Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Skip to content

5 Common Missteps That Can Compromise a Green Company’s Credibility

If you decide to start a business with a commitment to sustainability, the bar is high for adhering to this standard. Indeed, you’ll likely face scrutiny from customers and investors, so it’s essential that you practice what you preach. Even with the best intentions, though, it’s easy for a green business to make mistakes that compromise its credibility. If you aspire to be a sustainable entrepreneur, be careful to avoid these five common mistakes.

1. Practicing selective sustainability. If you open a restaurant that purports to be green, you need to be sure that you maintain these values throughout every part of your operation. You might source all of your dishes’ ingredients from local vendors, for example, yet generate egregious levels of waste. This would offset any positive impact your sourcing practices may have.

2. Maintaining wasteful administrative practices. Too often, a business that claims to be green will maintain administrative practices that generate unnecessary waste. Maintaining paper records, for example, can be a major problem. Instead, you can digitize paper documents and convert the scanned images into PDFs. You can then store them in the cloud or on your computer. 

3. Marketing in ways that are wasteful. Marketing is yet another area in which green businesses may be unintentionally wasteful. If you produce paper flyers or place ads in paper publications, you’re likely contributing to waste. Online marketing is more effective and more aligned with sustainability goals. Regardless of what marketing platform you use, though, you should invest in a logo to make your business stand out. A graphic designer will likely be costly, so you may consider using a logo maker tool online that allows you to customize the colors, text, and font.

4. Focusing on profit margin. According to research, the average business enjoys a profit margin of 7% to 10%. For a green business, though, this margin may be lower. Green businesses often have a higher-than-average operating cost due to the additional expenses of maintaining sustainable practices. Rather than try to cut costs — and cut corners — it’s best to work these expenses into your budget. 

5. Choosing the wrong business structure. Although this doesn’t necessarily affect sustainability, it’s a common mistake nonetheless. It’s imperative for any business to elect the right business structure. For example, you could choose an S corp Illinois structure to take advantage of pass-through taxation and savings on self-employment taxes. You can save money by filing for yourself or using a formation service. 

Take Sustainability Seriously in Your Business

Sustainability is a serious issue. If you’ve chosen to start a business and maintain green practices as part of its principles, you need to ensure that you stick to this commitment. To do so, you must minimize waste, be green in every area of your business, and prioritize the environment above your profits. This will help you maintain your credibility and attract customers.

Membership in the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce offers countless business-boosting benefits to local entrepreneurs. Join us today!

Image via Pexels