5 Tips for Starting a Successful Green Business
Author: Carolyn Hart
Climate change is currently one of the major issues we are facing and for the foreseeable future. In addition to the government’s involvement, individuals need to take responsibility and efforts towards tackling climate change and improving our environment. One of the best ways to do so is starting a green business. As the name suggests, entrepreneurs starting green businesses do so with a commitment to sustainability and being eco-friendly. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps one can take to find the best green idea and turn it into an impactful business.
1. Learn from Existing Green Businesses
When you think of a green business, the first thing that might come to mind is renewables. However, you can launch a green business in any industry of your choice, such as food, home services, art & crafts, consulting, etc. Here are the names of the prominent businesses known for their green practices:
Patagonia: An outdoor clothing company having a 47-year track record for exceptional green practices.
Pela: The company creates 100% compostable phone cases and uses its earnings towards plastic clean-up drives across the world.
Seventh Generation: a personal hygiene and cleaning product company that focuses on reducing plastic packaging waste while providing eco-friendly products.
2. Maintain Sustainability at All Levels
Incorporate sustainable practices at all levels of your product development process:
Focus on Packaging: Along with your product, the packaging needs to be eco-friendly as well. Rather than using plastic bags, use recycled paper bags to deliver products, whether in-store or through delivery. According to Packhelp, other materials which can be used include Tencel, hemp, and cardboard.
Work with Reputed Suppliers: In addition to products, your reputation will also depend on the other businesses you partner with. Your suppliers should maintain a commitment to green practices and running their business ethically. Hence when creating strategic partnerships, conduct a supplier audit to confirm whether they uphold the sustainable initiatives they claim to practice.
A common challenge faced by green businesses is the high cost of procuring eco-friendly raw materials, which ultimately cuts into profits and necessitates the need for raising prices. An effective way to counter this problem is to work with local suppliers and adopt minimalistic packaging and simple manufacturing processes.
3. Digitize Your Paperwork
According to The World Counts, businesses in the United States use 12.1 trillion paper sheets each year. Not only does it contribute to deforestation, but printing paper is an outdated method of managing a business.
When it comes to day-to-day business practices, going paperless is a no-brainer. Various digital tools can be used to handle key business responsibilities such as finance, marketing, customer service, etc., without printing a single piece of paper.
4. Register Your Business
By default, all businesses are considered sole proprietorships, which is not the ideal structure for a green business. Consider establishing your business as an S Corporation. An S corporation makes it easy to receive funding from venture capitalists, angel investors, or from the market, as you can sell shares related to a certain percentage of the company.
Additionally, an S Corporation provides owners the benefit of limited liability by protecting their assets from business-related litigation, debts, and other liabilities.
5. Invest in Digital Marketing
85% of customers globally report considering sustainability a prime factor when making buying decisions, according to Business Wire. Being a green company that promotes products directly to these customers can increase sales and develop a strong customer base. One of the best ways to reach a global customer base is through digital marketing campaigns, which can include:
Running ads on social media
Investing in email marketing
Starting a newsletter
There are many digital marketing tools you can use to make these eco-friendly campaigns come to life. For example, sharing infographics on social media is a great way to maximize the reach of your business. Infographics are visual representations that quickly communicate information that would otherwise take up entire paragraphs of text. If you want to create a memorable infographic, check this out. The tool allows you to modify existing infographic templates to include your own graphics, images, and text.
As you develop digital marketing materials, always keep SEO in mind, as one way to drive customers to your website. Cornerstone Content offers resources on content creation to help increase your web traffic without increasing your carbon footprint.
Embrace Green Practices
By starting a green business, you’ll make a direct impact in the fight against climate change. Partnering with other green businesses and embracing digital marketing practices will significantly reduce not just your carbon footprint, but that of your employees and customers as well. Every step you take to conserve natural resources and reduce waste is a step in the right direction and your customers will appreciate it.
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