By Guest Blogger: Davey McConnell
Sustainability is a trending topic on the tip of everyone’s tongue lately. Businesses want in on the green dollar and consumers want to feel like they are making a difference. This isn’t to say that there aren’t purpose-driven businesses truly seeking to create change, but how to tell the difference? Well-meaning businesses need to make an effort to stand out amongst the green wave.
As a sustainable business, it’s super important to be able to show that your business really is what it says it is. Conscious consumers are wising up to the rampant greenwashing of products and services. Anyone can call their business “green” but what are you really doing to live up to that label?
What business practices have you implemented to reduce your environmental impact or give back to society?
Are you telling your customers and audience about these?
Can they easily find this information on your website or socials?
If you’re having a hard time answering these questions, then I encourage you to please keep reading. In order for sustainable businesses to grow and, well… be sustainable, they must not just talk the talk but walk the walk.
As more and more people wake up to the abuses of large corporations to the planet and its people through their products, supply chains, and even packaging… more and more consumers want to know their money is going to an ethical business.
There are a few things businesses can do to be transparent and take action, but more than that, make sure that your customers and clients are aware of what you stand for. Make sure they can see it.
What do your customers want to know?
They want to know your VALUES. They want to know what’s important to them is also important to you.
Now let’s break it down into some actions you can take.
1. Write down your values.
This can be a fun team exercise. Do a brain dump of all the things that are important to you and that you want your brand to represent. Choose the top 4-6 values that really encompass what you’re all about.
For example, mine are: service, authenticity, freedom, impact, education, and environmental justice.
2. Express your values through branding.
This can be done by incorporating your business’s values into all communications and actions. Every piece of copy, every message you send, every campaign, and every product must have something that relates back to your business’s values.
3. Choose an organization or cause that your business can support with donations of time or money.
If your business isn’t doing this already, take a look at your values and brainstorm a few causes that align with those values. Perhaps you care about deforestation, the state of our oceans, or education. Do you want to focus your efforts locally or globally? Doing a little bit of research and networking will help you find the perfect fit.
4. Make changes.
Your materials, vendors, transportation, packaging, labor, and even some in-house processes are all good places to start looking. You could even look at where your money is kept and the investments your business has made. See what investments your bank is making and if they are aligned with your values.
Now that you know what your values are, the changes you can make, and the cause(s) you want to support AND you’ve engrained them into every facet of your business’s branding, it’s time to put them out there in the open!
- Create a post on social media.
- Write a blog post.
- Put it in your newsletter.
- Dedicate a whole page on your website expressing them.
- Represent them in your mission statement.
- Pitch a story to the press.
Every business is different and of course your’s may not be able to do all of these things, but what is important is to take inventory of where changes are possible and implement what you can.
Sure some of these changes may cost a little more and take some time to figure out, but take a look at the alternative. By aligning your business’s values and practices with those that matter to your customers, you’re sure to see your sustainable business flourish.
Now who am I to talk about these things? I’m an eco virtual assistant on a mission to support eco conscious entrepreneurs by helping them take back their time so they can fulfill their purpose. This is the exact framework I am using to ensure my clients and audience are aware of my values and the impact I’m striving to make.
Davey, the Eco Helper, is a virtual assistant working solely with eco conscious entrepreneurs. She provides her clients with the freedom to grow & scale their sustainable businesses through collaborative general admin, social media management, and graphic design services.
If you would like to be a guest blogger on our Sustainability Hub, contact Claire.