Becoming Green Overnight

It may be one of the most overused buzzwords of the year, but "green" still has some serious purchasing power. Even in this unstable economic year, consumers want green first. They are serious about the drive to reduce waste and many say they are willing to pay more to reduce the footprint they leave behind.

Wonder how you can change your business to be more green? Wonder if that could be something you could brand? Read on.

1. If you offer a service or product that was developed to or will help to sustain the planet, that could be a key offering and promotional benefit. You could develop a marketing campaign around green to promote your upgraded product or service. Remember to talk up the green aspect as you sell this service or product at all points of customer contact. Word will spread and fast.

2. Can you offer services that cater to the new "green" businesses? If you are a finance broker, can you offer specialized services matching emerging eco-entrepreneurs with corporations? Can you find venture capitalists or angel investors who are particularly interested in emerging "green" businesses? If you are in the consulting business, these same emerging businesses need business plans, access to renewable energy, and strategic consulting on how environmental issues affect the company. See what I mean?

3. Can you become more green and launch a new brand or image by using solely green products? A beauty salon could use only nontoxic substitutes and become a "green" spa. A landscaping firm could strive to offer low-water services and take lawn clippings and other lawn refuse to add to a compost pile and then offer that compost to your clients. A garden center can cater to clients who want to plant drought-resistant yards, called xeriscaping, which needs 25% less water than other plants.

For more information on green businesses, check out Glenn Orston’s book 75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference, published last month by Entrepreneur Press.

Any way you look at it, businesses can utilize the "green" movement to become innovative and to produce products and services that consumers want and yearn to purchase. When a company is able to capitalize on such trends, they may also enjoy the ability to ride out the economic down times.