sharing everything you need to know about starting a sustainable business.
This article has some great tips on why you should start an eco-friendly business and how to get started.
If you’ve been considering starting a sustainable business or making an existing business more eco-friendly, we hope you enjoy this article and pick up some useful budgeting tips to help you get started.
Are you interested in starting a sustainable business of your own? Reducing the negative impact of your business can help you get ahead of your competitors and position your business as a sustainability leader. Beyond doing your part to protect the environment, going green can offer significant benefits in terms of profitability. Here’s a quick guide to help you plan your sustainable startup and mitigate any of the risks involved.
Why Go Green?
If one of your brand values involves helping the environment, then starting an eco-friendly business is a no-brainer. Incorporating greener practices into your business policies will not only help the planet but will improve your bottom line as well. Sustainable businesses enjoy a number of tax incentives and rebates from the government. These businesses also have access to various funding solutions and grants reserved for eco-friendly companies. Certain green practices can even minimize your expenses by reducing your energy usage or enabling the use of cheaper, recycled products.
At the same time, today’s consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services. Building sustainability into your business is a great way to generate brand loyalty and justify charging higher prices than your competitors. You’ll also have an easier time attracting young, educated workers who tend to favor employers with a passion for the planet.
Starting A Sustainable Business
Like starting any business, you will need to navigate a number of important steps before launching your sustainable company, which include coming up with a business idea, forming a marketing strategy, choosing a business structure, and finding funding. Don’t let the startup process overwhelm you. Plenty of resources exist online that can save you money and time as you tackle your startup to-do list (learn how to start a new company here). You can look for business plan templates and online business formation services, use business name generators, and even find low-cost invoicing options to help you get set up.
Of course, working capital is usually necessary when starting a business, particularly if you plan to open a shop or office space. So practice due diligence and get a handle on your credit score (higher is always better) and any necessary paperwork if you plan to apply for a business loan.
Uncovering Opportunities For Sustainability
As you prepare for the launch of your business, look for sustainability opportunities at every turn. Starting a sustainable business is about more than installing energy-efficient light bulbs in your office. As Youmatter.com explains, sustainability is comprised of three pillars: the environment, the economy, and society. Truly sustainable businesses focus on finding a balance between people, the planet, and profits. Locating sustainability opportunities in your business means considering all of these important elements and implementing policies and procedures that support all three.
The Cost Of Sustainability
While sustainable businesses enjoy many benefits, it’s important to acknowledge that going green also comes with some risks. In some cases, adopting sustainable practices can reduce your productivity and eat into your profits. If your customers don’t care about sustainability, you might not see the increase in sales that you expected. Spending money on eco-friendly practices means accepting the risk that your customers will not be willing to pay more to protect the environment. Knowing your market and understanding your target consumers will help you reduce this risk.
Eco-friendly businesses are easy to advertise, especially when your target buyers already care about the planet. However, it’s important to avoid greenwashing in your marketing efforts. Greenwashing is the practice of using deceptive marketing in order to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. Companies that engage in greenwashing often exaggerate their eco-friendly practices or make claims that directly contradict their actions.
Avoid accidentally making unsubstantiated claims about your business’s sustainability. It can be easy to do this unintentionally! Try to communicate the benefits of your eco-friendly initiatives without overemphasizing your commitment to sustainability. Striving for accuracy and providing supporting data will help you keep your marketing efforts genuine.
Starting a sustainable business is a great way to align your personal and corporate values. The world needs more business owners who care about the earth! As more and more businesses implement eco-friendly practices to keep up with their sustainable competitors, the effects will snowball into significant benefits for people and the planet!