If you are a small business working on a shoestring, being eco-friendly will probably not be in the forefront of your mind. This is understandable and in some ways seems practical; however, eco-friendly practices can be vitally important to small businesses in ways that may not be initially visible.
A change in attitudes
There is absolutely no doubt that over the last ten years the wellbeing of the environment has become of greater concern to the average person. The news is full of stories and predictions about our planets future if many unsustainable, and greenhouse gas producing practices continue to happen at their current rate. People are naturally becoming more worried, and are starting to go out of their way to be more eco-friendly in day to day activities. It is important for any business to capitalise on these changing attitudes; in fact it may be futile not to do so.
Big business vs. small business
Big business can find it a lot easier to justify eco-friendly policies, even during times of financial strife. This is because large scale businesses can introduce large scale eco-policies, and make a song a dance about it (Just think how many adverts mention or acknowledge the environment). Being able to make a song and dance means big businesses can justify implementing large scale eco-friendly policies, in the knowledge that is they are doing their bit for the environment then potential customers will look on them more favourably (this is generally the case).
An example of this is certain supermarkets policies to reducing the use of plastic bags. An idea like this (focused around the environment) backed up by a huge advertising campaign can ultimately have positive effects on the success of a business dues to an enhanced reputation.
So that's the reason eco-friendly policies and practices work, they increase your reputation to potential consumers. However, small business can find it difficult to justify implementing eco-friendly polices, due to the fact they are turning over much less profit than successful big businesses. They key for small businesses is to find a way to do their own bit for the environment and let potential customers know what they are doing.
How to get your message out
In the modern age it is very easy to tell people exactly what you are doing, so small businesses can know get their message across about the products and services they offer very quickly. Through social media mediums, blogs or emails small businesses can not only tell people about products and services but also about how they are being environmentally friendly. Implementing small eco-friendly policies with limited or no cost can enhance your businesses reputation by simply letting people know about them.
For example if you have a company blog you can have a monthly post about what you are doing for the environment, and you can share this post via social media or email. Believe it or not by telling people you are no longer using disposable cups in the office, or making sure you are recycling all your warehouse waste you can gradually increase your online reputation, the key to modern business.
Local businesses can use their environmental credentials in a visible way - for example A1 Clearances, a small business working with local domestic customers, have an Environment Agency registration number available on their website.
A lot of the internet is dedicated to or involved in environmental issues, so finding your own unique way to be environmentally friendly can be really beneficial, and help you stand out from the crowd. Reusing waste objects to make interesting items can be one way of doing this, especially if you are involved in any craft related business. Interesting objects made can shared on social media and image hosting websites to help increase your online 'buzz'.
As a small business it is not essential to dedicate large sums of money towards eco-friendly policies. Doing your own small bit for the environment and getting your message out get really help increase your company's reputation and success.
Rob Duckers works with A1 Clearances in Chester, United Kingdom, and has a vast knowledge on what it takes, and why it's important to be an eco-friendly business. A1 Clearances are fully licensed by the Environment Agency, and abide fully by all their eco-friendly policies.