In business there is a constant battle with competitors to gain an edge. Those who manage to stay ahead of the game are the ones who listen to their clients, notice what is going on around them and act quickly when opportunity knocks. So much of business success is down to hustle, hard work and late nights, but there are some areas of the terrain that are more predictable. For young businesses, often struggling to keep afloat in fast-changing, challenging conditions, the sound of anything predictable is the sweetest music.
So what’s the secret? What is this magical, predictable thing?
The sole thing that can be relied upon in these environmentally responsible times is that anybody who is conducting a business is keenly aware of their eco-friendly credentials. Keeping these credentials scrupulously clean is essential to a modern, forward-looking company’s image, so they can only be seen to do business with those of a similar mindset. In short, go green and get more business.
To feel good about doing business with a company, a client has to feel comfortable about their environmental footprint. Doing business with a firm that has a bad eco-record is simply, bad business – poor reputations have a nasty habit of cross contaminating and for a young business at a vulnerable time, this could be disastrous.
So what can we do to make our business eco-friendly?
Fortunately, we can take many simple steps towards a greener business. The amount of stationery used in offices has really fallen since the concept of paperless offices took off. That said, envelopes and paper are still needed but we should make sure to stock environmentally conscious paper products. When a business envelope made from eco-friendly paper is mailed, it transmits a powerful message about the company. It portrays an image of a business that cares about the future, is open to change and sees the bigger picture. All core values that will resonate strongly with prospective clients.
We are all used to recycling materials at home, but we need to make the effort to do the same at work. Recycling paper, magazines, light bulbs and printer cartridges are all things we can do at work to be more earth aware.
Cut fuel and travel costs by conducting meetings by conference call or Skype, arranging for employees to work from home and encouraging car-pooling between staff. Slash energy bills by opening windows instead of cranking up the AC, install energy saving light bulbs, ensure office computers are set to energy saving mode and turn them off at night when not in use. Give electronics, computers and printers that are being upgraded another shot at usefulness by re-selling them. Used office furniture often represents great value and makes a very eco-friendly purchasing decision. Finally, encourage staff to bring in personal cups and crockery, rather than using disposable alternatives.
An eco-friendly business that adopts practices promoting sustainability, energy saving and recycling makes an important commitment to the environment. Image conscious businesses push their eco-credentials with enthusiasm, as they believe it gives them a competitive edge in the tough world of commerce. It is clear that being good to the planet is also good for business, so make those necessary changes immediately…