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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Management > Green Economy

Green Business Innovation

Green business innovation includes environmental product design

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Green Business Products

The products of today are designed differently than your daddy's products. Today you have to think about the world of a decade from now. What will be in short supply? What chemicals will be outlawed? What new social trends are likely to affect the marketplace?

We know that climate change is a major factor in designing our tomorrow. But we also need to be aware of shortages in critical product and process resources: WATER comes to mind first. SPACE in the urban environment. SUNLIGHT can become stronger and affect the amount of time people spend outdoors (check out New Zealand today.). Rising ocean levels. Copper. Fossil fuels....and Plastics.

california consumer pollution solutions It sounds radical to most people, but we just might be going back to local market places and hand powered processes. Think hand mowers or no mower at all. Think farmers markets vs. global chains.

Trends like these affect the materials you spec for your products, as well as the marketplace in which you will compete. And believe me...there is more competition when you have xxxx billion people and a population growth of 3% per year...that's 30% percent in 10 years.

Key issues will be thinks like:

  • Turning food into biofuels...who will starve as food supplies decrease?
  • Overconsumption...what happens when emerging nations all want Hollywood lifestyles?
  • Sustainability... how much of what we mine, harvest and destroy can the world replenish before supplies fade away? Think oil. Think lost species of trees and wildlife.
  • What role will religion and tribal competition play in cultural instability?
Business affects all these issues because we are all part of the same tapestry. Which products and services you choose to innovate...How you design those new offerings...everything you do makes a difference.

Green Business Services

We've been told for quite some time that we're in the information age. That didn't sink in until the Internet went wild. It's growing like an invasive weed. We have more information than we know what to do with and the result is that many people are dropping back to relying on gossip and self-reliance to cut through the overwhelming clutter.

How do you build your business? Think about building relationships in a win-win-win kind of model. Think about customizing and semi-customizing. Think about small scale and large scale -- and think really hard if you are tackling the market in-between!

Green Business Hybrids

Many green businesses are crossing services and products. They provide information, analysis, training, service, and other services to implement the products they sell. Just like hybrid fuel vehicles, hybrid businesses use the most effective method for the specific application. For example, a grocery store not only sells packaged food, but they provide a catering service and a nutritionist onsite. A manufacturing plant not only makes widgets, but they fill out the applications for incentives and financing. Schools not only educate the children, but their parents...and provide afterschool and weekend childcare for busy families.

Green Business Add-ons and Knock-offs

Nature thrives on adaptation -- frequently called evolution. Businesses also thrive on "the same but different" strategies. Franchise businesses are the classic example of optimizing a business system and spreading it to a broad marketplace. But restaurants are typical knock-off businesses -- same but different. Very few offer truly different services or food. The same can be said for cleaning services, rental car agencies...etc. When you add a green focus, you have a "same but different" business that might carve out a unique place in your marketplace.

Green Sales

Sales are never easy. Green sales are harder because they require more education of prospects. That education costs money. Websites and tradeshows and even the media are helping educate consumers about green alternatives, but every consumer still has to be educated about every new green solution.

Innovative collaborations are springing up between nonprofit groups and government programs that realize the need for education in order to achieve behavior changes. These nonprofit groups' missions are to change widespread behaviors. Green businesses can partner up with these groups, or at least align themselves with these educators through joint exhibitions, conferences, etc. in which education and commerce can coexist.

The Internet is also a powerful tool to help educate and process sales, especially sales that require research and optimized ordering processes. The flexibility of instant-updates of information will grow as Websites and e-commerce mature. california trucking pollution solutions

Green Marketing: 4 Green "P"s

Product. Place. Price. Promotion. Those are the 4Ps of traditional marketing. They are changing in scope and weight -- but those four cornerstones of business marketing still exist.

  • Products that are green rely on market demands for their features.
  • Price is still based on perceived value as well as cost of production.
  • Promotion is still necessary to build a base of in-house loyal customers.
  • And Place is changing. The shift from anonymous, distant marketing is facing new constraints such as cost of transportation, credibility of the producer, changing cultural concerns about disease, invasive species, local community stability...and the need for neighbors.

    There has never been such an exciting time for innovation in business. The opportunities for breakthrough innovations abound. The market is growing. And like my mother taught me -- "Necessity is the mother of invention!"



    Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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