The Challenges Facing SMEs
The commercial marketplace is always evolving, and SMEs face daily challenges to stay competitive. As a result, more than 70 percent find that they lack the resources to put their sustainability plans into action. Most realise that sustainability is an important topic, but if it is not something that directly impacts the bottom line, it is inevitably deprioritised.
There is also a question of know-how. An SME will not have experts on hand to tackle sustainability issues and draw up a strategy along the lines of the larger companies. But that doesn’t mean you can do nothing.
Benefits of Implementing Sustainability in SMEs
These are challenges that apply to SMEs across the board in all industries. The first step is always the hardest, and it is as much about mindset as anything else. Look at the benefits that a sustainability strategy can bring, particularly in a sector where the competition is slow to get started.
For one thing, you will find that your brand image gains a welcome boost. Today’s consumers are savvy people, and you will attract a whole new demographic that is willing to pay more for a product or service from a sustainable supplier.
For another, you will find that many of the simple measures you can adopt will have direct financial benefits.
Simple Sustainability Strategies
You don’t need a 100-page strategy to improve sustainability in your business, all it really takes is some common sense. Here are some examples:
- Recycling – This goes beyond bins for bottles and drink cans and can run through the entire business. Speak to your printer toner manufacturer or supplier about what to do with old toners, and introduce a policy that if paper has only been used on one side, it gets fed back into the printer. Costs and consumption will reduce dramatically.
- LED lighting – LEDs make the office environment a nicer place to be and use far less electricity. They also last longer than conventional light bulbs.
- Car pooling – Offer incentives for employees to car pool. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, and will increase office morale as people get to know each other better and save themselves some fuel costs.
- Get everyone involved – make sustainability a topic that everyone is involved in, and ask the team to come up with ideas for new ways the business can reduce its carbon footprint – usually, this will also result in saving money.