The thought of going green can be intimidating – especially if you try to imagine your small business taking on the green initiatives that very large businesses take on and successfully put in place.
Part of being successful is choosing green actions that fit your business.
What do you do after the energy-efficient light bulbs go in and you’ve placed recycle bins throughout the office?
What is right for your business type, size, location and budget?
It doesn’t have to be a huge, stressful endeavor. It can, in fact, be a very rewarding experience that pays you and your employees back in many ways – decreasing your environmental “footprint*”, improving your bottom line and bolstering customer and employee loyalty.
Only four steps can help you figure it out.
1. Identify Green Practices that Match up to Your Business
Projects always mean more when they are related to your services, products or customers. Perhaps there is a way that you can get your students involved when they are at your facility or create a competition that may even interest their parents. If you use costumes or sell clothing items, maybe you can start offering choices that are made using natural dyes?
Going green can inspire you when many of your activities also support the business you are passionate about.
2. Look at it from your Families’ Perspective
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. How can they be green while using your service? Offering information and processes online so that all of their account, registration and payment can be done from home. Provide documents, policies and confirmations electronically and ask that they store them electronically to support your green initiatives. Provide refillable water bottles with your facility logo ad ask that they provide the students drinks in these instead of throw away bottles.
If you just start brainstorming, you and your staff can probably think of many ways to easily get your green on. Including your classes in a green idea competition could make it fun!
3. Form a “Green Team”
Your employees, instructors and students can be on the team and help to make sure that your green policies are followed and green projects are successful.
4. Take it Slowly
Becoming a “green business” is a commitment. Don’t try to plan it all or do it all at once. That is why the plan is important. It helps you to break the initiative down into pieces that everyone can participate in and everyone can feel good about making successful.
Start with the easy things that will give you and your team a sense of accomplishment and then continue to add as your confidence and ideas grow!
Consider joining a local business sustainability group, so you can network with other business owners striving to be greener and share ideas.
Once you start realizing how these initiatives lower your footprint and help your business, you’ll likely want to do more.
*the mark you leave on the environment