Unleashing the Power of Sustainability to Grow Your Business

Climate change negatively affects our health and environment, and more and more people are seeking sustainable, green alternatives to their everyday activities and purchases. As a small business owner, what can you do to help your customers in their quest for eco-friendly products while having a positive impact on your bottom line? Trademark Lawyers presents the following article that can help you find some answers.

What Is Sustainability?

You’ll find a slew of definitions online, but National Geographic may have put it the most succinctly of all: Sustainability is the practice of using natural resources responsibly, so they can support both present and future generations. An eco-friendly business will use sustainable materials to manufacture its products, looking for ways to reduce waste when it comes to packaging, finding reusable or recyclable alternatives, and offering goods that have a minimal impact on the environment and on the planet. 

Why Should I Incorporate My Green Business?

If you have an idea for a great product that fills an existing need and doesn’t harm the environment, think about starting your own green business. And if you plan on eventually scaling your business by hiring employees and looking for outside investors as you expand, consider incorporating your company instead of forming an LLC: forming a corporation will allow you to keep your personal and company finances separate, you’ll be protected from liability, and you’ll also be able to issue shares to your investors. An online formation service will help you set up your corporation without having to spend a fortune on lawyer fees. 

Where Do I Look for Sustainability Opportunities?

Start by looking around your office and see if there are ways you can make it more eco-friendly. Replace your old light bulbs with energy-saving CFL or LED light bulbs, and make sure the space is well insulated to cut down on heating and cooling costs. You can even invest in smart thermostats that detect the presence or absence of people in a room and adjust the temperature accordingly. Try cutting down on your paper consumption by going paperless wherever you can, and dispose of used paper goods and products in a separate recycling bin. Also, turn off any equipment that isn’t in use, and power off your computer at the end of each day.

What Is the Cost of Going Green?

Coming up with sustainable alternatives for the products you offer your customers may be costly at first. You may have to change suppliers as you switch to green materials and invest in new equipment to accommodate the change. But you may end up saving money in the long run (by purchasing energy-saving office equipment, for example, or forming new connections with like-minded, eco-friendly suppliers) and even increase your earnings as you gain environmentally-conscious customers looking for green products to purchase.

How Do I Market My Eco-Friendly Business?

Promote an eco-friendly culture within your company and be transparent about what you do for sustainability: list all the ingredients on your products’ labels, use recyclable packaging, and donate a portion of your profits to an environmental cause you’re passionate about. Get involved in your community by sponsoring and participating in events promoting green living.

Whenever you can, use the power of social media to share your efforts online. This is a fantastic way to digitally promote your products or services without using any paper products. For example, you could design a Facebook ad that you can easily share with your customers or promote using the platform’s advertising system. Many online tools allow you to create ads using pre-made, customizable templates designed to catch people’s attention.

However, it’s very important to avoid greenwashing, or spending more time and money advertising your eco-friendliness than actually implementing strategies to become a more carbon-neutral, climate-positive business.

If you want to help in the fight against climate change, take the plunge and start your own eco-friendly business. Help your customers become more environmentally aware by offering them sustainable products, and reach a larger audience by participating in worthy efforts designed to save our planet.

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Practical Procedures To Protect Your Profits

People start businesses for many reasons, including to have flexibility and engage with their community. However, a business ultimately has to turn a profit to make these goals a reality in the long term. The following information can help you keep your cash flowing toward its rightful location: your bank account. 

Safeguard your intellectual property.

Intellectual property consists of products and ideas that you generate. Your business name and logo are considered intellectual property. It’s crucial to trademark these and other proprietary services and products to protect yourself from copycats capitalizing off of your good name and pulling profits in a different direction. An intellectual property lawyer (such as the experts at Trademark-Lawyers.org) can keep you safeguarded under the law and will ensure that you have a legal standing to enforce your intellectual property rights. Costs vary when hiring an intellectual property lawyer, but many offer payment plans and flat rates for certain services.

Establish your business entity before you get too big.

The ultimate goal in any business is growth. To perpetuate sustainable growth, establish your business structure early. While some single-person entities can operate as a sole proprietorship, forming a corporation will give you some cash benefits. To understand the difference between a C Corp vs LLC startup, you must first understand that a corporation, according to ZenBusiness, is a legal entity that will remove some liability from you, a stockholder. Corporate debts aren’t considered part of your personal debts. There are three primary types of corporations, including S Corp., C Corp., and nonprofit. An S Corp. avoids double taxation, while a C Corp. offers the highest level of legal protections. A nonprofit Corp. is exclusive to charitable organizations and, unlike other types of business, does not require taxes to be paid. 

Eliminate profit-eating products.

If you’ve ever been to a restaurant with a lengthy menu, you’ve likely wondered how they can afford to maintain stock of every single ingredient needed. Apply the same thought process to your business. You do not have to have dozens of options, and a few quality products or services can sustain you, especially when business is down. To determine what products should stay, calculate your profits. Keep only those that offer the highest profit margin. Do keep in mind, however, that this does not necessarily apply to loss leaders, which Accounting Tools explains are products that you sell near cost to encourage your customers to spend money on higher profit pieces.

Spend money on good employees.

It might sound counterproductive, but to safeguard your profits and the best way, plan to pay your employees competitively or better. This will attract the best talent and, considering that money is a huge motivator, is just one of many ways you can encourage employee longevity. Remember that the employee acquisition and training process is an exponential expense, and it can take six months or better to break even on a single new hire. LinkedIn also points out that paying a low wage can damage your brand’s credibility while a generous paycheck will excite top performers. If you are not quite sure which roles you need to fill, consider hiring a freelancer in each area of your business first. This way, you can decide which position is most valuable. And, if your freelancer shows promise, they may be willing to take on a permanent, full-time job.

Everything you do when you run a business affects your bottom line. The above tips, including maintaining your intellectual property rights, forming your business entity, ditching those products that don’t turn a profit, and spending money on the right staff, are all excellent ways to ensure that your cash continues to flow in the right direction.

Wise Laws Trademark Lawyers and Legal Team is your affordable trademark attorney.

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