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Business Sustainability Strategies

Guest post by Janet Lovelace

Starting a small business comes with a lot to think about, and while there are always risks involved, it seems there’s no time like the present to jump in with both feet and bring your goals to life. In 2021, the number of small business openings jumped nearly 25%, even in the unprecedented path of a global pandemic, with entrepreneurs taking the reins to control their futures. With the right business plan and this “just do it” attitude, you can do the same and ensure that your vision is a success; however, it’s crucial to think about the best business practices and how to work them into your daily operations.

Sustainability is a major buzzword for entrepreneurs these days, but what does it mean? For business owners of all types, it simply means finding ways to maximize eco-friendly practices to positively impact the environment and your bottom line.


There are several sustainable tactics you can utilize within your business that will save you money and boost profitability, but it takes some careful planning and an eye for detail to make it work. Start by researching sustainable options and the cost of incorporating them, including product packaging and marketing. You’ll also need to consider training processes for both you and your team on how to recognize sustainable opportunities and implement them.


Follow this guide for tips on how to begin your sustainable business journey:


UTILIZE ONLINE SERVICES AND TOOLS

Building a business involves a lot of paperwork and legal details, especially in the beginning, so it’s a good idea to utilize as many online services as possible. Using digital tools is not only environmentally friendly, but it’s also more secure and less expensive than paper. As you get started on your business journey, look for services that will help you register your company, find out whether the name you want is already taken, and form a business structure.


Creating a limited liability company is a great way to protect your assets, ensure tax benefits, and offer flexibility to daily operations, and you can do it all with the help of an online service as a registered agent. Each state has its regulations surrounding formation, so read the steps carefully to ensure nothing is overlooked.


CREATE A MARKETING PLAN

Once the legalities are taken care of, creating a marketing plan is the next essential step. This is how you’ll draw customers in and tell them everything they need to know about your business through a carefully thought-out identity. Think about the message you want to convey; how will you let potential customers or clients know that your business is eco-minded?


Write out a mission statement and consider ideas for a logo that is both eye-catching and will easily separate your business from the competition. You don’t have to hire an expensive designer; you can make a custom logo online by choosing an icon and adjusting the colors, text, and style you want. A great logo can be used on your website, packaging, and social media to create consistency and help customers identify your brand easily.


RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH

Whether you’re preparing your marketing strategy or looking for vendors/suppliers to do business with, it’s crucial to do your homework. Learn all you can about what your competitors are doing and whether they’re successful at it, as well as the business practices of any company you’re thinking of partnering with.


How do they source their materials? Do they utilize sustainable practices for products as well as things like shipping and energy sources? The more you can learn about the people you’ll be working with, the easier it will be to maintain your mission statement and keep your customers happy.


CHOOSE YOUR PRODUCTS CAREFULLY

When looking for suppliers and vendors, keeping your own set of standards in mind where your products are concerned is important. Read up on materials that are harmful to animals or that use a great amount of energy to produce and make it a point to avoid them. Plastic is a major issue for sustainable companies, so go plastic-free by utilizing paper, glass, and other recyclable materials for your products and packaging.


CONSERVE ENERGY

It’s impossible to have a sustainability conversation without acknowledging the need to conserve energy within your own business. Whether you’re going to run things from your home or an office or storefront, it’s essential to choose appliances, lighting, and equipment that are as energy efficient as possible.

Utilize motion-sensor lighting options as well as natural light when possible; turn off and unplug equipment at the end of the day to cut down on phantom power being used. Outside, you can maintain a water-conserving landscape and keep the HVAC system running smoothly throughout the year with regular checkups and cleanings.


CONSIDER THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES

During your planning processes, it’s important to consider all the possible outcomes before implementing any practices. How will certain changes affect your products or the customer’s ability to obtain them? For instance, reducing emissions by cutting back on shipping distance will greatly impact your profits, so it’s necessary to find the right balance with every decision you make.

You’ll also need to consider the possibility that making a lot of eco-friendly changes once your business is already open might be costly, time-consuming, and less impactful than already having them in place from the beginning, so careful planning is a must. The more you can think about these details from the start, the easier it will be for you in the long run.


Starting a sustainable business takes a lot of hard work and thoughtful preparation, so take your time in the beginning and make sure you have support from friends, family, and/or other small business owners in the area. Network as much as possible as you get started and consider looking for a mentor who can help guide you along the way.


Have a question or comment for the team at She’s SINGLE Magazine? Get in touch today.

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