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Quickstart Guide to Sustainable Practices for Small Businesses

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

According to survey results, 66% of all customers and 75% of millennials report considering sustainability when deciding whether to make a purchase. This number is likely to increase as dire warnings about an impending climate crisis dominate the headlines and consumers become increasingly aware of the need for businesses to do their part in turning the tide. Starting a sustainable business is something you can do to help avert this crisis while also increasing your brand's appeal.

Understanding the Basic Principles of a Sustainable Business

Many of the fundamental principles of starting a sustainable business are the same as any other business. You first need to come up with an idea for a product or service that fills a need in the market. A good place to start is green business ideas. Next, you need to do market research to determine how big the potential market for your product is and whether your idea is profitable.

Part of this process involves researching the aspects of your business that will specifically be impacted by sustainability. For example, if you plan to manufacture a product, you need to research what sort of impact the manufacturing process may have on the environment and how much it will cost to source sustainable raw materials. Other businesses must consider the costs to hire workers at fair wages or design sustainable office space.

Identifying Sustainable Possibilities

One way to identify sustainable possibilities is to make sustainability assessment a part of every business process. Whenever you hire employees, design a new product, expand your office or warehouse space or take any other action, examine how it may impact the environment and look for ways to reduce that impact. For example, if you are planning to have employees working in a physical office, examine whether the environmental impact would be better if you switched to an entirely remote workforce. 

Remaining Profitable and Sustainable

Part of the profitability equation is making up for the increased costs of sustainable practices by effectively marketing the benefits of sustainability to your customers. Social media can be an effective tool for getting your message to your customer base and your target market. However, managing a social media campaign can be time- consuming, and inexperienced social media managers may not run the best campaigns. You can hire a social media

manager from online job platforms and expect social media marketing pricing to be around $14 to $35 an hour. Expect professionals with a more substantial skill set and a list of happy clients to command higher rates.

Conquering Obstacles

While sustainable practices generally have a positive impact on society, they can sometimes create challenges for your business, such as generating a backlash from customers, raising materials costs, taking company resources away from other projects, and increasing research and development costs. You can overcome these obstacles by appropriately pricing your products, being transparent with your customers, and managing your company resources effectively.

Starting a business with sustainability in mind may seem like an overwhelming task.

However, the benefits to you, your customers, the community, and the planet are worth it. Additionally, building a sustainable company from the ground up may be easier and less expensive than trying to retrofit an existing company that is not using sustainable practices. Do not let the challenges of building a sustainable business paralyze you or make the perfect the enemy of the good. Get started with your entrepreneurial dream today. Find out how Jazmin can help.

Credits to Janet Lovelace at Work Can Wait

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