Green business models are everywhere these days as more entrepreneurs become aware of easy ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices into their ideas. However, starting a green business of your own requires quite a bit of research and planning before you can get it off the ground, as it’s important not to overlook any details. Building a business that’s environmentally conscious means ensuring that both your products or services and your practices are green. Not only that, you’ll need to come up with eco-friendly marketing methods and think about how you’ll get like-minded customers to find your business among the competition. Use this guide from DCR to get started with your eco-friendly business idea.
Write Out an Impeccable Business Plan
Your business plan is the basis for many things, encompassing funding, a marketing strategy, the structure of your business, and all of the many details that will go into your daily operations. Not only can you use this as a template for the first year, but you can also use it to clarify your decisions as you go through the process of building a company that values the environment. As your business grows and evolves, you can change the plan to reflect new goals–such as expanding into new territories or offering new products–and devise an updated marketing strategy that will ensure success. For instance, what are customers in different areas looking for? How will you advertise in a way that puts your environmentally-sound tactics at the forefront? If you need a little help getting started, look for a template that will act as a blueprint for your plan.
Consider All Your Funding Options
An important part of your business plan is the funding aspect; in fact, your plan will give lenders and investors a solid idea of what your needs are, so it’s crucial to crunch the numbers accurately. However, you’re not limited to loans and investments when it comes to raising money for your business, as there are plenty of grants available.
If you’re a woman, it can be more difficult to find and secure the right business grant, but there are options out there specifically for female entrepreneurs. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant is targeted at women who devote their time to community service and sustainable business practices, while the Girlboss Foundation Grant is aimed at those who have a business plan in a creative field, such as fashion design or music.
Know What “Green” Truly Means
Formulating a green business plan requires a great attention to detail, so once you have funding covered, it’s important to do some research into what an eco-friendly business really entails. It’s not enough to use sustainable materials in your products; you also have to consider environmentally friendly practices, such as conserving energy and cutting down on carbon emissions and think about how your business will support green initiatives on both a local and national scale.
Take a look at some other sustainable businesses to learn from them, especially where costs are concerned; for instance, going green can save you money in the long run, but you may need to lay out a little more at the beginning for environmentally-friendly tools or supplies. For inspiration, read about Arizona company reNature, which creates a sustainable method for food waste removal, or Arkansas retailer The Green Corner Store, which offers eco-friendly goods and educates employees and customers alike about green lifestyle choices.
Dive into Marketing
A marketing strategy is a must for any business, but you may want to consider a certain approach when trying to spread awareness about your business and the causes most dear to you. For example, avoid any sort of paper brochures, mailers, flyers and the like, and look to the digital landscape for your marketing needs. Social media, in particular, offers the ideal platform for marketing. You can have complete control over how you engage with customers and there’s no waste. Plus, there are plenty of online tools that make it easy to quickly create posts, infographics and more. For example, you can create infographics for free, complete with eye-catching fonts, striking colors and plenty of other design features when you use an online template. These handy tools allow you to create something in minutes, meaning you can change up posts regularly without being overwhelmed.
Whether you’re looking for funding or learning about green strategies, it’s important not to overlook any possible negatives or holes in your plan. Quitting a lucrative job before your business becomes profitable, for example, could leave you without income for quite some time. By learning from other green business owners, you can avoid their mistakes as you grow your own plan.
DCR is a digital agency in Washington, DC specializing in artist development and everything music marketing. Reach out today to get started!