The Leader's Guide to a Sustainable Business

Businesses play a pivotal role in our society in terms of their impact and influence, which is why their every move is closely monitored and questioned - what is the socio, economic and environmental impact of this move? Considering the current political scenario, ecological concerns and growing unrest among nations across the globe, businesses are expected to step in and lead the way. Why? Because in all honesty they do control most of our earth’s precious assets and it is only fair to ask them to use it wisely.

 

John Mackey from Whole Foods has put it brilliantly, “Just as people cannot live without eating, so a business cannot live without profits. But most people don’t live to eat, and neither must businesses live just to make profits.” Besides the media, advocacy and watchdog groups; even the customers, employees, partners and investors expect this from a business. A sustainable business with the right intentions can attempt to tackle serious issues. Often, turn into path breaking solution finders.

 

However, most often than not, the path of sustainability for any business comes with a set of restrictions in terms of time, money and effort; but that’s no surprise for a leader with the right determination.

 

Here’s a quick guide to creating a sustainable business.

 

Define the Core Purpose

Every leader should help identify the purpose of their business by answering this question - ‘why we are doing this.’ The core purpose guides the team and no matter what changes take place over the course of time, as a leader, you can always fall back on this to lead your business towards a deeper understanding of sustainability.

 

Build a Connection

You have to inspire people to fall in love with both your offerings and philosophy. You have shown them that you are concerned about everything that’s at stake. For this, you have to create a business that offers the right product at the right time while still giving back to the society. If your product doesn’t resonate with the beliefs of your target audience, you may have to change your proposition altogether. Once you make the connection, influencing people and leading your business to its scalable potential is possible.

 

Look Around. The Treasure is with you!

Did you know that the possibility of selling to a new customer is 5 to 20%, whereas selling to an existing customer is almost 50 to 60%? [1] Research points to the fact that it is 4 times more likely for a company to generate business through an existing customer as opposed to a potential or new client. [2] So you see, as important as it is to build a relationship with your customer, it is equally crucial to ensure that they remain loyal to your offering.

 

Open to Reinvention

Thanks to the emergence of new technologies and customers understanding their rights to information, businesses are accountable to continuously improve their processes. Every single day there is a new chance to reinvent. You should invest in research and innovation to increase your chances of success. But you should be mindful by remembering your core purpose before you make any drastic change to your business.

 

Being Agile

A company’s growth is very dependent on this quality of its leader. As a business leader, you should be up-to-date with the latest trends and be able to find ways to incorporate them, if they are good for your business. Being swift and nimble will go a long way in helping your business adapt to new changes quickly, ensuring that your business stays ahead of the curve.

 

If you think of just the short-term benefits and forget to foresee the future, your business will stand to miss out. Your goal as a leader should always be to create long-term shareholder value. The right product for the right audience, created via a sustainable process will help retain customers and help you build a scalable business.

 

At Mercedes-Benz, we believe that smaller contributions we make by supporting nature, people and the country at large – are vastly more beneficial and cannot be attributed to mere monetary value. These are our investments for even more exciting tomorrows.

 
 

[1] https://www.fastcompany.com/3049856/the-7-fundamentals-of-sustainable-business-growth

[2] According to the US Small Business Administration and US Chamber of Commerce,

 

Reference links –

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/252029

https://www.inc.com/magazine/201311/mark-dwight/sustainability-without-the-sanctimony.html