- What was the ecological impact of the pandemic and subsequent WFH efforts?
- What is an eco-friendly small business?
- How can Alliance Virtual Offices services help my eco-friendly small business succeed?
Q: Can I find an eco-friendly small business or job that will allow me to continue being conscious of the environment, without sacrificing my livelihood?
A: The average consumer is willing to pay a premium for products from brands with green initiatives. With Alliance Virtual’s portfolio of high-quality and innovative tools built for growing your business, yes.
Discussions concerning the health of the environment aren’t a new topic for the average consumer. As more green initiatives highlight the effect businesses have on the environment, the average consumer will continue searching for the most eco-friendly brands.
Operating a small business is tough.
Consumers want the companies that they frequent to care about the same things they do. As green initiatives remain in the public mind, small businesses especially find it paramount to strive for eco-friendliness.
Nearly 70% of all U.S. and Canadian citizens think brands should be sustainable or eco-friendly.
You can’t blame the consumer for feeling this way, especially since this article was posted at the precipice of 2020, showing that a mere 20 corporations are responsible for a third of the Earth’s carbon emissions.
So what can you do? Well, the recent boom in environmental awareness, partly due to the record-setting 15% drop in carbon-dioxide emissions during the height of the pandemic, has driven consumers to look for alternatives to these bigger companies; alternatives that can be found in eco-friendly small businesses.
Let’s examine some of these ecological benefits and employment ideas below
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Eco-friendly small businesses and the pandemic
The previously mentioned decline in emissions that occurred during the pandemic makes sense. The reason people drove less frequently and produced a smaller amount of waste was due almost entirely to the lockdowns.
Thankfully, the lockdowns seem to be letting up.
Unfortunately, this means that small businesses will have to make a concerted effort to remain or become, eco-friendly.
The small businesses that are able to make this transition will find themselves flourishing in this newer, more environmentally aware market.
The pandemic showed Americans that an action as simple as allowing employees to work from home can reduce personal emissions by thousands of pounds. Even prior to the pandemic, some companies have been understanding the eco-friendly benefits that come with remote work for years.
Xerox is a perfect example. More than three decades ago, they started allowing employees to work from home; this simple action has saved workers an estimated 91 million miles collectively, not to mention the $10 million annually they save from remote workers.
Would it surprise you to know that remote work is saving people time as well?
If you spend an hour commuting to work and from work each day, that is one-eighth of the day totally wasted. In New York, the remote employees gained a whopping 15.2% of their time back when they weren’t required to transit to work.
So the ecological impact is clear; eco-friendly small businesses and other WFH operatives are making strides and providing the environment with some much-needed relief. The question that remains is
“Just what kind of eco-friendly small business opportunities are there?”
That’s what this article is here for. According to research collected by the Census Bureau, half a billion businesses were created in January of 2021.
More and more Americans are taking their finances into their own hands, and finding work that they are passionate about. For good reason too, office occupancy is still almost 70% lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Listed below are some eco-friendly small business ideas that can help you as an entrepreneur, or employee, to get started on growing a brand while making an impact at the same time.
Community Garden Organizer
- Starting a community garden would not only benefit the environment, but it would benefit your community as well.
- With a bit of planning, getting started is just a matter of budgeting!
- Determine the costs for acquiring small business insurance, any specific city fees, the actual building of the garden, and a location with easy water access.
- Once the garden is up and running, it is time to start making money!
- Offer paid memberships to your community, people will pay a premium for access to fresh vegetables all year round.
- If you live in a more populated area, you could even sell some of your produce at the local farmer’s market.
- As your garden grows, consider using our Live Receptionist. As the call volume continues to rise, you will be very grateful for the time you’re getting to spend in the garden rather than by the phone.
- This one requires a bit more planning than some of the other options, namely because you have to finish law school first!
- After finishing law school, the decision becomes whether or not you would like to work in the public or private sector.
- The private sector environmental attorneys will be the ones fighting against green initiatives, while the public interest environmental attorneys will be the ones fighting to heal the environment.
- As an environmental attorney, you will represent your clients in a multitude of different environmentally specific legal issues.
- Most clients of an environmental attorney – in the public interests sector – would be a combination of NPOs and environmental law coalitions.
- Environmental attorneys and other green consulting firms could even work together to make actionable changes on a legislative level.
- An additional benefit of becoming an environmental attorney is the ability to utilize virtual offices, but we will touch more on that shortly.
- This is another example of an eco-friendly small business that benefits the community.
- In order to start a recycling center in your community, you will first need to find an adequate location, with ample space for all the recyclables.
- After a location has been determined, you will need to decide on what type of materials you would like to focus on recycling, and at what location you can process these items.
- By deciding on what you will recycle early in the process and making it easily available to your customers, you save yourself from having to pick out the incorrect items by hand.
- Take the time to consider potentially focusing on recycling some of the waste the pandemic has produced. As masks find their way to the ground and parking-lot vaccine locations find themselves loaded with garbage, your community will thank you.
- Once you have decided on the location and the materials, all that’s left to do is fill your center with crates, boxes, and other areas to hold the recyclables.
