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Small Business Sustainability Myths

I’m here today to break myths and false beliefs about sustainability. Many people are quick to write off or question the value of sustainability to their small business. They think it’s expensive or not applicable to a business of their size. Read on for why that’s a myth.   

It’s Expensive

Sustainability can be expensive. To run at maximum efficiency, experts recommend purchasing new appliances or converting to different systems. That is sometimes necessary and helpful to many businesses, but that’s not the only way to save. 

Often, businesses can see savings by reducing their purchasing in one area or reducing consumption by design. Making small, concrete steps allow businesses to set sustainability according to their budget. Sustainability can cost you a little time or effort, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. 

I have clients that are willing to pay for sustainability because they view it as a long-term benefit to their business. Spending money now to create savings later is a value add for their business. Setting up a sustainability system now saves them money and provides valuable content for consumer marketing and competitive advantage. 

However, if that’s not you that is ok. Each step counts, including cheaper steps.

It’s for “big businesses”

I’ve had the “why don’t you work with big businesses instead” conversation more times than I can count. The Small Business Administration reports that 47.5% of employees in the United States work in a small business.That is a significant part of the economy. Small business is significant driver of waste, water use, and energy. These businesses can use sustainability in their business just like “big businesses.” 

Smaller businesses are often nimble and agile. This benefits them in that they can adopt sustainability habits and see results and savings fast. Small business can use sustainability to attract customers and reduce resource use. And that’s why sustainability benefits them.

It doesn’t do any good

“I’m just one business, what can I do?” So very often, we look at the global problem of sustainability and how it affects Antarctica, the desert and the rainforest. Sustainability hits you at home too. Reducing energy reduces pollution in your backyard. Composting food benefits your food chain and makes next year’s tomatoes taste better. Think about the issues in your current community- trash in the park, drought regulations, or allergens. Can you take steps in your business to help?

“Im Not Doing Enough”

This is one of my pet peeves! You do not have to take every single sustainability action available to you. If you want to focus on one sustainability action, please do! Do as much as you are able or comfortable with. Take some small steps today and see the results. Turning off lights is a big win! If you turn off the lights each night before you leave for 365 days a year, that is sustainability. Check out the Playbook if you’re a restaurant owner. It will help with sustainability.

 What myths are prevalent in your business? How have you worked to overcome them? Share in the comments!

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Eliza ErskineComment