Today is Earth Day. For some non-profits it’s an important income producing day, one of their highest because people are aware of today being Earth Day and are motivated to donate to or raise awareness about these non-profits that work in support or care of the Earth. Earth Day can teach those of us who run for-profit businesses a few lessons as well, lessons that don’t directly tie to being Earth-friendly or Earth Day.
There’s such a thing as finite resources. The past year with the virus and pandemic have highlighted all kinds of issues in our world, including in the supply chain. For example you can’t send the surface cleaner you produce off to the stores and customers that need it if the bottle supplier you use can’t supply you with bottles or can’t get them to you. We’ve also seen how quickly money can be cut off, so if we’re not prepared with a backup plan or backup resources, in normal situations we wouldn’t be able to survive.
Listen to your customers. I was just reading a chapter in this month’s book that highlighted this a couple of times, and it’s one of the most important factors in your growth and success as a business. When you stop listening to customers you can get stuck and they may choose to shop with those who are more sensitive to their needs or preferences or opinions, whether those needs are for a veggie burger when you only currently sell beef burgers, or their preferences that you’re a company that is sensitive to the economic conditions and natural resources.
Consider your community. Every business has to choose if they’re going to be only focused on their bottom line, or if they’re going to invest in and build relationships with the customers, team, local community, greater business community, and/or world while they’re working on success. Community isn’t always easy and it won’t necessarily be the most popular or easiest choice to make, but when we work together we can create more wins for more of us now and in the future.
Lastly, pay attention. Earth Day raises awareness about our planet and the consequences we’re facing if we don’t care for it, just like sometimes we need to be reminded about the things that need fixing or need to be given attention in our businesses. You can’t know everything or do everything, which is why we have teams of people or advisors or consultants who help keep us on track and make sure that we’re aware of what’s not working as well as it should, what feedback we’re getting from customers, or what’s changing and we need to know to not fall so far behind we can never catch up. Being told about something isn’t necessarily the issue, not doing anything about it definitely becomes an issue.
Whether you’re a company that focuses on being environmentally friendly or not, just about every company is 100% dependent on our planet being around to have work and be successful (comparatively few companies are involved in outer space exploration). So this Earth Day I encourage you to consider if there’s something or more than one thing you can do to give your business and our planet both a better fighting chance for the future.