The Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Green America and EcoVentures International recently released a report indicating that small businesses are more likely to succeed if they offer “green” services or products. Almost 80 percent of respondents, business owners that provide either a service or product that is considered eco-friendly, indicated that earning a green reputation helped them stand out from their competition. In addition, 75 percent shared that their sales have gone up in the past few years, even though the economy has struggled of late.
The report emphasized that the more environmentally friendly the business, the more money that it is likely to make. More than 1,300 businesses took part in the survey, and all of them provide at least some type of green service or product. Those with a deeper commitment to the environment were the most successful in terms of overall sales.
Businesses participating in the survey were divided into three groups. “Light green” businesses made up about 40 percent of respondents; they advertise as having eco-friendly goods but don’t engage in sustainable practices. “Deep green” businesses, which made up a little more than 25 percent of the respondents, have a strong advertisement campaign aimed at letting consumers know their products are eco-friendly. They also engage in sustainable practices. The “mid-green” businesses tend to fall in the middle.
The report found that deep green businesses were the clear winners when it came to things like product profitability and revenue growth. In addition, more of them indicated that they would be expanding in the future to include more eco-friendly products than the other businesses. However, it is important to note that some green industries are doing better than others. Green construction and hybrid vehicles, for example, are both in demand right now.
Some businesses are wary about providing eco-friendly goods and services; after all, going green can be expensive. However, the report determined that profit margins were relatively the same regardless of whether a business was considered eco-friendly or not. Since green products are very desirable, businesses typically make more money off of them. For example, Rochester pest control companies that offer organic solutions can ask more for their services because homeowners are willing to pay to keep harmful pesticides away from their families. On the survey, the vast majority (nearly 90 percent) of businesses said that they made as much, if not more, from their green products as their standard products.
The study indicates that there is potential for small businesses to do very well if they dedicate themselves to becoming a “deep green” company. The organizations behind the report, including Green America, feel that sustainability is the key to success going forward.