For the small business owner wanting to get started on a green journey there are more than 100 ways to begin but if you listen to all the ideas and suggestions and advice out there on the Internet in books and from consultants it would be pretty difficult knowing where to start.
I’ve noticed that much of this advice came about 4 to 5 years ago when in an enthusiastic rush advice flooded the market on “how to improve your bottom line, grow your brand and save the planet”, one hand “101 ways to turn your business green”, and “the hands-on guide to creating a successful and sustainable business”.
Any start-up business or small business owner-manager wanting to figure out how to make their business green and sustainable for profit, to involve their people and increase their social commitment the ideas and suggestions would merely represent a piecemeal or arbitrary way of taking practical steps to benefit from sustainability.
It just doesn’t seem to make sense that you can simply go through a list of more than 100 tips and suggestions and merely tick them off and decide to implement them. No wonder some well-meaning advisors have cautioned small businesses not to start this way as they will feel overwhelmed and may delay getting started on their green journey.
How then, should a start-up founder or small business owner-manager go about making their business more sustainable and reaping the benefits that can change the way they do business, even innovating their business model, for better or improved goodwill, reputation and profits?
A good starting point is doing some hard rethinking perhaps using tools such as a situation all situational analysis also what SWOT analysis to identify your strengths and opportunities that could arise from initiating actions that could make your business more sustainable and successful. This goes beyond the checklist approach and helps you understand what would appeal to customers and your community. The next step would be to.
The next step would be to evaluate which of the sustainable business opportunities would work for your specific business, customers and community and through a planned programme change or implement innovative approaches that will produce results in the short and long term.
Sustainability in your business means or goes much deeper than merely changing the light bulbs, reprogramming your thermostat and printing less paper. Sure, a few such changes or trial experiments may bring about relatively quick gains but a more comprehensive project plan with costs, paybacks and returns will yield far greater results. And, isn’t that what sustainability is really all about?