Consumers are taking note of green businesses in today’s market, making it one of the fastest-growing trends being tracked. In one study spanning 60 countries, over half of those surveyed stated that they are willing to spend extra if a company engages in sustainable practices. Domestically, the number jumps to over 70 percent of consumers who take into consideration whether or not a company is environmentally and socially conscious. Having a green business is as lucrative as ever right now, but it is not an area to jump into blindly. Here are a few tips to help you get your sustainable start-up off the ground.
Select a Niche
Find an aspect of sustainability that ties into your personal passions to narrow down your niche. Eco-friendly opportunities are booming as interest grows by the day in sustainable products offered within the fields of cosmetics, construction, energy, cleaning supplies, food, and more. Begin with one specific focal area and grow your business from there.
Be more than a company that simply incorporates socially responsible practices into its business model; secure certification to assure your clients that you are green through and through. Getting certified by an independent organization means you are eligible to utilize the group’s ecolabel on your products and marketing materials, making it easier for potential consumers to identify your brand as a green business.
For domestic certification, just about every niche has a group behind it. Chlorine-free products have the Chlorine Free Products Association. The ENERGY STAR program, a governmental-based group, certifies energy-efficient goods. Buildings, produce, wood products, and a slew of other goods and services can also be certified by domestic organizations. International certification is available for many products, as well.
If you want to be taken seriously as a producer of green goods, then you need to show you are committed to an eco-friendly world by integrating green practices into your culture. Brand yourself as authentic with sustainability threaded throughout your entire business model and day-to-day activity. Consumers trust green products created by green companies.
Grants and Loans
When you choose to incorporate or increase environmental practices in your business, a whole realm of eco-related governmental grants and loans becomes available to you. The Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Energy are just a few of the branches to offer potential financial support. Does your company fall into the realm of auto-related goods or services? Consider applying for assistance through the Department of Transportation. Is your niche in the field of education? That department is on board with sustainability-related grants and loans, as well. Whatever the field that you choose to green up, there is a strong likelihood that you can apply for money to support your endeavors.
Research the plethora of information available regarding market research for green goods to get you started with the best possible presentation of your products. Devour reports on trends in sustainability as well as common green marketing mistakes to avoid, allowing you to build a solid marketing plan for your brand.
Familiarize yourself with regulations that are put into place by the Federal Trade Commission to be sure the claims you make regarding your goods or services are in line with the proper green definitions. Rules and guidelines are in place for claims on advertising, labels, and other areas. This ensures that companies do not mislead consumers by falsely implying eco-friendly practices.
Utilize programs set into place by the EPA to join forces with other green companies. This allows you to build your brand and reputation while also furthering your reach for greater environmental impact.
Allow yourself time to fully work out the details of your green business before moving ahead at full speed. With the right tools and research, you can create a huge impression with your enterprise while simultaneously protecting the world around it.
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