For many people, the concept of a sustainable company means different things. It can be one that focuses on core values in order to create a lasting legacy, or one that balances ethical practices with business ones. In general, a sustainable business is one that combines environmental, financial, and social practices for a well-rounded company that has a future.
“Brands that establish a reputation for environmental stewardship among today’s youngest consumers have an opportunity to not only grow market share but build loyalty among the power-spending millennials of tomorrow, too,” says Grace Farraj, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President of Public Development and Sustainability.
If you have a passion for a particular sustainable practice that isn’t being utilized anywhere else, you may have a huge business idea on your hands with the potential for quite a bit of growth. Starting with a good plan will help you work out the kinks, and acquiring funding and setting a budget will allow you to get set up in a timely fashion.
Here are a few tips on how to get started.
Figure out your business
Whether you want to focus on utilizing clean energy, creating renewable resources, or using green technology, there’s a whole world of ideas out there at your fingertips. Think about what you’d most like your business to focus on, then do some homework. What other companies are doing the same thing? Who are your competitors and what is their business model?
Write a business plan
Figuring out your business plan is essential, so sit down and think of what kind of business model you want to have. If your company will need investors, this is the thing that will draw them in, so it needs to be concise. Know your audience and have a good idea of your financial plan so you can map it out. If you’re a minority or have a disability, there may be grants available to you for starting your business. Do your research to find out what kind of help you can get.
Pick a name
While your company’s success will depend on more than just the name, it’s a critical part of any business. But names can be incredibly difficult to come up with – they need to be unique and memorable. Fortunately, there are many name generator tools available that can help you with branding your company.
You’ll also need to think about marketing and the best way to get your name out into a green world. Social media is a great start. Create profiles on all the major platforms and post carefully curated content everyday in order to garner a following.
Will you need an office?
Many companies are recognizing the benefits of not having an office. Not only does it save you money every month to eliminate rent and utilities for an office space, but also it reduces emissions when your employees don’t have to drive to work, making it a green solution that also provides the perk of being able to work from home. Sometimes, having a centralized location is necessary, so depending your business, you may want to look at all the options.
Think about sustainable practices
Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. If your company has an office — even if it’s a small room in your own home. It’s important to make sure you maintain green practices, such as using energy efficient light bulbs, conserving water by using eco-friendly detergents, and cutting down on emissions by consolidating shipping. These are the things that will get you noticed by consumers and clients.
Starting your own sustainable business can take some time, so try to be patient. Do some research online to find out more on the best ways to make your company everything you want it to be, and learn how to network, both online and in person at conventions and events.