How can you start a business sustainably? As soon as you come across a problem for which there is no solution yet, many people start thinking about founding their own company. In order for one's own company to be as environmentally friendly and socially responsible as possible on the one hand and to be long-lasting on the other, there are a few things to consider. For many, the effort or the competition seems too great, which is why great ideas often unfortunately remain ideas and are not implemented.
In order for your start-up idea to take off and grow into a stable and effective company in the future, I would like to provide you with valuable tips for the sustainable establishment of a company in this article. Let's go!
Tip: If you'd rather not start your own sustainable business, but rather work at a cool company that adds value to the environment and society, be sure to check out our Job portal for sustainable jobs over. Among hundreds of job offers, your future job is sure to be among them!
Why start up sustainably at all?
Much of our lives are spent working and impacting our environment. So why not pursue a daily work that fulfills oneself and changes our environment in a positive way.
Here are three key drivers for starting a business sustainably from the beginning:
- Ideally, your company consists of forever
- Your company permanently causes a great added value for you, our environment and our society
- You create a company that meets both your and the Living of other people permanently financed
So, as I'm sure you can tell, the basis of a sustainable business is continuity.
Notice: A sustainable startup is not about building some multi-million dollar corporation. Instead, it is about creating a steadily growing, socially responsible and fair company that is also profitable..
10 tips for sustainable founding
Let's get into the specific suggestions that will help you start your startup and build the foundation of a sustainable and long-lasting business. Use the following tips & ideas for your startup idea.
1. find a start-up idea with social or ecological added value
Before you start a business, you should first make a Idea with added value for you, our environment and our society work out. Your future StartUp should at least partially solve a far-reaching, ecological or social problem that cannot be completely eliminated within a few weeks, but requires a long-term solution.
The best ideas come to you when you deal with concrete problems. Maybe the article about the biggest environmental problems of our time the necessary inspiration. Examples of this can be the Climate change, the Air pollution or also the World hunger be
Tip: Do you already know our Socialpreneur Podcast? There we talk to great people who are realizing their own ideas and dreams through a startup. So you can get inspired by those who have already founded sustainably.
2. examine, visualize and internalize the founding idea
Have you found an idea that makes sense in your eyes? Then put them through their paces. Are there really needs or problems in our society or environment that you can serve or even solve with your idea? If yes, then you already have the ideal basis for the sustainable foundation of a long-lasting company.
On the one hand, therefore, the Need in our society and the environment, but also that you and your future team are fully committed to the identify with your task and founding idea. It is not a stable foundation if you start your sustainable business just to get rich. Above all, you should be guided by the enduring drive to positively impact our society and environment. If that's not there, you simply won't have the constant inspiration and motivation to drive your sustainable startup forward.
Tip: The Business Model Canvas (BMC for short) is the ideal means of visualizing the business model and start-up idea in a tangible way and testing whether it also makes sense from a business perspective. Nowadays, the BMC is increasingly replacing the classic business plan.
3. calculate workload, strengths and financing as accurately as possible.
The main aim here is to Longevity of your businesss. And it depends on many different factors, which you absolutely have to adjust and calculate in the start-up phase. Here are a few examples:
- Funding: Depending on the idea, the need for funding can be limited or even escalate. Crowdfunding, for example, is particularly suitable for social and sustainable start-up ideas that ultimately benefit everyone. Venture funds and public funding programs from KfW, development banks or foundations can also help.
- Business plan: It is not always necessary to develop a business plan. However, both for potential investors in your sustainable start-up idea and for yourself, a business plan shows possible weaknesses of the start-up, which can be remedied if necessary. Often, the modern Business Model Canvas is sufficient as an alternative.
- Expertise: What are your strengths and where are your weaknesses? Is the project idea feasible or do you need support right from the start? These considerations are absolutely crucial for getting off to a good start in your entrepreneurial life.
- Formal basics: Find out more about the ideal forms of business. Sole proprietorship, UG, GmbH or NGO? Find out which type of company best suits your start-up idea and register the company with your local trade office. For this purpose Green bank account and a sustainable health insurance.
- Workplace: Where do you want to work every day? Many founders start at home in their living room or even in their garage. Also in cafés, but especially in co-working spaces, you often enjoy a really inspiring founder atmosphere.
These are some of the key building blocks for creating your sustainable business.
