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A Guide to Sustainable Business Practices That Actually Make a Difference

Starting a business is a major milestone – and one that takes a lot of work! You have to take care of everything from researching your business idea to securing funding. The early stages of business planning are also the perfect time to think about how you can implement sustainability into your day-to-day operations.

There are many affordable and practical ways to boost your business’ sustainability. Here are some ideas courtesy of geeksaroundglobe.com.

Understand how sustainability benefits your business.

Starting a sustainable business isn’t just nice for the environment. It can also benefit your business. Sustainability is an increasingly important consideration for consumers: 75% of buyers consider sustainability before buying a product. Sustainability practices can also improve operating margins. For example, by using local suppliers, you cut your carbon emissions and save money on long-distance hauling costs.

Start by taking care of the start-up essentials

If you’re just getting your business off the ground, consider starting an eco-friendly model such as bicycle rentals, electronics repair, and second-hand retail. Once you have your business idea, register your company as a legal entity like a limited liability company. An LLC protects your personal liability and streamlines tax filing. There are also several LLC write offs, including:

  • Business expenses: LLCs can deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses, such as rent, utilities, office supplies, employee salaries, and professional fees. These expenses are typically fully deductible and can significantly reduce the LLC’s taxable income.
  • Depreciation: LLCs can depreciate the cost of certain business assets, such as machinery, equipment, and real estate, over their useful life. This depreciation expense can be deducted from the LLC’s income each year.
  • Startup costs: New LLCs may be able to deduct certain startup expenses, such as legal fees, advertising costs, and market research expenses, over a period of time.
  • Home office deduction: If the LLC uses part of a home for business purposes and meets the criteria, it can deduct a portion of home-related expenses, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, and utilities.

Identify sustainability opportunities in your business

Even if your business isn’t eco-centered, there are ways to make it sustainable. Tips include sourcing from local suppliers, implementing energy-saving measures, and adopting a recycling program. You can also reduce paper waste by digitizing your paperwork. This will also reduce clutter in your workspace and make documents easier to find.

Train your employees in sustainability methods

There’s no point in adopting sustainability methods if you’re the only one using them. You want to make sure that your entire team is on board with any measures you take. The first step is to train them appropriately. For example, if you want to adopt a recycling program, make sure to teach employees how to sort their waste. Implement best practices when training employees, like communicating clearly and offering live demonstrations.

You can also exhibit the importance and practicality of using eco-friendly products like safe and natural cleaning products. Shifting away from toxic, chemical cleaners can include simple steps like using baking soda and vinegar as ingredients.

Promote your sustainable measures to the public

If you’re going to implement sustainability measures, make sure your customers know about it. One way to do this is by getting green certifications. For example, the TRUE program provides recognition for zero-waste businesses. Make sure to promote these kinds of accolades through channels like your website and social media. Finally, use eco-friendly promotional tactics. Skip the paper fliers and focus on digital methods.

You’ll greatly benefit by having a logo that communicates your focus on sustainability. Crafting a compelling and visually striking logo for your business is vital for leaving a memorable mark, fostering brand recognition, and distinguishing your enterprise in a crowded marketplace. When working within budget constraints, consider utilizing an online logo generator free instead of investing in professional design services. With an online tool, you can personally fashion an attractive and imaginative logo by selecting a preferred style and icon, and then incorporating necessary text elements.

Partner with other sustainable businesses and encourage walkability

Another great way to boost your business profile and promote your sustainability methods is to partner with other businesses. Cross-promotion can be a valuable promotional tool, if you do it right. The key to success lies in identifying businesses that share your core values – in this case, sustainability. You’ll be able to connect with consumers who share those values as well. Plus, it’s a low-cost marketing option.

Also, advocating for the walkability of a business district is not only great for individual community members’ well-being, it’s a boon to business. Streets designed for pedestrian-friendliness promote increased business engagement, yield a higher tax revenue per acre, and deliver a superior return on investment compared to streets primarily designed for automobiles. Shoot for advocating for the promotion of areas with a high Walk Score of 70 and above.

Prepare for the hurdles of running a sustainable business

You may face challenges when implementing sustainable practices. If you don’t consider the costs of sustainability measures, you may go over budget, for example. Another issue may be if your customers don’t appreciate your sustainability initiatives or act negatively toward them—for example, by accusing you of “greenwashing.” Get ready to tackle these criticisms.

Starting a sustainable business doesn’t necessarily have to mean taking expensive measures like installing solar panels. As a new entrepreneur, focus on small steps, like reducing paper waste by digitizing documents. Your business will benefit, as will the planet.

What do you think?

Written by Joshua White

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