The key to running a successful business is to give customers what they want, and in 2023 the demand for sustainable goods is the highest it’s ever been. This is reflected in research conducted by Business Wire, which states that up to 85% of customers consider sustainability as one of the major criteria when purchasing products. For aspiring entrepreneurs, this provides a great opportunity to start a home-based green business. Here, we explore the best business ideas through which you can maintain a healthy bottom line while making a positive impact on the environment.
Green Business Ideas for You
You know you want to promote eco-friendly practices, but you aren’t sure what business to start. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
Green Business Consulting
For individuals with experience in management, this should be the go-to option. As a consultant, you can work with small, mid, and large-size companies wanting to make a transition towards green operating practices. Additionally, you can guide new businesses on being green from the get-go. This will involve advising them on the right licences, writing a business plan, and creating partnerships with eco-friendly suppliers.
Selling Organic Food
Grand View Research reports that the organic food and beverage industry is expected to grow 13% annually between 2022-2030. Making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. Along with being a lucrative business idea, by selling organic food, you’ll promote sustainable farming practices and support suppliers who share the same passion for sustainability as you.
While you can sell individual meals and beverages, the better option would be to implement a subscription system by marketing yourself as an organic meal-prep service.
It is often the case that consumers discard semi-used furniture such as couches, chairs, stools, beds, etc., simply to purchase a new unit, not out of need but choice. Discarded furniture is then thrown into landfills, and the cycle of unhealthy consumerism continues. By starting a furniture refinishing business you’ll make a notable contribution by breaking this cycle. Semi-used furniture can be collected from customers and repaired as per need, which can involve applying a new coat of polish, restuffing cushions, and reupholstering if needed.
Refinished furniture can be re-sold to new consumers, who’ll benefit from lower prices and keep usable furniture out of landfills.
There are plenty of ways that you can promote eco-friendly travel through your business. You could sell bicycles, scooters, or mopeds, all of which are better for the environment than traditional gas cars. Or you could start a ride sharing service or an environmentally-friendly car dealership that focuses on green car options. Or find out what it takes to set up an electric car charging station in your area.
While all homeowners want their lawns to look nice, planting the wrong type of plants can lead to higher maintenance in the long run. Every location has certain native plants that are accustomed to the climate and require basic maintenance to keep healthy. These are often a better option than expensive plants, which could look equally good, but carry the risk of wilting and infestation.
As an eco-friendly landscaper, you can advise clients on the right type of plants for their homes. Additionally, you’ll help homeowners significantly reduce their water usage by installing sprinklers or drip irrigation systems for their gardens.
Business Start-up Steps You Should Know
Regardless of the idea you choose, here’s a list of important steps you’ll need to take to launch your business:
- Conduct market research to understand your idea’s validity. This step will include studying your competition and finding statistics regarding current market trends, market size, and profit potential.
- Find a unique selling proposition that will separate you from the competition. Look for pointers from your research documents.
- Create a budget covering all costs for at least the first year. Additionally, make projections regarding monthly revenue numbers and streams. Once you are established, work with a reputable accounting firm like Asterisk BVI to make sure your books are always on track.
- Establish a limited company (LC), as it’ll protect your personal assets from business-related liabilities. Additionally, you’ll be able to use business expenses as tax write-offs.
- Purchase business insurance to protect yourself from financial difficulties arising from lawsuits, workplace mishaps, etc.
- Research loan options, but check your credit report first to make sure your score is high enough for potential lenders to consider your venture as a promising investment. You’ll also want to review your debt to income ratios to ensure you can pay back any loans you take out.
- Make a list of all government grants you’re eligible for and create strong applications for each (link for UK based businesses).
- Collate this information into one document, which will be known as your business plan.
Take Your First Steps Towards a Green Business
Finding a great business idea will be the first step in the process. If you’re struggling to find one, start listing markets you know the most about and think of niche business ideas that’ll fit well. Additionally, bootstrapping a business is always tough, but you can ease the burden by applying for as many grants as possible and receiving assistance from the government to build your company.
About the author:
“Janet Lovelace created Work Can Wait because too many entrepreneurs feel like work is always calling. Work Can Wait is about helping small business owners automate, delegate, and systematize their businesses so they can prioritize their lives.”