Updated: Feb 14
If you're a relatively new entrepreneur, you may have come across the term "green business." Ecopreneurship, similarly, refers to an individual's commitment to creating or selling products and services that do not damage our planet. In some cases, these products and services focus on sustainability and may actually give back to the environment. If ecopreneurship and creating an environmentally friendly business interest you, consider the five tips below as you build your venture and create your marketing plan.
1. Learn More About Sustainability
Do you have a desire to make your business practices more sustainable, but you're not sure how to do so? Consider making small first steps to decrease your business's footprint. If you sell tangible products, you may wish to evaluate the materials you use for wrapping and shipping.
Additionally consider cleaning up your office space itself and practicing what you preach: Do your employees use single-use plastic cups, drinking straws, or throw away piles of napkins every day? Your first move may be speaking with your team and determining how each of you will commit to this new mindset.
2. Consider Certification
Snagging a certification for your products that shows your commitment to ecopreneurship can go a long way to gaining the interest of potential customers. You may consider a USDA Organic label, a certification from the Green Business Bureau, or an Energy Star sticker to place on your company's appliances. Other qualifications may showcase your venture's ethical trade practices, its waste disposal system, or its utilization of natural resources.
3. Sign Up for an Environmental Audit
Scheduling an environmental audit, or an inspection that assesses how well a company is doing in terms of "greening" its business and business practices, can be the first stop on this journey if you are unaware of how to improve your business practices. Learning more about environmental standards when it comes to materials, wastewater management, and the production of your products themselves can be invaluable as you begin to make your business more sustainable.
4. Look for Special Funding Opportunities
There are many grants available for certain minorities, women, and veterans. If you are a Black business owner, consider opportunities from the Coalition to Back Black Business and the Minority Business Development Agency as well as the National Association for the Self-Employed. According to Brookings, many agencies have vested interest in expanding and backing Black businesses as they are cornerstones of the American economy.
5. Consider Which Marketing Method Serves You Best
You may be tempted to convert all of your marketing plans to digital methods to save paper and ink, and this can be a valuable goal — but don't leave behind all of the tried-and-true traditional methods that have served businesses well for centuries. A recycled cotton business card with your logo on it, for example, will stand out in your customers' minds as it is tangible, can help customers remember your name, and can be designed in a sustainable fashion using a business card template that reflects your company's values and practices.
There is definitely a learning curve to implementing sustainability practices and turning your business into a greener, more environmentally friendly operation. Use the five tips above as a starting point and keep researching opportunities as well as listening to feedback from your customers and clients to continuously improve! Reach out to Z Squared Studio for more marketing help.