The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people approach their business, the way they work, and their impact on the people and environment around them. This has resulted in a (brilliant) surge in business owners who not only want to earn a profit, but those who want to have a positive impact on the world around them. Joining a sustainable business community can really help with this – read on to find out why.
A frequent misconception when considering joining a sustainable business community is that you have to already be a purpose-led business, which is 100% sustainable and already has all its ‘ducks in a row’. This simply isn’t the case (also, 100% sustainable is simply not a thing!). So if you want to make changes and learn how to do this, then becoming part of a sustainable business community could well be for you.
Note from Katie…wait, why the lack of pictures? In an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of my web presence, I am only using images at the very top of my posts, as well as where they serve a true purpose, such as headshots or infographics. That’s why you won’t find any purely decorative photos here anymore.
Reasons to incorporate sustainability into your business
According to research, 80% of consumers consider a companies environmental & social commitment before making a purchase and 84% of businesses seek positive environmental commitment from the companies they do business with.
So, apart from appealing to a more discerning, conscious market, what are some other reasons why building sustainability into your business is a good idea?
Reduced operating costs. It’s true that some sustainable actions, like solar panels or investing in other green technology can be expensive. However, generally speaking, incorporating sustainability into your business can help you save money, especially when you’re being much more conscious about consumption, purchasing and other operational costs.
Brand loyalty and awareness. If you become known as a business that does good, customers and clients are much more likely to stick with you long-term, and recommend you to others.
Attracting customers with the same values. IN my opinion, there’s nothing more satisfying in business than knowing you’re attracting people who are really invested in what you’re doing, and believe in the same things as you do.
Increased employee engagement. If you have employees, they’re much more likely to be loyal and engaged if they see the business they work for having a positive impact. Especially as this usually means company culture and employee benefits are all part of the ethos of the company.
So what are the benefits of a sustainable business community?
The phrase “stregth in numbers” has never been so true. Even if you see yourself as the smallest fish (or duck) in the biggest pond, coming together with like-minded business owners is one of the most impactful ways you can make sure your business makes a difference. In case you didn’t know, I run a sustainable business community, The Duck Pond, and the list of top benefits according to our members is as follows:
Instant access to a support network of like-minded people. Business networking and online communities, in general, can be really beneficial, but when you join a sustainable business community, you get that added extra benefit of connecting with people with similar values and goals.
Sharing ideas (and setting off a wave of action!). One of the most striking benefits of being part of a sustainable business community is the generosity of fellow members. People are constantly sharing their thoughts, what they’ve learnt and what they’re working on. My favourite example of this was when Rachel from Buttercup Learning was doing a redesign of her website. This involved making sure the carbon footprint of her digital presence was as small as possible. Rachel kept us updated on progress, shared resources with us and eventually set off a whole avalanche of other Duck Pond members looking to improve the eco-credentials of their own websites. Rachel even created an amazing directory of resources, which she shared with us all. Ideas sharing at its best!
Increased visibility. When you join a purpose-led or sustainable business community, you’re more likely to attract your ideal clients who share your values. This might be because your ideal customer is already in the group, or that group members have people you’d like to work with in their own networks.
Opportunities for collaboration. Collaboration is our favourite word in the Duck Pond! Between Duck Pond members and participants of our collaboration event, Power of the Flock, the collaboration opportunity is huge. We’ve seen business swapping guest blog posts, appearing on one another’s podcasts, putting together collaborative gift boxes or social media giveaways, and forming working partnerships to expand their client or customer offering.
What are the things that might hold me back from joining a sustainable business community?
There are a few reasons why you might be hesitant or feel like joining a sustainable business community isn’t for you right now.
You don’t care about people or the planet
I’d say this is a pretty good reason not to join a sustainable business community. If you have no interest in using your business as a force for good, then networks like The Duck Pond probably aren’t for you at this stage.
You don’t feel sustainable “enough”
As I mentioned above, there is no such thing as “not sustainable enough” – at least not when it comes to The Duck Pond. The fact that we’re all at different stages of our sustainability journey is what makes it so valuable. There’s always someone you can help, and there’s always someone who can help you.
So if this is your only hesitation, I’d say dive into the Pond now and let’s get networking!
Want to know more?
If you’re interested in knowing more or if you have questions, check out our Duck Pond FAQs. If you still need help, or just want to chat about whether joining a sustainable business community is for you, always feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to join a sustainable business community?
We’d LOVE to welcome you into the Pond. You can subscribe here and there is no minimum commitment beyond the first month. Cancel any time, no questions asked. But we think you’ll want to stick around!