Going green may not be as trendy as it once was, but taking care of the environment is an issue that’s always at the back of consumers’ minds. A survey conducted by consulting firm Deloitte showed that 95 percent of consumers lean toward eco-friendly products when given the choice and 63 percent actively seek out green merchandise.
As a retailer, you may want to consider how you can implement eco-friendly practices into your business, not only because it may attract avid environmentalists, but also for the benefits going green can provide to your store. Here are five key ways that small businesses can benefit from embracing earth-friendly practices.
1. Connect with customers
One of the most obvious ways going green can boost your business is by helping you connect with like-minded customers. As mentioned above, there are a high number of consumers who are more likely to patronize your store over a competitor that doesn’t prioritize eco-friendly practices. At the end of the day, shoppers will be drawn to establishments that share their values, so going green can often lead to greater brand loyalty among your customers.
Not sure where to start when going green? Begin with some of the basic things you need in your store: hangers, bags, racks and tags. Firefly offers eco-friendly sugarcane and bamboo hangers that are sure to strike a cord with your customers. You can also pick up retail bags and boxes made from recycled materials. Going green doesn’t have to be hard!
2. Save your resources
You might be surprised to discover that going green doesn’t have to cost you money. In fact, it can actually save resources in the long run. Entrepreneur magazine explained that companies can save serious money through simple tasks like reusing shipping boxes and upgrading to eco-friendly lights.
3. Improve employee attendance
Being good to the earth doesn’t just entail reusing resources and minimizing electricity. You can also go green by promoting a health-conscious environment in your store. Encourage your workers to shop for healthy foods at local farmers markets and to ride their bikes to work.
These small steps are important ways individuals can reduce their personal carbon footprints, but they also help your business. The Dallas Small Business Chronicle noted that companies that promote healthy lifestyles among employees often report workers taking fewer sick days throughout the year.
“There are several federal tax incentives for green businesses.”
4. Receive tax deductions
From a strictly financial standpoint, there are a number of ways that going green can affect your bottom line. You may not realize that there are a number of tax deductions that eco-friendly businesses can claim.
According to accounting firm Grant Thornton, if you install interior lighting, HVAC or hot water systems in your store that reduce power use by 50 percent, you can deduct $1.80 per square foot of space. This is called an energy-efficient commercial business deduction and is one of several incentives for small businesses.
5. Switch up your marketing
After a few years in business, you may find yourself running the same old marketing campaigns each season. And if your marketing is boring to you, it’s going to be just as unexciting to your customers.
When you go green, however, you’ll have new material that can be used to spruce up your advertising. Create fun eco-friendly promotions and host community events to get patrons in the green spirit. Don’t forget to promote your best eco-friendly products on social media too. It’s easy to use your new stance as a friend of the Earth as way to revamp your marketing and catch the attention of new patrons.