PREM DUBEY-Chairman(Jabalpur Chamber of Commerce)
A Platform for Entrepreneurs!
Friday, 4 November 2011
Start a Green Business Opportunities
(183). Start a Green Business Opportunities
The world continues to pay more attention to preserving and protecting its natural resources. Because of this incredibly important trend, green business opportunities are sprouting up like weeds.
For the ambitious small business owner, the environmental entrepreneur landscape is ripe for the picking.
Green business opportunities provide consumers with ecologically sound products and services. These environmentally friendly businesses also provide a competitive niche. While green businesses aren’t new, this industry is one of the youngest and, as such, competition may not be as stiff compared with other small business opportunities.
As businesses continue to do more with less, green business opportunities are certainly here for the long haul. In addition to helping to protect and preserve the environment, “going green” means that businesses are trying to get more out of their existing assets – eliminate waste, in other words. Everyone is focusing on conservation. This attitude provides a solid foundation upon which you can build a solid business plan.
The first step in starting your business is obviously having green business ideas to consider. While you may already have a business concept in mind, here are a few more that you might want to consider:
Starting a solar business
Starting a Vegan restaurant
Residential energy audits
Artificial lawn installation
The process of researching and starting your green business is the same as with any other startup venture. You’ll need to clearly research the target market for your green products and services. It seems obvious but many first-time business owners struggle because they just didn’t do adequate market research – there isn’t enough demand (or too much competition) for their products.
Once you’ve determined that there’s a demand for your environmental business concept, take a look at the competition. While no business that we know of is free from competition, you want to stack the deck in your favor and work in an area that isn’t saturated with competitors.
You’ll also want to create a solid business plan for your business. This plan will not only help you crystallize your business operations and marketing processes, it will also be the most important document you can use if you need to apply for a business loan. Spend ample time on the plan.
We know it’s hard, we’ve written them ourselves. But really challenge every idea and aspect of your business and make sure your business plan is as bullet-proof as possible.
Assuming you’ve done the proper research, are properly capitalized, and have a solid business plan, making money with your green business opportunities shouldn’t be overly difficult. Sure, there will be a ramp-up period but you’ll get there.
The cash flow key with your green business will be to attract customers and keep expenses in check.
With green businesses, you get an automatic boost with your marketing plans. Customer emotion and/or compassion is involved. Marketing always does better with an emotional element. Tug at your customer’s sense of environmental stewardship and resource conservation and you’ll get a better return on your marketing investment.
You’ll also want to keep a very close eye on expenses. Certain green products, especially for larger customers, can be expensive (solar panels, for example). If you’re taking on a large job, make sure you can cover the cost of the raw materials. If you’re just starting out, you may want to focus your efforts on smaller clients until you have a solid financial base.
The green business landscape is healthy and continues to grow. Green business opportunities exist today for both residential and business customers. Positioning yourself as the leader in a profitable niche today will be key in helping to ensure the long-term viability and growth of your green business.
Reach out and leverage all of the existing resources you have at your disposal. Depending on your business, there may be government programs that can help you get started in your green business.
Above all, remember why you’re getting into this business in the first place. If you’re in it just to make a quick buck – don’t even start. You need passion in this space. By tuning into and sharing the environmental concerns of your customers, you’ll help ensure a long, profitable road to green business success.