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How microbusinesses can embed sustainability and drive growth

Written by Ben Law on Thursday, 09 June 2022. Posted in Insight, Analysis

Part of our core responsibility is that we understand microbusinesses (those with under 10 employees) – they are the lifeblood of our organisation and we’re focused on empowering entrepreneurs and making opportunity more inclusive for all. 

How microbusinesses can embed sustainability and drive growth

Part of our core responsibility is that we understand microbusinesses (those with under 10 employees) – they are the lifeblood of our organisation and we’re focused on empowering entrepreneurs and making opportunity more inclusive for all. 

When building their sustainability credentials, microbusinesses encounter a unique set of challenges. Following last year’s COP26, awareness of environmental issues continues to grow as government, brands, and activists spearhead public campaigns. Consequently, sustainability is now front and centre of consumers’ minds. This is impacting what they buy, where they shop and how much they are willing to spend. 

GoDaddy is a champion for small business and the everyday entrepreneur and aims to support microbusinesses to embed sustainability into their business, and drive growth, whilst playing their part in the fight against climate change. When I speak to microbusiness owners I often I hear that they encounter the following challenges: 

Expertise

They rarely have expertise when it comes to sustainable business practices and developing a strategy can be daunting. 

Finance

Cost is another major barrier. Measures such as switching to an environmentally friendly supplier all have up-front costs that can strain finances. Sustainable packaging, for example is often more expensive than alternatives and drives up costs. Microbusiness owners can worry that by increasing prices they risk losing customers to cheaper competitors. 

Space

Another very real barrier is the fact that many businesses, especially smaller ones, function within workplaces that are not under their control. For example, cleaning companies operate in the workplaces of their clients whereas sole traders may run their business in a shared office space. 

As sustainability becomes a major driver for consumer spending, microbusinesses who overcome these challenges can unlock huge growth potential. Recent research revealed that 58% of consumers are more likely to shop with a small business if it has strong sustainability credentials. 

Whilst the impact of higher costs that comes with changes to sustainable business practices may be off-putting, microbusinesses should consider their long-term strategy. Failure to adapt to more sustainable practices generates a risk as 30% of consumers plan to shop exclusively with sustainable businesses in the future.

We understand that microbusinesses frequently compete with large businesses that have more resources, cheaper products, and bigger budgets. Being sustainable gives them the chance to level the playing field. 42% of consumers said they are more likely to shop with a small retailer over a larger cheaper competitor if it has strong sustainability credentials. 

We’re proud to support a whole host of impressive microbusiness customers who are helping to pave the way for a more sustainable future. 

Toast Ale is a London-based beer and ale company that uses surplus fresh bread to create high-quality craft beer. By brewing their planet-saving beer, Toast Ale has saved 2,575,004 pieces of sliced bread being wasted by using the surplus bread to replace barley. 

Magpye is a vegan pie delivery business owned by husband-and-wife team, Chris and Sarah Fryer. All  Magpye products are free of any palm oil and they source all products from co-operative, ethical suppliers. 

Primal Suds is an eco-cosmetics company based in Southampton where business owners Andrew and Jen Freeman hand make all of their natural soaps. All of their natural soaps are 100% biodegradable as is their packaging - there is no plastic whatsoever!

Five Dot Botanics is an award-winning plant based skincare brand based in London. The entire range is vegan certified, and focused on using sustainable, renewable ingredients. Even more, they use recyclable and biodegradable materials in all of their packaging.

By Rotation is the UK's only peer-to-peer fashion rental app. The sustainable concept is perfect for keeping on top of trends but also reducing the UK’s fashion footprint. Founder Eshita Kabra-Davies started the business in an effort to reduce the effects of textile waste.

By embracing sustainability, small businesses like these aren’t just helping the environment and our future but opening themselves up to the possibility of more customers and more revenue. 

About the Author

Ben Law

Ben Law

Ben is currently head of GoDaddy UK. Ben is a proven leader with experience and skills honed at Sony, PlayStation, and IG. Ben has broad marketing and leadership experience including global and regional strategy development, brand management, sponsorship, and integrated communications.

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