How to launch a sustainable small business

Starting a sustainable small business with an environmental mindfulness is a massive but rewarding undertaking. There is not one structured way to launch a business that will result in instant success! It is important to note that taking your small business idea from the ideation to activation phase is often a learn-as-you-go process. But, the more structured, well-thought-out decisions you make early on, the better chance your company has for success and positive impact on the planet.

When we created Bondi Joe, we set about ensuring that the brand lived and breathed a strong planet conscience. We wanted to make men’s boardshorts that you felt great wearing and were genuinely good for the planet. As a result, our entire range of men’s swimwear is made of fabric from 100 per cent recycled materials, we have offset the carbon used in our supply chain, and only use plastic-free packaging when we send them to you.

My top tips and tricks for how to successfully launch and manage a sustainable small business are:

  1. Build your business on belief: You need to personally be passionate about the environmental cause your business is supporting. Authenticity is everything to consumers.
  2. Find a gap in the marketplace: Ensure you differentiate yourself from other brands. To set ourselves apart from the plethora of swim brands we bridged the gap between traditional swimwear and great looking shorts so our customers could wear our product all weekend – from sunrise to sunset, from beach to the bar, in and out of the water.
  3. Listen to customer feedback: Understand that your most important target audience is your consumer. Our customers let us know comfort was the most important factor to them, so we listened and removed the old-fashioned lining to ensure our swimwear was comfortable to their liking!
  4. If you promise to support a mission, deliver on your promise: We strongly care about the planet. However, it is not enough to simply make such a statement without backing it up. This is why our fabric is sourced from 100 per cent recycled bottles with a carbon offset supply chain and plastic-free shipping. If your brand’s actions don’t align with your words your customers will not trust you.
  5. Have a trendy business card: In the early stages of your company, it is crucial to get your company’s name out wherever possible. I utilise Vistaprint Australia for my business cards as I believe having unique cards sets you apart from other brands.

Marcus Marchant, Founder, Bondi Joe and CEO, Vistaprint Australia

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