The world is changing. The environment, the economy, and our society are all evolving at a rapid pace. It’s hard to keep up with everything that is happening around us, but it’s vital that we do because these changes will impact your business in the years to come. One of the most significant impacts we will see in the coming years is how sustainability affects large and small businesses.
With environmental challenges such as climate change looming over us, governments continuously pressure companies to become more sustainable.
As a result, many entrepreneurs are faced with tough decisions about reducing their ecological footprint without sacrificing profits or growth potential.
But fear not. This post aims to help you understand what sustainability means for your small business to make informed decisions about how to implement sustainable strategies into your business.
How to Make Your Small Business Sustainable
Image Credit: Free-Photos from Pixabay
1. Take Advantage Of Technology
The first step for becoming a more sustainable business is to take advantage of technology. As we have seen with data centres, many industries are now building their operations in areas that generate renewable energy, such as wind or solar power sources. This means increased efficiency and reduced carbon emissions from your company’s electricity use.
In addition, the internet is a significant opportunity for virtually all businesses to reduce their environmental footprint. When you communicate online instead of through traditional means such as via physical meetings, your carbon emissions are significantly reduced because fewer employees need transportation, so less fuel is needed to deliver information.
Sending an email that appears on someone’s computer screen can be done with so little impact from an eco-perspective compared to sending them paper copies of documents via post office trucks.
So it’s time to take advantage. Technology can help you become more sustainable by using collaborative business models like coworking spaces that promote sharing equipment and ideas.
Also, reducing paper use by scanning documents into digital formats; using web conferencing tools like Skype to reduce travel; and using cloud-based software for storage, such as Google Drive.
2. Be Innovative At All Times
Investing in energy-efficient technology, reducing the driving time by using video conferencing, or updating your company’s travel policy is a great start – but what about other sustainability initiatives?
While it may seem like you can’t make an immediate impact on the environment if you’re just one person, there are many ways to get creative about sustainability and the environment.
The first step is to educate yourself on the issues and challenges facing your business in the coming years, including how sustainability can affect you as a company, and react accordingly.
3. Be a Good Corporate Citizen
To be a good corporate citizen, you always have to consider how what you’re doing affects the environment, your industry, and your community. Start by investing money in programs to enhance poor communities or dedicate fundraisers to the poor similar to Jozef Opdeweegh.
Then, if you always remain an excellent corporate citizen, you ensure consumers always keep your business in high regard and most likely support you when they need your service.
4. Always Be Accountable
Sustainability is a long-term commitment, not just an initiative or project you work on for two weeks and then forget about it. The key to successful sustainability programs in any company – large or small – lies in continuous self-monitoring of progress against goals.
One of the most effective methods for this is to measure and report on progress against sustainability objectives. This helps you identify areas where your company has impacted and those that need more work or are falling behind.
5. Generate Leads with Digital Marketing
Small businesses can be successful in digital marketing by focusing on how to generate leads online. As a small business, you may not have the budget for using traditional methods like newspaper ads and television commercials or an immense amount of sales reps to reach customers.
But this doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck. The internet is an inexpensive medium with a high potential for generating awareness about your company.
To generate leads online, you need a responsive website. A good web design will help your site rank higher in the results on search engines and have more traffic coming through.
It’s also essential that any content on your site is compelling enough to make people want to click through and learn more about what you’re offering – this could be anything from blog posts or videos of product demonstrations.
You can always add other pages with information such as frequently asked questions (FAQs), media resources like photos or videos, testimonials, etc. So there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to continue browsing around your site after they’ve landed on it initially via search engine results.