How do you distinguish yourself from the many thousands of other brands and companies that offer something similar to your business?
Consider when you think about your family members and friends: each of them is unique and special in their own way. Each individual represents something to you, and the feelings you have about them are unique to each person, because each of them has a personal relationship with you.
When doing business, be authentic and clarify your unique value proposition to your buyers.
People choose your services and products for a reason. When you stand strong with your internal mission, vision, and values, you bring great clarity to your message. By practicing integrity between your actions and your words, you move forward knowing that you're doing the best you can with what you have. Bring that spirit of genuine service into your company's action plan by following these tips:
1) Be clear about what you offer.
If you don't offer something, you don't offer it. Do as much as you can to focus on the core competencies that your company's product or service fits — for example, if you are a plumber, you don't dream of working on electrical systems. Neither does a glassblower think they can also do ceramics. Only the most talented generalists can excel at more than one thing. For your business, get a clear fix on what it is you do, and then do it well.
2) Be honest about the tasks, checkpoints, challenges, and rewards involved.
Do you ever try and hide what is going on "behind-the-scenes?" When doing a large project like construction for a building, one can see the progress from the inside out — first the foundation, then the load-bearing supports, then the internal systems, then the floors, walls and windows, and finally the interior decorating.
Your company's product or service requires many steps to get from the raw materials to the finished goods. By being green, there are additional costs. Price your work accordingly, and demand respect for the progress, the must-haves, and the quality of your product.
3) Understand your customer's needs.
Listen, ask questions, get feedback, and put yourself in your client's shoes. What pain points or pressure points do they face? What can you do to make things better?
Our job as green entrepreneurs is to add value to our societies by offering solutions that work, and by creating revenue and jobs along the way. Integrate client feedback into your sales cycle or production line. Brainstorm new ideas that help make the world a better place.
4) Get the right people on-board.
By working with the right people, you build a company culture that matches your highest ideals for your company. By committing to people, planet, and profits, you attract others who are passionate about the same values. Do your best to find others who embody your mission, and work as a team towards the "big dream" of a prosperous, peaceful, sustainable planet.
5) Listen and learn.
We can become too frozen in our assumptions about what is the truth. Seek information and educate yourself and your team. Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog in 1968, has recently proclaimed green "heresy" by stating his beliefs that genetically-modified food, nuclear power, megacities, and geoengineering will be key solutions to solving the world's problems. He doesn't believe that solar, wind, and sun power will make up for our energy needs. Does he know something you don't? Where is the information? We can all learn from new data.
Monica S. Flores @monicadear is committed to empowering, educating, and connecting women in business. She is available for consulting on web development through 10K Webdesign.
She offers a free directory of woman-owned green businesses GreenBusinessWomen.com and a member community for success-oriented women ASuccessfulWoman.com.
Monica believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. Help her achieve her goals by connecting her with green projects and buying her books http://tinyurl.com/monicasbooks