We all know sustainability is important, the question is, what are you going to do with that information to grow your business?
First thing’s first, let’s clarify what we mean by sustainability.
Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources. Sustainability is not just environmentalism.
According to recent research, 78% of UK companies expect a focus on sustainability to result in a growth in sales. Alongside this, a new sustainable economy centred on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is estimated to be worth $12 trillion. The money is there.
So how can you take advantage of this to grow your impact, income and audience and grow your business?
The first thing you need to think about is what areas you need to focus on:
Social variables dealing with community, education, equity, social resources, health, well-being and quality of life.
Environmental variables relating to natural resources, water and air quality, energy conservation and land use.
Economic variables dealing with the bottom line and cash flow.
We need to focus on these things in order to best attract the customers of not just the future, but the here and now; Mindful Consumers. With its business-speak name, it’s easy to think of the Mindful Consumer as a trend, but the facts speak for themselves:
- 89% Care about protecting the planet
- 83% would pick a brand with a better record of Sustainability
- 90% feel companies have a responsibility to take care of the planet and people
- 77% say they should not have to pay more for sustainable products
Customers want your products and / or services to be easy, affordable and cool.
As such, creating sustainable goals based on the People / Planet / Profit areas discussed above, are of immediate importance to your business.
Following this, think about your values as a business (and a business leader), about what you care about, and how this can be applied to your sustainable goals. Once you have, it’s vital that you choose a framework or relevant certification to help you in your journey towards sustainability in business.
Then you must begin the process of measuring your impact and being transparent in this to your staff, clients, stakeholders and yourself. Communicating the journey is a key aspect of becoming a sustainable business; it not just helps those outside of your business to better understand what you do (as well as how and why) but it will hold you accountable to uphold the standards and ideals set out in your sustainable business policies.
So how can you let your customers know? Here are some quick ideas to get you started:
- Clear Transparency on your website
- Map out your Customer Journey, can sustainability be part of it.
- Your marketing should inspire, educate and entertain your chosen target audience
- How can you communicate your sustainability to existing customers
- What methods will you use to sell to your target audience?
- Upselling, cross selling, discounts?
Think about what social media platforms your customers are on, and what communities (online or offline) they will be a part of. Perhaps they attend regular events your business could connect with. Alongside this, ask yourself what referral and word of mouth opportunities you have created.
The road to creating a sustainable business is not an easy one, but the potential rewards are huge – not to mention how important it is to not just have purpose as a business, but being useful is in today’s world.
- Think long term. Sustainability is a journey.
- Be specific and consistent
- Connect your story to your customer
- Be clear who your ideal customer is
- Be clear what the benefit is to your ideal customers
- Be responsible
- Focus on the positive
- Making sure that you have the right technique
- Share not just with your customers but all your stakeholders
betternotstop can help your business to create clear sustainability goals to increase both revenue and customer base. We work with a variety of businesses to improve company culture and wellbeing to create better employee experience and retention as well as run workshops to provide employee training and education on environment and sustainability topics.
Please get in touch with us if you would like to speak to us about helping your business utilise sustainability as a sales tool.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a very helpful guide for those who wish to learn more about sustainable goals within business and how it connects to the wider world. They are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all; 17 interlinked global goals that form the basis of a plan to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect the planet.