- This step depends largely on the size of your operation, but as your recycling center grows, consider reaching out to your state’s conservation departments to find out if they would be willing to help fund the scaling of the operation.
- As the recycling center grows and you find yourself hiring more employees, consider using our Virtual Phone service, connect your team and build credibility with a dedicated business phone number.
- Why not explore the other side of the fence!
- As mentioned before, consumers care about a brand’s environmental impact.
- In order to become the most effective green consultant that you can, it is recommended that you decide on a particular niche to focus on.
- Fortunately, every business on the planet can find motivation for green initiatives.
- Once you’ve decided on your niche, it is time to get credentialed.
- Because you will be providing advice and guidance it is important that you have the background that will make other businesses feel comfortable, if you don’t have this background then getting a certification in green consulting or other environmentally-focused areas will help bolster your resume.
- An additional method of bolstering your qualifications would be giving your consulting firm a location, a virtual office would allow your business to have a presence anywhere.
- After collecting the necessary insurance and certifications, you can start finding clients!
- As you begin to find clients and your green consulting business grows, consider using our Virtual Office to give your business an added layer of professionality.
The list doesn’t stop there. Eco-friendly small businesses can begin and thrive in whatever niche you decide!
Don’t forget, that you will need an LLC or other business license before your eco-friendly small business gets up and running!
If nothing on the list seems particularly interesting, don’t feel demoralized. Green initiatives matter more now than they ever have before, the Harvard Business Review says it best, “…Being green is no longer a cost of doing business; it is a catalyst for innovation, new market opportunity, and wealth creation.”
Bringing your eco-friendly small business to scale
Once your business is up and running, the real work can begin. Operating a business takes a considerable amount of work, especially when you aren’t taking advantage of the multitude of tools available in this space.
Utilizing a Virtual Office is an efficient way to show potential clients, customers, and even employees that you are serious about your business. The virtual office allows you to rent the space for far less than a standard physical lease, while still benefiting from office associated services and a physical address.
The services offered to give your brand a competitive edge in the present, while still preparing to scale for the future. How can a green consultant get the clients he needs without a virtual office?
The physical address provided by the virtual office shows potential clients that you are serious about your profession and that you aren’t spending frivolously on space you don’t need. There’s no reason for a person whose job it is to help other businesses with sustainability to rent an entire office space solely to make phone calls.
Unfortunately, just being eco-friendly isn’t always enough, especially if you are in the eco-friendly retail market. As previously stated in the article, most consumers are looking for sustainable products and eco-friendly packaging.
As can be expected, some businesses still aren’t getting the message. So how can this be fixed?
- Try using green colors and bold fonts that explain what your business is doing on products/advertisements
- Utilize social media to cultivate the green persona unique to your brand
- Actively listen and learn for more ways to help soften your brands impact on the environment
- Don’t say one thing and do another. For example, if you champion sustainability and claim to want to save the forest, it probably isn’t very smart to hand out business cards.
- Use the challenges that arise when you are prevented from using standard marketing techniques to do something exciting and new.
Imagine, that your sustainable pandemic-material recycling plant has finally opened its doors. Your employees are rushing around to make sure everything is in top shape for your community’s residents to bring their recyclables in.
Suddenly, you realize that one of your key employees is gone. He’s not from the area, so no one has his phone number, and because you’re still using your personal phone and have been adding dozens of contacts a day it seems, you can’t find the number either.
Scenarios like this happen regularly and are what make the Virtual Phone so handy.
Not only does the virtual phone add a layer of professionality that can’t be found with a personal number, but the phone also allows your business to scale as quickly as necessary, with an added bonus of protecting your personal security and privacy.
Connecting your team has never been easier. With an endless number of available extensions, you can create numbers and add team members with ease, our routing system provides a helpful recorded greeting and user-friendly call greetings so that even if you aren’t by the phone, you never miss a call.
No matter what eco-friendly small business you find yourself in, there is a tool or a resource available for you. Sustainability has never mattered as much as it does now, and consumers are making it very clear who they are willing to support.
Key Takeaways on Green Business Ideas
The everyday consumer is more concerned with the state of the environment than ever before. As more and more studies showcase the environmental effects associated with standard employment, the need for eco-friendly small businesses only grows. As the need grows, so does the competition.
- CEOs Increasingly See Sustainability as Path to Profitability
- Over 40% of US AmEx Employees Will Work Remotely Full-Time
- The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Offices
- Consumers Want to Buy Eco-Friendly Products, but Don’t Know How to identify them
Using the tools and services at your disposal, you can begin your journey with an edge. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
Alliance Virtual Offices is your eco-friendly small business solution. By using the virtual offices to give your business a physical address while working wherever the job takes you, you eliminate the pointlessly wasted emissions of a day-to-day commute.
Independently of the virtual office, there are plenty more tools and services available on the Alliance Virtual Office homepage. The services provided will not only save you time and money that you can instead allocate towards the success of your business but show your consumers that you are serious and professional about your eco-friendly small business.