One thing is for certain in this new world we are in every self-help guru and business consultant has a ready-made set of tools and tricks to guide you through the challenges. Every newsletter and connection request seem to offer sage advice on how to steady the ship and keep yourself sane. The circumstance we are in has changed and as such this makes them sound just that little bit more alluring. We recommend staying away and focusing on solid foundations to make your business sustainable in the long run. Here we offer some sustainable business tips and advice to help you through these challenging times.
There are two types of sustainability.
- Ensuring your business is in a healthy state to run into the future.
- Operating sustainably as far as its impact on the environment is concerned.
We will cover both and offer sustainable business tips in the following points as they increasingly go hand-in-hand.
Many companies start these days from a position of positively impacting an area of life they feel strongly passionate about protecting or supporting. This becomes the founding principle and everything flows from there. You are likely to exist as a business already so how do you then backtrack to suddenly appear with a purpose? This is possible by looking into the reasons you started and also what drives you as an individual. You may have a passion for the outdoors, a particular love for a region of the world or feel passionate about a disease that has impacted your family. Placing this passion at the core gives everyone else something to relate to.
…consumers are looking more and more at how businesses are run and whether they can trust a business’ practice…
Sustainable business processes
terms of communicating your business, consumers are looking more and more at how businesses are run. Importantly whether they can trust a business’ practice. Your suppliers, products, logistics and/or equipment use need analysing. Really get under the skin of every process and make the changes. Once you are done, provide that statement on your communications and be as transparent as possible. Your customers will thank you for it and hopefully in transcends into sales!
You may be a one-person operation this may seem pointless and as the business owner, you set the culture. Future employees and customers have to buy into that culture. It’s vital to establish what that is and how it can sustain itself and this also comes back to ‘Purpose’ above. It is as simple as defining how you want to affect the environment and the society you operate within.
It is no good being value-led and wonderfully sustainable if you are not making a profit. Ensure your costs are kept low and your margins on your products and services are sustainably wide enough. You can then follow your principles.
As a way of both establishing your business and increasing your partnerships in your locale, becoming a leading voice in championing sustainable business practice is a great option. Having natural conversations about these topics will inevitably lead to more business opportunity and sales overall.
Short, medium and long term
The business plan part of running your company will cover this and there are sustainable elements to be looked at from these different time aspects.
Short-term – Look at the immediate environmental impact of paper and material use, electricity consumption, vehicle use and travel commitments.
Medium-term – In six months, who are the businesses you would like to align with and what are the type of customers you want to deal with?
Long term – How big do you want to grow and what are the likely impacts of this? How does this apply to your original raison d’etre, core mission and/or purpose?
The sustainable business tips above will hopefully stand you in good stead not just in the coming weeks but in the months and years ahead.