Going Green

How to Build a Green Business

Written by Anne Hauser for Gaebler Ventures

Trends indicate that more and more businesses are building more environmentally friendly enterprises. Take a look at what you can do to create your own "green" business.

Global trends are leading many businesses into a more "earth-friendly" mindset for their products and services.

According to "green" entrepreneur and owner of Pineapple Hospitality, Inc., Ray Burger, "businesses that aren't making an effort to be environmentally conscious are probably going to be left behind in the next couple of years."

Starting a green business has the same principles as any other small business. Owners need to find their niche market. Develop a business plan that fits your skills and passions, and identify areas to make such a business "green," as you may say. Areas such as cleaning supplies and cosmetics are natural fits for green products, but entrepreneurs should look past the obvious for green business opportunities.

Be an Example

One key to a successful green business is to make sure your business -- and your personal life -- become examples of sustainable lifestyles. Be conscious of the energy your business uses; whether that means using only compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, or solar or wind power. If the environment and sustainable business practices are truly your passion, then practice it and show it off to your customers.

After all, word-of-mouth referrals are one of the best marketing tactics your business can have. People who are passionate about green products often have friends who share the same values; make sure their experience with your company is so unique that they will have to recommend it on to their friends.

Know Your Environmental Facts

In addition to wanting your customers to pass on great reviews about your business, you also want to educate your customers about how your business offers green methods and products that benefit the environment.

It is important to conduct research and know the facts about your products in order to effectively communicate that to your customers.

If you have a business that sells earth-friendly bags, make sure you and your customer both know how much the negative environmental impact can be decreased every time they use a re-useable bag in place of a plastic one.

Share and Welcome Secrets

Don't be afraid to share your tips for running a sustainable business or marketing green products with other entrepreneurs.

Other similar small business owners can be your best friend when you are trying to start a business, as they already know the industry and you can try to avoid the same mistakes they made.

Anne Hauser is a freelance writer who is currently a double major in Magazine Journalism and English at the University of Missouri.

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