Benefits of Small Businesses Going Green
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There is a recent trend of small businesses focusing on decreasing their environmental impact. According to Nielsen, the largest consumer bases — millennials and Generation Z — are very invested in supporting sustainable companies. Consumers want transparency, regardless of the product or service. Whether you are a small-town lawyer or an online podcaster, you can make some changes in your office to become more environmentally friendly. Many benefits are involved in a small business going green. Two of the main perks are customer loyalty and cost savings.
From a marketing standpoint, going green can improve customer relationships and optimize brand reputation. One of the benefits of going green is better connecting with your consumers, increasing their loyalty in your product or service. It is essential to identify your consumers and your environmental goals. When it comes to environmentalism, you want to start by taking steps that make sense for your business. Find out what your customers are looking for and what eco-friendly changes your competitors might be making. For example, if you are a florist, where are your sourcing your flowers? Do your customers care about their origin and production?
Transparency is important. Consumers are becoming more conscious of what they consume and how much. For any small business, it is integral to show your customers you care. You diversify the ways you demonstrate this by going green.
Sometimes it can be difficult for businesses to know where to begin. If you are wondering how to incorporate green initiatives into your mission statement, start small. If you have an office, offer reusable coffee mugs in the waiting room instead of styrofoam cups. You can buy coffee mugs at the thrift store. Incorporating them into your office space will make a memorable impression on your customers. It adds a personal touch and also shows you are committed to minimizing waste. All businesses rely on meaningful communication with their target audience. By going green, you improve your business’s reputation and the quality of your product or service. Sustainability requires clarity in your marketing message. Making eco-friendly investments shows your customers your commitment to a significant cause. Your honesty will garner their loyalty.
If you want to go green but aren’t sure where to start, there are tons of green living blogs that include helpful tips on how to incorporate sustainability into your business.
Going green has benefits beyond meeting corporate social responsibility requirements. Research by Barclays found that sustainable practices are indeed profitable. According to their survey, over one-third of businesses saw a decrease in overall expenditures.
Another benefit of small businesses going green is cost savings. Depending on your circumstances, this may require a little bit of an upfront investment, but compared to the energy savings, it will pay for itself in no time. Sustainability makes you stand out from your competitors, and customers will be more likely to invest in your products. Many businesses now interpret being viewed as eco-friendly as a competitive advantage. While going green can function as a great strategy to set you apart from competitors, make sure you have real initiatives in place so that consumers cannot accuse you of greenwashing. With energy-efficient appliances becoming the standard, make sure you are investing in LED lightbulbs. Look for tax incentives to install solar panels if they are available in your area. Lower utility costs give you the freedom to invest in more meaningful investments. While it may sound simple, reducing energy usage can save a significant amount of money. Most importantly, going green saves you money on a large scale.
Through energy-efficient appliances and tax deductions, you can make a positive impact on the environment and your bottom line. Small businesses sometimes lack environmental data to help them decide where to start. If you are not sure how much energy you consume, it can be hard to set a strategic goal. Today, there is a plethora of online resources at your fingertips, along with apps that help you track your sustainability records. For example, Dropcountr tracks your water consumption, which can lead you to adjust your habits. If you own a restaurant and realize a lot of water pitchers are being wasted, consider only refilling water when customers ask for it specifically.
Heading in a Greener Direction
If you are a small business looking to go green, numerous benefits are available to you. Two of the main advantages are customer loyalty and cost savings. Whether you operate a local accounting company, an online consulting firm or a coffee shop, you can see tons of success by going green. Many consumers believe companies should help improve the environment, and you can achieve that no matter what your business model is. Minimizing your carbon footprint doesn’t just help the environment — it supports your business.
About the author
Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co. She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.