This article provides an approach to building a green business and a sustainable marketing plan.
Ecopreneurs have many more resources today than even 10 years ago, but there are still quite a few considerations to make when you’re ready to start a green business. Funding works a bit differently for eco-friendly businesses, in part because of some of the tech required for daily operations but also because there may be grants available that are earmarked for sustainable companies. Your market research will also look a bit different, as you’ll need to look into what similar businesses are doing and how you can both learn from and separate yourself from them.
Let’s look at some ways you can build a green company, from integrating sustainable resources into your operations to looking for eco-friendly opportunities.
Start with business basics
When building a green business from the ground up, you can’t neglect basic startup tasks, like choosing a business name. You ideally should come up with something that reflects your brand and its ideals, and that is catchy and memorable at the same time. Brainstorm some ideas and ask your friends and family for their input on their favorites. You can also enlist the help of a name generator to get the ball rolling.
You’ll also need to choose a structure for your business. There are several your company could operate under, but two common favorites of new entrepreneurs are LLCs and S corps. A Colorado LLC protects your personal assets from being liable in legal cases your business may be involved in. A Colorado S corp will give you lower self-employment taxes, deductions on financial losses, and the option of pass-through taxation should your company ever have shareholders. Keep in mind that working with a formation agency simplifies the filing process and costs less than working with an attorney.
Reduce your carbon footprint
When running a business, your carbon footprint is linked to just about every aspect, from the way you power your office or storefront to the way you handle documents. Reducing waste by going paperless and adding solar panels and energy-efficient computers are a few great examples of how you can make sustainable choices that will benefit both you and the environment. If your business sells products, you might also look for opportunities that fall under the eco-friendly umbrella, such as repairing items bought from your store. This is a great way to eliminate waste and add to your revenue at the same time.
Launch your products thoughtfully
When it comes to spreading the word about those products, it’s crucial to make sure you have a solid plan for the launch. Green marketing can be a little tricky, and it’s important to ensure that you have your initial costs under control. Fortunately, there are lots of small business resources available these days that cut those costs down, from helpful software to templates that allow you to prepare for every aspect of your operation. For example, a go-to-market strategy template can help you keep your business plan and marketing strategy on track so that nothing gets overlooked.
Whether you’re launching your ideas to the world or trying to figure out how to manage daily operations in a sustainable way, it’s a good idea to look at what some other green business owners are doing. Networking, in general, can be pretty helpful for new business owners, but when you’re attempting something a little different, it can be invaluable to have some input from entrepreneurs who have been in your shoes. Do some research on different green companies – such as Plaine Products, a zero-waste bath and body brand that’s also vegan and cruelty-free – to find out more about their practices, and look for networking opportunities near you. Show up armed with a great business card that will help you stand out; rather than adding to your costs by having one designed, simply use a free template. A DIY business card maker will allow you to use your own logo and branding in an easy-to-customize format so you can make a lasting impression.
Consider possible negatives
Even if you’re armed with the right tools and can make some valuable connections, launching a green business is hard work that may not have the outcome you’re looking for. Prepare yourself for every possible outcome as you make sustainable choices, including the fact that it might take some convincing to get customers on board with your ideas. Doing some solid research will help you make well-informed decisions, so give yourself plenty of time to do so.
Building a green business can help you make a big difference in the world, and using the right tools and connections will allow you to get there with minimal stress. Take your time getting started to ensure all your bases are covered.
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