4. team of like-minded people with high identification for the common goal
In order for your company to work sustainably and exist for a long time, you need support from like-minded people. Your team, like you, must identify 100% with the founding idea and see the targeted problem solution as a constant motivator. The Hierarchies in your socially and ecologically valuable StartUp should be flat - in addition a Duz culture and also a Communityif it fits the idea. Just as in soccer the fans are the "twelfth man", the members of your community can also act as additional employees.
As a founder, you set the pace in your company - and should naturally exemplify the values of your idea.
5. regularly check figures & future viability
To keep risks as low as possible in the long term, you should put your company to the test at regular intervals. Are the stated objectives still current and up-to-date, and are the sales figures satisfactory? Are there perhaps trends to which you should adapt? Are investments for long-term progress appropriate? These are questions that you, as a sustainable founder, should deal with in order to guarantee the longevity of your company.
Tip: Whether for daily or even annual goal setting I can give you the SMART formula recommend. It states that goals must be clear, measurable, desirable, realistic and timed. In this way, the objectives within your startup are defined and tangible in a way that is conducive to success.
6. sustainable organization with focus on sustainability and optimization
You and all your fellow campaigners should think and act in an environmentally conscious and sustainable way right from the start. Both financially and in terms of ideas, this pays off in the end. A company that makes our world a little bit better every day attracts many people - both employees and customers.
Therefore make sure that Environmental awareness is writ large both inside and outside the organization. Inside, for example, through a paperless office or the promotion of vegan diet at work. Outside, for example, you can consciously make sure that partners are plastic-free deliver or give lectures on how other entrepreneurs can also work sustainably. Aligning the company ecologically and economically for progress is an important cornerstone of sustainable founding.
7. health writ large
From my own experience, I know how much fun it is to drive your own company and the sustainable idea behind it. Especially in the start-up phase, there are usually one or two 16-hour workdays involved. But in the long run, of course, it can't go on like this - your health and the health of your employees should always take priority. Make sure that neither you nor anyone else is overworked. Balance out your work life and make sure you have a healthy diet and happy togetherness.
Fittingly, I can recommend you these blog posts:
- Occupational health
- Improve worklife balance
- When does a job make me happy?
- 10 tips for productive work without stress
8. align contracts with longevity
A company also works more sustainably if the contracts for employees, office rent or even partners allow for long-term planning. As a founder, this simply gives you more security for the future. But especially in the contracts with suppliers, you should always retain the option of being able to make adjustments to the conditions at short notice.
Tip: If you have a Co-founder you should also contractually regulate from the outset what happens as soon as one of you leaves the company. Consider such scenarios in order to lose as little time and money as possible later on, should the worst happen.
9. employees grow with the company
Your employees, freelancers and all other collaborators should develop together with the company. Make sure that your Colleagues learn to think like founders as well. The Pareto principle and SMART goal setting should become second nature. For example, organize further training and ensure that the salary increases steadily. On the one hand, you increase the retention and the Identification with your founding idea, on the other hand the Know-How within your organization.
10. set up lifeline for the unexpected
In the euphoria of starting a sustainable business, the risk that something could happen to you tends to fade into the background. But of course it's not impossible that you could fall seriously ill or that an accident could jeopardize the continued existence of the company. Taking this into account and having a kind of contingency plan ready for such cases is definitely part of a sustainable start-up. Therefore, safeguard your start-up idea against this and also make sure that trusted people know the relevant information and contact points so that they can step in in the event of an emergency.
Notice: That sounds a bit harsh, but ultimately no one escapes this risk. If you want to set up a sustainable business, you should take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, at least at the beginning.
Sustainable foundation for a better future
Sustainability is the key to an innovative future - and today's ideas are tomorrow's leaders. Of course, depending on your profession, you can also make your contribution to greater sustainability as an employee in a company. But as an independent founder and entrepreneur, you can implement your ideas one-to-one in the way you imagine them to add value for you, our society and, above all, our environment.
I hope that with this post I was able to motivate you to start a sustainable business that will last as long as possible.
Do you have any questions, tips or your own experience with starting a sustainable business that you'd like to share? If so, I look forward to your comment below this post. Feel free to feel free to share this article with others.
Whether as an employee or founder: Good luck!
PS.: Look you with pleasure still a little bit in the Blog for sustainable living around. In addition to tips for sustainable startups, you can also find out how you can Environmentally friendly driving can.