Written by: Tiffany Ann Bottcher, MBA, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
The concept of sustainable business has evolved. Sustainability is not simply one dimensional. It's also about creating a company that can have financial sustainability over the long term, conduct business in a way that supports environmental sustainability, and its operations and processes must be sustainable for its leaders and employees. To be sustainable in 2022, your business will need to excel in all three of these areas.
What is sustainability?
In 2003, Corporate Sustainability was classified as a new and evolving management paradigm. In the years that followed, the world has seen an increased focus on this subject, as well as its integration within organizations of all sizes and industries.
Corporate sustainability can be viewed as a new and evolving corporate management paradigm. The term ‘paradigm’ is used deliberately, in that corporate sustainability is an alternative to the traditional growth and profit-maximization model.
Consumers are more interested than ever in where their goods and services come from, and they're looking for companies that share their values and beliefs. There are many dimensions to sustainability, but at its core, it is the ability of a company to maintain its resources and processes so that it can continue to function long into the future.
The success of your business is dependent upon your ability to create physically and mentally sustainable practices. This means that you must have a clear vision, set achievable goals, and develop a plan to achieve them.
It's also important to have a positive outlook, be resilient in the face of challenges, and be willing to learn from your mistakes. As a business owner, you must put in place the processes, practices, and boundaries needed to protect your time and energy.
Providing high-level customer service shouldn't be confused with people-pleasing. Innovate and use automation and systems to ensure you can maintain a work-life balance you feel comfortable with.
No business can be successful in the long term if it is not financially sustainable. To achieve and maintain financial sustainability, businesses must focus on creating efficient systems and processes, controlling expenses, and generating revenue. Achieving financial sustainability is especially important for small businesses, as they often do not have the resources to sustain a loss for an extended period.
Businesses experiencing a high rate of growth can often experience a cash flow issue. This can be due to several factors, such as the need to finance increased inventory, customer payment terms, or higher employee wages.
Generating cash flow is essential for businesses to maintain operations and meet debt and payment obligations. Business owners need to have a strong understanding of their company's financial situation and make decisions based on that information.
To promote financial sustainability it is key to maintain accurate and timely financial records. The records then allow you to analyze and ensure that debt, cash flow, and revenue are sustainable on an ongoing basis.
Shifts in the global mindset have environmental sustainability at the forefront of discussions. There is an increased awareness of the need to protect our planet and conserve its resources.
This has led to several changes in business practices, as companies seek to become more environmentally sustainable. Some common measures include reducing energy consumption, recycling and composting, using less packaging, and reducing the use of harsh chemicals.
The pandemic forced an experiment in remote work, with many people eliminating their commute and increasing the reliance on digital records.
A 2021 BDC report found that 80% of consumers are willing to pay more to reduce their environmental impact. Emphasizing your commitment to the environment and emissions reductions can provide value to your brand and ultimately a competitive advantage. Taking action to reduce your climate effect helps you stand out in a world where consumers are becoming more concerned about corporate social responsibility.
Unique Challenges and Opportunities
There is no one size fits all approach to sustainability, each business faces its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. However, by focusing on the three people, the profit, and the planet, businesses can create a foundation that will help them to succeed in the long term.
Tiffany Ann Bottcher, MBA, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Tiffany-Ann Bottcher, MBA is the CEO of Bottcher Business Management Agency. She helps service-based business owners to scale their businesses without losing sleep. Tiffany-Ann is a best-selling author, speaker, and host of the "Service-Based Business Society Podcast". As an operation and automation expert, she has helped businesses from all over the world streamline their processes and increase efficiency. Tiffany-Ann combines her education in accounting, corporate finance, and communications with over a decade scaling service-based businesses to eight figures and beyond.