Four Reasons: Green still the way to go despite a nose-diving economy

9 10 2008

A dispatch recently wrote an excellent guide for small business owners on proactive moves they can take to survive – and better yet, thrive – in the nose-diving economy.

You Can Weather the Economic Storm (Product price sensitivity and financial creativity can help you thrive in any economy)” is especially relevant for green entrepreneurs as many of the principles underlying Dennis Romero’s advice aligns with what sustainable business leaders already know: go for local resilience, understand the value of community-based goodwill and when in doubt, simply, simplify, simplify to the bare essentials (do the latest farm-fresh food recipes or eco-cleaning supplies mantras sound familiar, anyone?).

While dominant rhetoric may insist that green “ideals” come second only after economic woes (the ‘sacrifice’ model), a recessional scenario is no place for good, solid and promising green businesses to take a back seat. It is report findings like “Sixty-nine percent of the Chinese consumers surveyed said they expect to spend more on eco-friendly products next year, compared with 38 percent in the U.S. and 33 in the U.K.” by global communication agencies that make sustainable business owners nervous when, in fact, we are presented with a more interesting opportunity to narrow in on the consumer (or client) cognitive association between “green purchasing” and “frugal purchasing”.

In fact, as a side note, Romero cites alternative energy firms as a good, “recession resistant” business options for entrepreneurs new to the game.

Drawing from a significant contribution by both Lloyd Alter of Treehugger’s “Frugal Living: Seven Tips to Get Recession Ready” and Romero, here are some pointers on why green is still the way to go, even in tougher economic times:

1. Tell your employees to go home – This week, Jennifer Kaplan wrote a great article on the benefits of telework. The team behind the novel in her post “Undress for Success” suggest that work-at-home programs could reduce Gulf Oil Imports by almost 75%. What is more, it saves money on “running late” $8 breakfast latte-and-scone excuses as well as client-travelling-induced gasoline bills. Enough said.

2. Opt for green and affordable business alliances – It seems like a no-brainer, but consider siding with affordable, cleaner, same-day courier services like Novex or printing companies like Green Printer who have built their companies from day one not only on helping you go green, but also, saving you green.

3. Stock up on the raw stuff (for the office, that is) – Like the advice your mom gave you while you were in grad school to “eat out less and cook more” as a way to save money, stocking up on cheaper office inventory (if you have the cash) while suppliers are pricing their goods lower than usual is a smart move.

4. Continue to maintain your quality of products or services, but be sensitive to contracting customer pockets – Green business are particularly adept (almost naturals) at pricing fairly in the market because they constantly need to legimitize themselves. Not all businesses, especially established ones, need to do this (or are used to it) and some may struggle in these rougher economic times. Green entrepreneurs have a leg up.

Are you a green business owner who has a plan of attack to thrive in this challenging economic environment? Any tips on how others can weather the economic storm? Share them here!

Want to know how much greenhouse gas, trees and wastewater you can save by using affordable, eco-friendly paper products? Find out and keep track of your organization’s environmental savings today by adding Green Printer’s Eco-Calculator widget code to your blog, Facebook or website.



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