Can small businesses be green?

As a small business owner, you could be forgiven for thinking that only large corporations have the time and resources to introduce a number of green practices. There are, however, a number of cost-effective initiatives that small businesses can put in place to make the company more green. We’ve put together some key ways you could have a greener business without eating into your budget.

Start with the employees

If you want to make steps towards a greener company, then your first port of call should be your employees. The businesses that see some of the biggest returns when it comes to their environmentally friendly strategies will firstly have their employees on board, and secondly, they’ll be keeping a keen eye on the green strategies of their competitors.

Watching your competitors’ green efforts can be time-consuming, so if you’re a business owner, you should be giving your employees specific assignments such as giving them a company to watch. Ask them what they’ve learnt and request that they report their findings back to you and share those findings with the rest of the team. Not only will this help you keep a close eye on what the competition’s up to, but it will drive your employees’ desire to outperform competitors.

Local vendors

If you use local vendors and suppliers, you are very quickly reducing your carbon footprint. As a small business, having good relationships with local vendors can be vital and it can provide you with a unique marketing opportunity. If you ensure your customers know that you support your local economy, but that your business is also working to reduce its fuel consumption and carbon emissions, then you’ll start to build a reputation as an environmentally friendly brand with minimal effort.

Online marketing

Online marketing is a lot more environmentally friendly than other forms of marketing such as direct mail and printed adverts. It’s also far cheaper to use online marketing, so consider placing an online banner ad as an alternative to a print advertisement. Not only will it produce less waste which has a negative impact on the environment, but it could save you a lot of money, too.

If you’re still relying on direct mail, then it can be challenging to replace your printed mailers, particularly if they continually drive sales. It is, however, worth investing in growing your database of emails, simply because over time it will help reduce your direct mail output. Email marketing is also a lot more versatile than direct mail, and a lot of email marketing programs can replicate your direct mail if you don’t want to move away from it completely.

Recycled paper

This is a fairly simple strategy but it can have a big impact. Using recycled paper can instantly signal to your employees that you’re an environmentally friendly company and it shouldn’t impact your stationery costs too much. If you need to use a specialist printer for items such as brochures or business cards, then it might be a good idea to talk to the printers to see if they have a recycled paper option.

Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint is by using virtual staff for tasks such as telephone answering. At Message Direct, we can help you manage your phone lines along with any other communication channels you may have. So for a quick and easy way to improve the green credentials of your small business, get in touch with Message Direct today.