What You Need To Know About Starting a Green Business

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Going green is a buzz phrase you have probably heard many times. However, you may not fully understand what it means. This guide answers some frequently asked questions about starting green businesses.

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What Does It Mean To Go Green?

Green businesses make an effort to reduce the negative effect their business operations have on the environment. Examples of green business practices include recycling, using less energy, conserving water, and purchasing green materials, equipment and supplies. 

One way to get a feel for what it means to go green is to study green companies, such as Salesforce. Salesforce has established significant initiatives to reduce emissions, integrate green building practices and engage in environmental innovation.

What Are the Benefits of Going Green?

With climate change remaining a top global concern, more federal, state, and local environmental regulations go into effect every year. Green practices help you stay compliant. Reducing your reliance on fossil fuels by using solar power or switching to electric vehicles can save you money. Marketing your company as a green business may also improve your reputation. According to a consumer survey, customers view green businesses as more trustworthy.

How Much Does It Cost To Go Green?

The type of business you start affects your startup costs. The average cost to start a microbusiness is $3,000. Home-based businesses cost between $2,000 and $5,000. One way to determine how much startup cash you need is to estimate your fixed costs for a month and multiply that number by six. 

Common startup expenses include:

  • Web hosting and web design
  • Office furniture and supplies
  • Technology
  • Advertising
  • Rental space
  • Labor
  • Insurance, permits, and license fees
  • Business plan

Purchasing green furniture, equipment and supplies may increase your startup costs by a small amount. However, choices such as using energy-efficient LED bulbs or running a paperless office could offset the expense by saving you money. Converting your office or home office to solar or wind energy requires a more substantial investment at a cost of about $15,000 to $25,000.

How Can I Market My Green Business

Start by creating selling points based on your business’s eco-friendly practices. Customers want to purchase products and services that make them feel good about their impact on the environment. Don’t be shy about stressing how purchasing your products helps customers do just that. 

Use environmental buzzwords, such as low-energy solution, non-toxic ingredients, sustainable, low waste, recycled materials, and chemical-free. Choose a brand name and logo that evokes your green image. Use recycled paper for any printed marketing materials. Invest in environmentally friendly online marketing. Donate to environmental causes.

When launching a product or service, a go-to-market strategy template can be invaluable. This template can detail your sales and marketing strategies and who your target market is. By identifying challenges and opportunities, you’ll map out all the necessary steps you need to take to start marketing your product or service.

How Can I Fund My Green Business?

Small business loans, crowdfunding, bootstrapping, and soliciting investors are all traditional methods of funding a startup that can work for a green business. If you decide to crowdfund or seek out investors, be sure to emphasize the green aspects of your business. 

Grants can also be a good resource for green startups. There are state, federal and local programs aimed at green businesses. 

Now that you understand what it means to start a green business and the benefits of doing so, you can start making your green business a reality. The environment and your bank account will thank you for it.

This article is written by Carla Lopez. Carla retired a couple years ago, but she didn’t lose her entrepreneurial spirit. She created Boomer Biz (boomerbiz.org) for retirees like herself who still have a desire to work and achieve. The site is a resource for people in their golden years who want to start their own business or go back to work doing what they love. You can reach Carla at carla.lopez@boomerbiz.org.

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