If you're considering starting up a new business, you might also think about making that business “green” and becoming an “ecopreneur.” Going green requires more research, greater effort, and a firm commitment, but you may well find it worthwhile in the long run. Read on for a “greenprint” of how to start a green business.
Your first step in starting a green business is to know the pros and cons of doing so. Only then can you make a well-informed commitment. There are, of course, many benefits to a green business. You can have the satisfaction of doing your part to care for the environment while at the same time building up a good reputation for your business. On the other hand, though, green businesses can incur higher start-up fees and operating expenses, and you need to budget for this.
Next, you must research thoroughly so that you understand exactly what operating a green business is all about. A green business is one that strives to decrease or even eliminate negative impacts on the community, the environment, and the planet as a whole. Green businesses, for instance, try to conserve energy, reduce pollution, minimize waste, use products and services from other green businesses, contribute products and services that are healthy and sustainable, and follow all laws, regulations, and recommendations regarding environmental safety.
By now, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer scope of all this. Don't despair. Others have gone before you as “ecopreneurs,” and you can follow in their path. Read, for instance, about Blake Mycoskie and his company, TOMS. Look into the story of Seventh Generation, founded by Jeffrey Hollender and Alan Newman, or even explore the green mission of Beyond Meat.
It's now time to put the basic elements of your business in place. This means drawing up a business plan that places special emphasis on your company's green commitment. A business plan consists of a brief description of your business and its purpose, a discussion of the products or services your business plans to offer, an overview of your company's structure and roles, a detailed marketing strategy, and a start-up budget. Each section should contain a specific explanation of how it contributes to sustainability.
Give some special thought to your marketing strategy to make sure it corresponds with your green goals. You might, for instance, choose to focus primarily on digital marketing through your website, social media sites, and email rather than wasting paper by printing flyers or posters.
Finally, communicate your green commitment to others, whether they're employees or freelancers you've hired to help you with various aspects of your business. Communication is critical, and likely much of it will be electronic, so make it as efficient as possible. You can, for example, compress a PDF online to send PDF files with large images more easily through email without losing quality or formatting.
Now that you have a “greenprint” for your business, you can officially “go green.” Don't forget to join your local chamber of commerce for more business guidance.
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