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Sustainable business

Sustainable Business: Why Your Startup Should Go Green

Chris Smith

Contributor at StartupNation
Chris Smith is a Glasgow based writer and blogger. He writes about sports and finance on his blog Spend It Like Beckham, and has been published in a number of high profile publications, including The Guardian, the Telegraph and The Huffington Post.

Latest posts by Chris Smith

When it comes to starting a business, many entrepreneurs will concede that success is customer-centric. As the world around us becomes more eco-friendly, in turn, many of us expect the businesses we frequent to have some degree of green credulity, in the form of sustainable business practices.

Research shows us that this trend is on the rise: a McKinsey survey revealed that 57 percent of respondents are increasingly taking a long-term strategic view of pursuing and integrating sustainability opportunities into their business models.

Advantages of maintaining a sustainable business

Startups that present a green, eco-friendly business model from the start present a number of advantages. First, the very fact that a company is small can lend itself well to a marketing strategy, as the reduced overheads and smaller operating capacity will make for a business that has a smaller carbon footprint than a large multinational competitor.

Maintaining a sustainable business with eco-friendly products and packaging can directly impact your bottom line. Millennials will often pay a premium price for eco-friendly products that they believe reflect their values.

Marketing your sustainable business

This brings us to the second advantage of building a startup that is environmentally conscious and sustainable. Highly regarded green credentials are seen as a major advantage in terms of marketing opportunities, making them doubly important when trying to get an idea off of the ground.

Do it right, and you have a customer for life. Take the opposite approach, and try to hide the carbon footprint of your business, then you’re left with a scandal. This equates to brand damage that will take years of considered marketing strategy to recover.

When it comes to making your businesses environmentally friendly, the best approach is not to make it forced, or disingenuous. The most effective way of achieving this is by having a personal belief in the sustainability of your business from day one.

Granted, your ability to employ such a strategy will differ massively, dependent on your startup’s industry. However, a mindfulness toward the environmental impact of your business can go a long way, especially when it is employed as a supporting foundation on day one. Your customers will latch onto this, and will support your business. That initial surge of brand loyalty is vital to the success of any startup, regardless of the industry in which it exists.

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