Thirty Steps to Setting up your Green Business, part 1

This is part one of a step-by-step process for you to set up your green business.

Read the full series:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

My coach Rob Seidenspinner (on LinkedIn) always reminds me that all of us are creative, resourceful, and whole. If you're reading this blog, you have the makings of a green entrepreneur. Believe in your skills, talent, and knowledge — you have an opportunity to better your own personal situation, your community, and our planet. So take the next step!

If you are considering starting up a green business, but don't know how to start, or if you have a green idea and want to implement it, my next few posts will give you tips on how to set up your Green Business in thirty steps.

Your business is like a child: it takes nurturing, planning, and ongoing maintenance. It takes preparation, hard work, and reaching out to others to help you. However, you have an opportunity for a fantastic payoff when your business grows up and starts "bringing you a plate". I won't sugarcoat it, though — ask any businessperson and they'll tell you there are major ups and downs and the work can and will take a toll on you and your family.

In my experience I've found that the people who work smarter (not harder) and who fully commit to the business are the ones who find a way to make their business work for them.

Step 1) Figure out your priorities.
Do you want more time with your family? Do you want to set up a passive income stream on the side? Do you want to join someone else's work or do you want to start your own project?

When you figure out your priorities for what you want, you can then set up some goals and understand your "benchmarks" for success. I recommend you go into business if you have A) the courage to succeed, B) the tenacity to make your business work, C) the desire to make a green difference in the world.

Step 2) What's your timeline?
What kind of timeline are you considering? You can set up an online affiliate program in as little as a few days, but if you're building a new business, product line, or service, you're looking at a goal three to five years down the road.

How much time do you have available and what are you willing to put in to your business? The answers to those questions give you an indication of your expected timeframe.

Step 3) What's your startup budget?
Going into business requires capital. This may come as a startup loan from friends or family, it may require you dipping into your savings, or it might mean you increase your tolerance for credit card debt.

If you are going into business for yourself, figure out how much you can realistically afford to support the business. Note that the road to profitability takes time, and even your best scenarios will require paying customers for you to make your business work for you and eventually pay you back and pay you a salary.

Step 4) What's your plan?
I'm not a big fan of "analysis paralysis" but you will need a plan to help you to organize your thinking.

Do at least a two-page draft of your big idea, whittled down into basic items such as:

a) the need — what is the burning need that your product or service fills?

b) the market — who is going to buy your product or service? Specify, specify, specify.

c) price points — how much do you need to sell to break even (pay all your expenses?) how much do you need to sell to make a profit (pay all your expenses and have some left over?)

d) distribution – how will you get your product or service into the hands of your customers? is you going after your local market, a national market, or the international marketplace? who will help you promote and market your business?

Step 5) Get started with your checklist of what you need.
You'll need a product, a service, advisors/partners/supporters, a marketing plan, business cards, and a website or blog to start getting the word out. There are some low- and even free versions on how to do this. Find out more next week!


 image by flaivoloka



List your green business for free in the national directory at Follow me on Twitter at @monicadear and let me know about your green business!

Monica S. Flores  of 10kWebdesign is committed to educating, empowering, and connecting women in business — she believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She is available for consulting on web development, green business practices, and women in business.


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