Updated: May 23
If you want to be an eco-friendly entrepreneur, you need to start with a blueprint. Understanding your new company's environmental impact can help you shape a sustainable business. Today, Training Dynamics Network offers some tips and resources to get you started.
Begin With the Right Mindset
To start an eco-friendly business, you need to have the right mindset about doing your part to protect the environment. Many consumers want to support businesses that understand corporate social responsibility. Green industry businesses use sustainable products and materials, seeking out ways to reduce their impact on natural resources.
Find Your Niche
To start a business, you need an idea. Find a niche you want to work in and pick up from there. Eco-friendly business ideas include:
When choosing a business idea, think about widespread interest. If you do not have your finger on the pulse of your potential market, your company may falter. Do not quit a lucrative job before validating the viability of your business.
For inspiration, consider these popular green brands:
Seventh Generation is a personal care, cleaning product, and paper company. Founded in 1988, it focuses on eco-friendly products, ethically sourcing all ingredients, and using environmentally friendly packaging.
Patagonia is a popular outdoor clothing retailer. About 1% of all sales go towards nature conservation. The company uses recycled or organic raw materials.
West Paw is an eco-friendly pet company. It only uses sustainable materials for toys. West Paw created Zogoflex toys for easy recycling. Consumers return old toys to the company and the company makes new toys.
Rogue Creamery creates USDA Certified Organic cheeses, following ethical practices regarding land and farm animals.
Companies have many reasons to be green. There is a wide variety of products and services sold under the eco-friendly umbrella. When you have chosen a niche, think of the harmful impact other companies in that industry have on the environment and create a blueprint to do better.
Once you have an idea, you can create a business plan. A green business plan shows how you intend to use eco-friendly methods and principles. In the plan, include your executive statement, products and services, financial plan and marketing plan. Not only do you need to think about standard startup costs, but you must consider the possible extra costs of running a green business.
The business plan helps you reach investors and lenders. There are various loans and financing options for small businesses available through the government. If you are Black, look for grants specifically for African-American-owned startups in need of funding. For example, you may go through the National Association for the Self-Employed, Coalition to Back Black Businesses, or the Minority Business Development Agency.
Reach Your Audience
To reach your potential consumer base, appeal to them through targeted advertising. A strong marketing strategy takes into consideration the psychology of advertising. Did you know that different colors can impact potential customers? For example, impulse shoppers may gravitate towards red-orange, royal blue, and black.
According to research, about 48% of all consumers would change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact. Use your marketing strategy to reach these eco-conscious buyers. Promote the eco-friendly aspect of your product or service. For example, if you use renewable materials, reflect this within your advertising materials.
Before starting an eco-friendly company, you need the right business plan in place. Know your niche, your carbon footprint, and the audience you need to reach before opening your business.
By Sean Morris, Learnfit
SEAN MORRIS Sean is a social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He has experience in managing a career with parenting, transitioning to a family-focused lifestyle, and a marriage that has lasted 20 beautiful years (and counting!).Today, he writes for LearnFit in his spare time. He is an advocate of living healthy lives and being an asset in the community. Learn more at www.learnfit.org
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Training Dynamics Network is a network of highly accomplished and recognized corporate and community practitioners from both the private and public sectors, and across diverse disciplines and industries. Call (562) 562-2284.