The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Entering the “Green” Economy
This article outlines key tasks that entrepreneurs should plan for in the process of launching an eco-friendly business.
Maybe you love the idea of starting a green business, but you’re nervous about moving forward with your plans. Here’s how to identify business opportunities that benefit our earth and our oceans, plan out your budget, get the funding you need, and market your new eco-friendly company!
Find Real-Life Examples
Learning about real-life “ecopreneurs” who you can look up to can boost your confidence. For example, Rachael Z. Miller started the eco-friendly company Cora Ball—her products help to minimize microfiber pollution from washing machines to improve the health of our oceans. This business model perfectly illustrates how the “blue” and “green” economies go hand-in-hand and support social welfare. Companies that help the earth, help the oceans too!
Choose a Business Idea
After reading up on successful ecopreneurs, you might be ready to invest in your own eco-friendly idea. Sage Advice recommends starting an upcycling company, a green cleaning service, a sustainable event planning business, a zero-waste grocery delivery service, or even a tech recycling or refurbishment operation. Of course, these ideas are just a jumping-off point—you could go in so many different directions! You might want to start an eco-friendly clothing company, a green beauty business, or even launch a composting service in your area. Ultimately, the choice is yours, so let your imagination run wild and see what you come up with!
Map Out Your Costs
Yes, investing in eco-friendly materials for your business and making certain process changes to keep your carbon footprint low can cost you extra—but as your budget for your green business, it’s important to remember that focusing on sustainability can help you save in some areas, too! Furthermore, the Green Business Bureau states that if your business runs on renewable energy, you may qualify for deductions or tax credits.
You can also save money in the long run by keeping your utility usage low and closely monitoring your inventory levels to reduce waste! Overall, while you may need a bit of extra room in your budget to achieve your eco-friendly vision, it’s definitely doable. Make sure to thoroughly research your vendors, and be willing to negotiate when appropriate.
Starting a green business can incur some additional costs. To increase your startup capital, you could turn to crowdfunding, taking out a small business loan, or applying for grants. Try to limit your debts before applying for a business loan. The less debt you have, the more likely you are to be approved at favorable terms. You might be able to find grants specifically targeted towards entrepreneurs who share your background. For example, there are many grants, programs, and agencies dedicated to helping black-owned businesses. These resources can provide invaluable help getting your business funded.
Market Your Business
Naturally, you’ll need to work out a marketing plan for your company to bring in your first customers. A major component of your marketing plan will be researching your competitors and how much they’re charging for their products or services. Think about how you’ll market your business on social media, and design an attractive and easy-to-navigate website. You can enhance your website by using an infographic template to create an infographic detailing your services. With a customizable template, you can add your own copy, color scheme, and logo.
Today, lots of entrepreneurs focus heavily on digital marketing on social media, but don’t forget about print marketing methods, too! For instance, you can order business cards, which you can hand out to leave a tangible, lasting impression on potential customers. It’s a strong visual reminder of your brand, unlike email!
Today, entrepreneurs can support sustainability while running profitable businesses. You do not have to sacrifice one outcome or the other. By applying these suggestions, you’ll be able to launch a business that supports the green economy!
Tina Martin - site contributor