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  • Mark Harris

5 Steps to Building a Successful Green Business

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5 Steps to Building a Successful Green Business

Building a green business can help you attract more customers and increase your bottom line, all while providing you with the personal satisfaction of knowing that you’re doing your part to reduce pollution and conserve resources.

However, building and running a sustainable business takes more than simply recycling at the office and picking up reusable shopping bags on your way home from the grocery store. A truly green business requires careful planning, commitment, innovation, and creative marketing strategies to build brand awareness and help your company rise above the competition.

1. What Is a Green Business?

The word green means being sustainable and environmentally conscious in every aspect of your business: from building it out to running and promoting it.

2. Creating a Mission Statement

It’s not enough to have a business idea. A mission statement is more than just an idea; it describes how you plan on executing that idea, along with your values and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Think of it as an elevator pitch for your business. These are some of the questions that need answers in your mission statement:

  • What problem are you trying to solve?

  • Why do people need your services or products?

  • How will you make money?

3. Researching Similar Companies

Try to identify similar businesses (in both product and services) in New York City. After researching competitors, think about ways that you can be different. For example, why should people buy from you instead of them? To stand out, ask yourself how your business could be better than others like it.

4. Building a Green Marketing Plan

The most important aspect of starting any business is finding your audience. Before creating your plan, spend some time researching the customers you're trying to reach. Create buyer personas and learn everything you can about them — their needs, their likes and dislikes, what makes them unique in their peer group, and so on. Once you know your target market, it will be easier to tailor your marketing plan toward that demographic. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Who is your ideal customer?

  • What do they care about?

  • How can you speak their language?

  • Why should they choose your product or service over another one?

  • What problem does your product solve for them?

5. Funding to Start Your Business

You need funding for that new venture, and traditional loans are not always available. Luckily, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers grants specifically for women-owned businesses, while the Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) program is open to small businesses that are US-owned and controlled by women, people of color, and people with disabilities dedicated to improving society through technology innovation.

6. Be a Visionary

One of your primary roles as an entrepreneur is to serve as a visionary for your business. This means not only coming up with exciting new ideas but also thinking about how you can grow your company sustainably and in ways that will benefit people in years to come.

Visit Green Mo., based in New York City, for help with green marketing.

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