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Eco-friendly entrepreneurs often struggle with running their business in a way that’s consistent with their sustainability goals, but it doesn’t have to be challenging. Making earth-conscious changes to the way you run your company can be as simple as reducing fossil fuel use by offering remote work to your employees, or you might consider taking bigger steps, such as installing solar panels on the roof of your business. Keep up with the latest small business tips and news on Startup Daily Tips, and create a plan to get your company up and running in a way that will be beneficial to both you and the planet.
Get the legalities out of the way
When you start a business, it’s important to consider what kind of structure you need. A limited liability company or sole proprietorship will provide tax benefits as well as protection for your personal assets, but depending on the type of business you want to open, you may also want a DBA–or “doing business as”–name. This will allow you to branch out and start selling different products or services under a different name, or to secure a web domain if the one you want is taken. Utilize all the resources provided by a formation service in order to cut down on paperwork; you can apply for a DBA online.
Create a sustainable business plan
Typically, a business plan contains details such as the physical location of a company, the number of employees that will be working, and a budget projection, but once you have the structure figured out, you should also start thinking about what your business practices will be. What are your ultimate goals when it comes to remaining eco-friendly? How will you make those practices a core part of your company’s mission statement? You can start small by eliminating paper, offering remote work to your employees, installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances in the office, and utilizing local businesses for supplies. You can also look into local and federal grant opportunities that will help you pay for things like solar panels or sustainable packaging for your products.
Once you have a plan for making your business as eco-friendly as possible, think about how you can get involved in your community and make a difference. You might set up a contribution to help fund a community garden project or provide assistance with a clean-up effort. Your business can also offer up items or services to auction for a green cause. Talk to other local business owners to find out more about the community’s needs and what they’re doing to get involved; you may be able to jumpstart a partnership that’s beneficial to both of you.
Find like-minded customers
No matter what sort of business you decide to start, it’s important to find your customer base and make sure you know how to reach them. Seeking out like-minded people is key when you’re making an effort to be eco-friendly, so think about your marketing strategy and how to make it work to your advantage. Create a digital campaign rather than relying on traditional advertising methods, using social media to bolster your reach. Remain transparent about your business culture, including how and where you source materials. The more details you can give customers about your efforts to remain green, the better.
Starting a successful business that’s also eco-conscious means you have to be certain of your goals from the very beginning. Network with other business owners to get an idea of the environmentally-friendly resources in your area, and utilize grants to ensure you can afford to make larger changes, if possible.