A Greener Business to Serve the Green-Minded Consumer
Consumers are looking for ways to become better stewards of our environment and are doing that with their wallets. According to The Economist, there has been a 71% increase in online searches for sustainable goods globally. Another survey has found that 66% of all respondents and 77% of millennial respondents say they consider sustainability when they make a purchase.
Anyone starting a business today is going to have to accommodate our planet’s needs along with consumer demands to operate in a more eco-friendly and sustainable fashion. According to Insider, Gen Z has the most sway in consumer behavior. Here are some ideas on how to make your small business greener, and in turn, more desirable to consumers.
Start with Business Basics
Before launching any business, there are a few must-do items you’ll need to check off your agenda. First, decide which business structure works best for you. An Idaho S corp, for example, could be ideal if you’re hoping to save on self-employment taxes and want to be able to claim business losses as tax deductions. If you’re looking for an entity that requires very little paperwork to initiate and protects your personal assets from any business financial issues, an LLC in Idaho may be the right option for you.
You’ll also need to create a strong business name. You’ll want something that not only conveys the goods or services you sell, but also one that is memorable and stands out among your competition. Brainstorm some ideas, narrow your list down to a few favorites, and then ask a few friends for their input on their favorite.
Encourage Employers to Be Eco-Conscious
We can begin on just where you do business. Can you walk or cycle to your place of business? Can your employees? Can you encourage carpooling by way of incentives like bonus hours off for a number of carpooling accrual points?
Work with Green Suppliers and Vendors
Where do you get your goods? Procuring sustainable and free-trade goods for either resale or as materials for your products reduces your business’s carbon footprint. Buying locally is a good place to start. Ask if those goods have been manufactured in a sustainable fashion. You want those materials to be free of toxins or ozone-depleting substances. Can you purchase them using the least amount of packaging possible?
Recycle everything possible, including electronics. E-waste may take up only 2% of overall waste in our landfills, but it accounts for over 70% of overall toxic waste. Donate those electronics to local schools and charities, or if they no longer work, find an electronics repair shop that may take them from you for parts.
Know Your Impact
Learn your carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint relates to how much carbon dioxide you’re sending into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere depletes its ozone layer, allowing heat to build up and causing dangerous changes to the climate. Anything that uses fossil fuel releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In the United States, each person produces 16 tons of carbon dioxide. You can measure your own carbon footprint with an online calculator and the carbon footprint of your business, too.
Avoiding repetitive or redundant tasks can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re launching your new sustainable product or service, it’s too easy to miss some of the steps involved. Use a go-to-market-strategy way to streamline your processes and ensure everyone stays on track and that nothing is wasted. You don’t have to create one from scratch, either. There are pre-made templates online that will guide you through the process.
Use Planet-Friendly Materials
Find clever ways to package that make your consumer more likely to hold onto the packaging rather than toss it into a landfill. Make it sturdy and functional so it can be repurposed. Don’t forget to include your business card, too. You may want to have different versions for each product, so it makes more sense to design your own. Use a business card maker that allows you to choose from various colors, fonts, and designs. You simply add your text and images and you can have multiple card designs to choose from when sending them along with each product.
The multiple ways to “green” your new business are limited only by your imagination and commitment to the environment. From everyday practices like providing recycling bins to your staff and/or customers to upgrading to biodegradable packaging, let your customers know that shopping with you makes good climate-friendly sense.
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