Running a business in 2024 is completely different from running one in 2004. Much has changed in the last two decades and companies need to react. The rate of small business closures is already extremely high - 22% fail within the first year - but this is at risk of increasing if your business doesn’t adhere to key trends.
Most notably, there’s been a strong shift towards sustainability in the last couple of decades; particularly in the last five or so years. Your business must focus on this facet if it hopes to succeed. Why? Allow us to explain in the guide below:
New Regulations May Demand Sustainable Practices
Some industries already have big regulations dictating that sustainability is essential. This is heavily apparent in the resources industry for companies dealing with mining minerals. As noted in a recent MetPlant Conference Presentation, businesses within this sector must track sustainability and aim to offset carbon emissions or risk fines and sanctions.
The same is true in other industries and it shows that governments are clamping down on unsustainable practices and ideas. If you operate within an industry with regulations like this, you desperately need to focus on sustainability to avoid being penalised and losing both money and your reputation.
Moreover, this point is relevant as you look to the future. You’re launching a business now, and there might be no regulations relating to sustainability in your sector. Can you guarantee this will always be the case? The world needs to reduce carbon emissions and be more sustainable, so new legislation and regulations could be around the corner at any turn. Focusing on sustainability now can prepare you for future changes so your company doesn’t feel the full force when they hit.
Sustainable Businesses Draw In More Customers
There’s an argument that sustainable businesses draw in more customers than those that aren’t sustainable. Recent findings show that 83% of consumers will always choose a brand with a better sustainability record than others.
That’s a significant chunk of consumers and can be the difference between a small business sinking or swimming.
It’s especially important if your company is the only one within its competitive market that doesn’t follow sustainable practices. Why would people choose your business over others with a better track record of being green? Consumers put a huge amount of value on sustainability from a branding perspective, so you need to follow suit if you want to keep drawing in customers.
Sustainability should be a key focus from a marketing point of view. It needs to be part of your core brand image and you must clearly demonstrate how your business is working to be more sustainable. It works as a USP to draw new customers in - and there’s every chance it’ll become more critical as the years go by.
A Sustainable Startup Can Inspire Loyalty
Speaking of your customer base, a business that focuses on sustainability is likely to see more loyalty from its buyers. Forbes discovered that 88% of consumers will be more loyal to a company that supports environmental issues. It’s a cause that means a lot to them, so they’ll happily stick around if they know your business supports positive change.
If we look at some of the main reasons startups fail within the first year or two, customer acquisition and loyalty are right at the top of the list. It’s hard to acquire new customers, but it’s even harder to keep them coming back. If you don’t have a loyal customer base, you’re always playing catchup and trying to get as many new customers each month to match last month.
Establishing your enterprise as a sustainable business will help consumers form a strong connection with it. They’re even more likely to pay over the odds for your products/services because they deem them worthwhile if it means they support a sustainable business.
As you can see, focusing on sustainability is crucial in 2024 and beyond. There’s an obvious point that’s missing from this list as well: sustainable businesses are better for the environment! We want this planet to be around for as long as possible, so we need to do things to slow down the rate of climate change. Following sustainable ideas and making a green business is one big thing you can do to help. The points in this guide demonstrate that it’s also beneficial from a business standpoint; you can prepare for new regulations, attract more customers to your business and ensure you retain a loyal customer base.
(Photo Source - CC0 License)