With the economy on a steady track of improvement, today's small business owners have the opportunity to create valuable growth within their organizations. One of the best ways to continue positive growth is to examine the past year for its triumphs, failures, and discoveries.
In 2016, we published several blog posts designed to help you grow your business, connect with customers, and successfully network within a competitive industry. Here's a roundup of the blog posts our readers found most valuable in 2016.
A great product inspires growth through word-of-mouth, and excellent packaging inspires even more growth because everyone who passes your product on a store shelf sees the packaging. Packaging actually reaches 100% of customers:
"One of the reasons a carefully chosen packaging design is essential for any product is because the packaging reaches every single consumer who decides to purchase the product or considers purchasing the product."
If you think about it, a consumer can't purchase the item unless he or she takes a look at the packaging, even if the consumer makes the purchase online and doesn't see the actual packaging until it's delivered via mail.
Is 2017 the year that you update your business's packaging? Take the first step to becoming a sustainable business by upgrading your packaging from old and tired to vibrant and sustainable.
The first thing on the minds of many small business owners is reducing costs through smart budgeting, but reducing the business's carbon footprint is important, too, even if the process requires some initial investment.
"There are many steps you can take to become an environmentally sustainable business, but eco-friendly businesses aren't created overnight. It often takes several steps and a variety of changes to reach total sustainability and zero waste. Some of the steps you may need to take to transform your business to an eco-friendly model may cost some money in the beginning, but the initial investment can be well worth the price."
Implementing eco-friendly business practices while your business remains small with only one or two locations is the ideal time to implement eco-friendly business practices. Many of the beneficial practices engaged in by major retailers may be accomplished by small businesses, even if the small business doesn't have significant funds to put toward sustainable projects.
As a consumer, you probably see "buy local" campaigns a few times a year, and the concept is an important one for supporting your community. As a small business owner, you have an even greater chance (as a consumer and a business owner) to help your local economy by considering local purchases and partnerships with other local businesses.
"When you make a purchase with a local business that sources its services or products at the local level and is owned by local owners, something very different happens with your money than when you spend with international businesses or national chain stores. Multiple studies have shown that buying local keeps money in the community rather than allowing it to be sent away to a far-off destination where a company's stockholders and executives reside."
Your efforts at buying locally sourced materials and working with locally-owned businesses may influence other business owners to act the same way. Buying locally might require that a business pay higher prices for certain materials, but the result of those actions will be well worth it when local small businesses thrive over billion dollar companies that rely on massive sales numbers and low pay for workers to provide discount prices.
Recycling the paper products you use within your business is an important part of transforming your organization into a sustainable entity. Another way you can increase the amount of recycling your business undertakes is to ensure the packaging you use for your company's products is recyclable and comes from recycled materials.
"As you're undoubtedly aware, different types of paper are recycled differently when you send them along to your local recycling center. The type of paper you use for various jobs at work, as well as the type of recycled packaging you order, will have an impact on how you can use that paper in recycling projects with your employees."
Recycled packaging is no longer the exception to the rule. If you glance at the bottom of many paper bags used in today's grocery stores, you'll see that the bags come from recycled materials. It's not uncommon for businesses to display this information more prominently so that customers are aware of the business's efforts at sustainability.
Young shoppers have driven the growth of environmentally friendly companies that use eco-friendly business practices in every area of business, from manufacturing to delivery to purchase. Not only do today's businesses have the opportunity to engage in sustainable business practices, but doing so can boost the reputation a business enjoys with its customers.
"Small businesses today often introduce sustainable practices in the workplace, at the point of manufacturing, or in other areas where energy and material goods are used to produce a product or service. Adopting a sustainable business model may also help attract customers who want eco-friendly or environmentally friendly packaging. Today's consumers are educated and environmentally-conscious, and the number of people seeking out businesses that operate with a sense of environmental responsibility is growing."
It's easy to assume that real change and sustainability are only available to large companies with significant resources, but virtually every business can take small steps to become more eco-friendly. Starting with a plan of actionable steps and implementing that plan over the next year is an excellent place to start.
Environmentally Friendly Packaging Solutions from Howard Packaging
Would you like to begin 2017 with new, sustainable packaging from Howard Packaging? Would you like to employ some of these eco-friendly methods at your business? Find out what Howard Packaging can do for your business. Request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit Today!