For a lot of businesses, COVID-19 brought a forced period of downtime. This created an opportunity to reset and re-evaluate how we do business.
Some small business owners took that a step further, evaluating the extent to which their businesses are environmentally sustainable.
For those who own and operate a business, that business can sometimes serve as a platform to practise what they believe. In this episode of the Spark Lab Pivot Reports, Russell Brown speaks to several people who are personally invested in the impacts of business on the planet:
Look at inputs into your business, the raw materials. Be conscious when choosing materials. If you can afford to be choosey, buy things that are sustainably sourced. Also consider also how your materials can be reused or repurposed once you no longer need them.
Consider how you can use infrastructure to reduce unwanted outputs, such as rubbish or pollution. Talk to your local council or business networks about how they can help your business operate in new, "cleaner" ways. The government has allowances and schemes you might be able to tap into.
Weather patterns are less, well, patterned these days. So prepare for a few different scenarios, be it drought or storm. Think about how the weather impacts your business. Once you've identified those areas, see what you can do to minimise your reliance on weather.
Let's put transport systems to work for the health of people and planet. Find out how your staff are getting to work. Can you set up or encourage healthy ways for your staff to get to work? What would they need from you to be able to get to work using healthy, sustainable transport like walking, bicycling or taking the bus/train?
Many businesses are only B2B or B2C. Operating in only one channel can leave you worse off when things change unexpectedly, as they did during the COVID-19 pandemic. Branch out into a second channel, even if it's just a fraction of your regular activities. Having a second channel could be a fulcrum for future pivots.
Creating change isn’t always easy, but it can be inspiring. Tell people what changes you're making and why. Be up front about any hiccups along the way. Transparency builds faith in your staff and customers. You might even get some unexpected help along the way.
That’s the final episode of the Pivot Report series. Pivot Reports captured a slice of time that no one in business will forget, and some lessons to inspire all of us.