Starting a green home-based business offers eco-conscious entrepreneurs the opportunity to turn their passions for the environment and social responsibility into a flexible and lucrative career opportunity.
What Is a Green Business?
Green businesses are businesses that place a high value on what is known as the “triple bottom line:” People, Planet, Profit. Coined by John Elkington in 1994, the term exemplifies the commitment green businesses make to social and environmental responsibility, as well as profit.
Green businesses express their commitment to sustainability both with the types of products and services they provide, and the way they run their business. For example, a green business might create products made from recycled or sustainably harvested materials, and use wind energy to power its offices.
Why Start a Green Home-Based Business?
Home-based businesses often have a green advantage right off the bat because they do not require transportation to and from an office, potentially saving hundreds of dollars of gasoline and hundreds of hours of commuting time every year. Having a home office also reduces energy consumption by buildings, because just one building must be heated, cooled, and lit, instead of two.
Green home businesses also share the advantages of more conventional home businesses, including independence, flexibility, and peace of mind.
What Kinds of Green Home Business Opportunities Exist?
There are many great green business ideas that can be started from home.
One major sector in the green industry is green consulting. Green consultants help homeowners and businesses find ways to conserve resources and save money at the same time. Green consultants can specialize in certain areas, such as energy audits or reducing solid waste, or be generalists capable of advising clients on many aspects of green business and living. Green consulting businesses are easy to run from home, offer flexible hours and low start-up costs, and can be independently owned and run or part of a larger franchise such as the Green Irene Eco-Consultants or Pro Energy Consultants.
Other green service industries suitable for home-based businesses are also growing in popularity, from green catering and organic food delivery services, to green cleaning services and organic lawn services, to green courier services and bicycle repair.
There will always be a market for innovative green products, and a growing number of green entrepreneurs are involved in home-based green manufacturing or retail. For example, some creative green designers are creating beautiful recycled designer handbags out of everything from candy wrappers to pop tops! Other green entrepreneurs use the internet to create successful green boutiques and stores.
With awareness of the health and environmental benefits of locally grown, organic foods on the rise, the sustainable agriculture sector is experiencing exponential growth, and offers many fantastic green home business opportunities, whether your “farm” consists of 100 acres or a tiny apartment balcony in the city!
These are just a few of the many green business ideas that you can use to start a green home business of your own. For more great green home business ideas, be sure to follow GreenMarketing.tv and other great green business blogs!
How To Start a Green Business From Home
Once you’ve decided what kind of green business you want to start, contact your local Small Business Administration for tips on how to start your business, handle finances and taxes, and other aspects of business management.
For many green businesses, consumer education plays an important part in marketing plans, because consumers are not always aware of the ways in which green products and services benefit themselves as well as the environment.
Other consumers may be as educated (or more) about the social and environmental issues relating to a specific green product or service as the entrepreneur, so it is also important to start building up your credibility as an eco-friendly business from the start. One way to do this is by seeking green professional certification or licensing, if any is available in your field. Some professional organizations also offer green business directories, which can be a great marketing tool.
With a good business plan and management skills, your green home-based business can become both a lucrative source of income and a way to make a positive difference in the world around you.
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