In addressing the conversation of building a sustainable business, it’s important that we address its two main categories, which are:
1. Effect on Environment.
2. Effect on Society.
If a business is going to be sustainable, it has to positively impact either or both of these two areas.
Meanwhile, 90 per cent of CEO’s of global corporations have come to recognise sustainability as important to business success and are therefore committed to developing sustainability strategies. However, many small business owners are ignorant of this quintessential factor in business growth and that has warranted this education.
A sustainable business is one whose purpose and actions are equally grounded in financial, environmental and social concerns. This has proven to be a hard nut to crack for most businesses. After much research and study, I have discovered six key components of building a sustainable business and I will be sharing these with you briefly.
1. A Belief
This refers to a conditioning or perception that permeates & forms the very core of the values, mission, goals, strategies, etc of every business. This is what the shareholders, investors, customers and employees buy into. It must be consistent with all the business does to drive value.
2. Create Value
Value is the purpose of every business. It is what makes you relevant to your customers. Every move you make or strategy you design must be committed to driving value that solves your clients’ problems. Utilise existing resources to create high value useful to people.
3. Be Open to Change
As we all know, one thing that is constant and you’ll always lose a fight against is change. As an Entrepreneur, CEO or Founder, you’ve got to be agile, act fast, adapt to new systems and innovation. Be sensitive and apt to recognise a switch in technology, consumer needs, delivery processes, etc. Always be at the forefront of adaptation & implementation.
4. Growth, an Enemy of Comfort
I could write a book on this point only because it carries a lot of depth. One thing is certain. If you are going to experience rapid growth, you’ve got to develop the discipline never to settle or become comfortable. Comfort and growth don’t go hand in hand. You’ve got to chose one or the other. Train yourself to always enjoy and appreciate discomfort. Always keep in mind that what brought you here cannot take you there.
5. Become an authority in your ecosystem
What contributions are you making within your ecosystem?
It’s no longer about delivering value to every customer at every place, it’s about being a part of an ecosystem. Don’t aim to be the big player in every system, rather aim to focus on incremental value.
6. Keep Reinventing
If that business is going to be sustainable, you’ve got to keep reinventing everything you have, right from systems to structures, processes, delivery, even your value chain. You must, however, make sure to retain your core belief.
Sustainability is not just by being or doing business. It is a product of deliberate steps and actions taken to achieve it. I strongly recommend that you commit to applying these six keys and you will be sure to see your business on a journey to sustainability.
Let’s keep building. Together we grow Africa!
About the Contributor:
Conqueror Conqueror is a Business Strategist, Coach & Trainer with several years of entrepreneurial experience. He is the Founder/Team Lead of EconNect Africa, an entrepreneurship education & training, business advisory & research firm. He is also the host of the annual event, The Entrepreneur Conference. As a Business Speaker, he brings a different flair to the Entrepreneurial/Business conversation. His keynotes are loaded with modern tools, concepts and strategies. He is also the Cofounder of The Palace, a jewelry & accessories brand.