Growing A Successful, Green Business
In today's world, more and more people are becoming more conscious of their environment. As a result, more businesses are adopting environmentally friendly business practices, like becoming a sustainable, green business.
However, even with all the advantages of going green, there are many business owners who find it hard to adopt green practices, because of the costs needed to implement changes, such as reconstruction to their daily operations and alterations to products sold to the consumers.
What many don't realize is that the benefits of green practices far outweigh the costs. Becoming a sustainable business can save money in the long run, create happier customers, and it contributes to a healthier planet.
Start Your Own Green Business
If you are planning to start your own green business, and don't know where to start, you can begin by thinking about what you would like to change in your business. Starting your own green business requires a lot of thought and before you invest your hard-earned money, the following tips should be kept in mind:
Find your niche. The natural, organic lifestyle is becoming popular and offers a wide variety of products you can choose from, such as food, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies. But remember, choose the product that interests you best.
Get certified. Obtaining a certification from an independent third-party will boost your product's image. This means that you can include the 'ecolabel' of the certifying body on your product's label and other marketing materials. This will attract green consumers.
Practice what you preach. If you are marketing your business as green, make sure that you are living a green lifestyle. This will show that you are socially responsible and will greatly affect your image to an environmentally conscious society.
Educate. You must understand the significance of your product and how it will benefit or help the environment. Once you fully understand everything about your product, you can effectively communicate the value of your product to the green consumers.
Get your customers to be your promoters. When your customers are happy with your product, they will share their good experience with others. The spreading of positive feedback about your product is not only good for your product image, but it will ultimately draw more consumers.
Find colleagues who share your passion. Colleagues who share your passion are more likely to support you in your business endeavours and help your business to blossom.
Join industry partnerships. The government sponsors partnerships and programs that aim to reduce the harmful effects of business activities on the environment. You can learn all the important things about having a green business through these programs. You can also connect with other businesses that promote environmentally-friendly products.
If you're interested in adopting green practices, the government Web site, Business.gov, provides a guide to help businesses adopt green practices, listed below:
1. Follow the environmental regulations relevant to your business. Compliance creates two effects: it protects your business from fines and legal actions from the government and it protects the environment.
2. Create a sound environmental management plan. Since you are now running a green business, creating an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient workplace is important to send your message across. An environmental plan will help you achieve this.
3. Build green and install energy-efficient air-conditioning systems, appliances, etc. You can contract with an energy professional to help you manage your project.
4. Buy green products. Green products are made from recycled materials, non-toxic, renewable, and recyclable. Also buy food that is locally grown and organic.
5. Adopt energy-efficient practices. One of the most effective steps you can take to cut costs is to save energy. You can help your employees conserve energy by providing them with energy-saving tips.
6. Reduce, reuse, and recycle wastes. Money can be saved by reducing waste. You can also cut costs on raw materials, office supplies, and equipment. Some of the things that you can do to reduce waste are using recycled products, eliminating excessive product packaging material, and participating in recycling programs.
7. Conserve water. Through conservation, you both save water and cut costs associated with buying, heating, treating, and disposing of it. Try to use water-saving equipment, and minimize discharges to sewer or waste water.
8. Prevent pollution. Materials should be recycled and reused, vehicles must be properly tuned, all liquid chemicals must be stored in their proper places, and all wastes must be properly disposed.
9. Create a green marketing strategy. Add 'green' claims to your brand, and the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers will surely take notice. This is good for your image.
10. Join industry partnerships and stewardship programs. There are several programs sponsored by the government that are designed to help the environment. Joining these programs will also create an opportunity for you to meet other green businesses in your industry.
About the Author:
Josh Harmatz is a seasoned veteran of the lending business and currently, the Chief Operating Officer for Voyage Home Loans.
An honors graduate from the School of Business at Sacramento State with both a BS and an MBA, he believes his higher education is the cornerstone of his success.
He operates his mortgage business with the highest integrity and trust.
By Josh Harmatz