Going green with your small business? Don’t do it the wrong way

By Henry Brown

The business world is increasingly becoming aware of the importance of going green and its impact on the environment. However, it is one thing knowing why your small business should go green, and quite another thing doing so successfully. Many companies set sustainable goals only to fail with their implementation. And this ends up costing them a lot of time, effort, and money. It is essential to make your small business as sustainable as possible, but you need to do so in the right way. So, are you thinking about going green? Avoid the following mistakes.

Trying everything immediately

You may have just realized the immense benefits of going green with your small business, and you’re in haste to implement wholesale changes immediately. But attempting to do everything at once will hardly yield any positive results. Your best approach is to initiate change in a gradual process – one decision at a time. Doing this helps you to plan out your transformation in a way that will not affect your business. For instance, if you want to start with a ‘green’ office space, you can start by fixing an epoxy floor with highly durable epoxy floor coatings as your first ‘green’ move, then targeting another area later.

Not rolling it out broadly enough

Another mistake has to do with not trying enough or not rolling out your sustainability broadly enough. Some small businesses may try to please their customers by adopting one green project and ending there. Today people are more aware of companies that brand themselves as ‘green.’ And if they notice you’re only a one-trick pony, you might lose a significant number of your customers.

Not communicating your decision to your customers

You cannot assume that once you decide to go green and put the measures in place, your customers will automatically know about it or appreciate it. You need to effectively communicate your decision as well as the changes to your clients. Beyond communicating with your clients, you should find ways to make them part of the process. Find out if there are ways they can support your new course through donations, for example. You can even encourage them to make the needed changes in their own lives.

Failing to consider inexpensive options

Large companies may afford to implement grand sustainability measures, but that doesn’t mean you should do the same blindly. There are cheaper and clever ways to go ‘green’ with your small business. For example, switching from your old light bulb to an energy-efficient one may be an inexpensive move, but one that will save you quite some money nonetheless. You can also try other cheaper options like reducing the use of plastic, recycling, using recycled paper products, using less packaging, conserving water, and so on.

Lack of employee engagement

You’ll want to make the process easier by getting your working staff on board. You need to start by first educating your employees about the reasons and benefits of going green. Doing this will make them understand and appreciate why you need to make the change, and therefore, be on the same page with you.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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