Anyone can start a business, but do you know how to reach your customers and connect with them? This is especially important if you are running a green business or thinking of starting one. In order to be effective, it’s key to have an holistic message and deliver it through the daily operation of your business. That means your message should permeate every part of your branding and workflow.
Why is this so important? Because if you are truly running your business with the intent to help others and the environment, you’re going to have to know how to communicate. This person-to-person link is the only way you’re going to make real change. Sure, you can run your business with solar power, recycle your old electronic equipment and call it a day. But this is not really running a green business, is it? That is merely taking advantage of green ideas.
If you want your business to really blaze a trail and gain a loyal following, you’re going to have to communicate a solid holistic message.
What is it you want to achieve through your business? Animal conservation? Habitat restoration? Green energy? Veganism? Sustainable farming? There are many avenues, but regardless of what niche your business might be in, you still need an overarching message that is bigger than the business itself. It doesn’t matter if you run a yoga studio or fix cars. You still need to decide what you stand for and find a way to connect with your clients on a deeper level than just providing a service.
How to Craft an Holistic Message
So where do you start? You have the blueprints down to start a green business or turn your current business over into a more sustainable platform, but you haven’t really thought about direction or message. You just kind of want to do “green stuff.” That’s okay! More businesses need to just take the plunge and go green. But if you really want to be effective, you have to have an holistic message that communicates your goals and brings people together.
First and foremost, pick an angle or cause you believe in, something that you are naturally passionate about. You don’t have to think big here if that’s not your thing. If concepts like “saving the Amazon rain-forest” and “exposing the horrors of the dairy industry” seem like too complex and sweeping issues for your little business to tackle, don’t feel like you have to get involved in such things. In this case, sticking to a smaller, more manageable goal is very important.
Let’s say you want to help green the area of the city you live in. Your business can be the force that cleans up local parks, adds trees to the medians, donates seeds and cultivates small gardens. Or maybe you want to help abused or impaired animals. Your business can dedicate itself to funding local veterinarians, shelters, rescues, and sanctuaries. Perhaps you just want to focus on providing a clean energy or green service to your community. Learn everything you can about your niche and spread the word, raise awareness, gather funding and make others realize that your service is needed and would change their lives for the better.
No matter the size of your goals, you can reach others and communicate with them on a deep level. You just have to find what you’re passionate about and incorporate it into your business model. In this way you truly become a “green business,” because you are actually impacting lives and making the world a better place, and that should be the ultimate goal of all business owners.
This is what separates a compassionate, intelligent individual from someone who you know is just trying to turn a buck. Businesses have gotten such a bad reputation lately because corporations are almost synonymous with corruption, greed, environmental destruction, and exploitation. It doesn’t have to be this way though: you can run a business and provide a service, while dynamically changing things around you for the better and impacting people’s lives in a positive way.
You want to know a surefire key to success? There it is. Purposeful direction with people in mind. That should be the root of your message and business branding.
Holistic Business Practices
Once you craft and hone your message and decide what your business is going to be about, you should take the time to learn what your business can do to specifically make change. These practices don’t necessarily have to relate directly to your message, but find ways to tie everything back to your message.
The actions you display can all be a marketing tool. The best way to get your message across is often to simply let your actions speak for themselves. If people can find your message in your basic everyday business practices, you’re going to have a stellar reputation and word about what you’re doing will spread.
Here are a few examples of holistic business practices that everyone should be getting into, even if you’re not specifically a part of the green revolution:
- Convert your business to green energy by purchasing and installing solar panels. It is considered one of the best investments for a property right now, as well as a smart business move. In 5 to 10 years, the panels not only pay for themselves, but will reduce your electricity bill substantially and may even provide power back to the electrical grid, all with zero emissions or harm to the environment.
- Make sure you are disposing of all waste in your business properly, especially things like batteries, light bulbs, electronics, and plastic. If you want to build a solid foundation, this is where you start.
- View client interaction as a means of helping them, nothing else. This is one of the secrets to successful businesses: they aren’t just trying to sell a product. Business owners know that success breeds when you are lifting others up and genuinely trying to help them. Go out of your way to make your business feel like a place people can go to for assistance, help, or just a collective shoulder to lean on. Interact with the local community, get active on social media and get involved with your client’s lives. This will put you leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.
- If you have a brick and mortar business, start cultivating a garden. You might think this is not something that is connected with running a business or spreading an holistic message, but nothing could be more important. Every action that involves growing more plants, wherever and however possible, should be encouraged. The benefits are numerous and the drawbacks are few and far between. Even if you can only plant a few potted flowers, this could be enough to attract or feed a few butterflies or bees. In this age of depleted and destroyed ecosystems and the mass dying off of several integral animal species, growing plants is not only holistic, it’s radical.
- If you run any kind of business where you take on clients in your office, such as consultations or the medical industry, consider adding plants to your decor. Plants have a proven ability to make people feel calm, they aid in purifying the air, and also regulate humidity.
- Convert soaps and detergents to eco-friendly alternatives.
- Seek to make food options in your business vegan or as organic and cruelty-free as possible. Though it is understandable that many people in the holistic health and wellness industry are not vegan, one of the most powerful messages of holistic activism you can send is one of true peace, harmony, and non-violence by taking a stand against the meat and dairy industries.
- Join or sponsor community events. There’s no better way to get your name there and catch the attention of prospective clients by participating in or hosting events that bring people together. Community events are powerful ways to not only get your message out there, but to get people involved in activism and community issues. Say for example if there is a park or public space near you that needs to be cleared of litter, or painted, etc. Host some kind of barbecue, raise some funds for the tools necessary, and see what you can do to bring people together for a bit of fun, food, and community restoration. You’d be surprised at how powerful a tool this can be for your business and for yourself. When you understand others better on a personal level you can serve them better with your business products and services, and you will be doing your part to make your community more holistic. It’s a complete win-win.
- Donate to local holistic causes. This one is underrated and important. Sure, “money” isn’t the first thing people typically think about when you hear the word “holistic,” but we’re more interested in real results, not pie-in-the-sky ideas. And that means we know that money gets things done. You can say you support a cause, but the reality is, ALL organizations need money in this society to be effective. It doesn’t matter whether they are an animal shelter, vegan bakery, arborist, sustainable ecology expert, heirloom seed propagator, holistic masseuse, or a yoga teacher, money is how you advertise, buy supplies, pay your bills, and take care of your personal needs in order to keep the business afloat. This goes for nonprofits and charities especially – they don’t finance themselves with wishes and good thoughts. So if you support holistic causes, put your money where your mouth is and use your business and its prosperity to make other holistic businesses and organizations prosperous. Donate to the cause of your choice or use your money to directly aid them by volunteering, purchasing and donating supplies for them, or helping them to advertise. People helping people is one of the pillars of being holistic.
Cultivate An Holistic Mindset
Your business should be an extension of you. Don’t look at it as just a way to pay the bills or even to provide services. If you want your business to speak on your behalf, you have to be sure that the voice doing the speaking is balanced and holistic. This means, make sure you are doing what you can to cultivate an holistic mindset in your day-to-day life.
This is important for a multitude of reasons. First of all, anything you approach with a balanced mind is going to turn out better in the long run. You’re going to make better choices, be better prepared, act on situations quicker, and adapt at a faster pace. The holistic mind is a sound mind. You want to your business operating under balanced principles, and you have to steer the ship. You’re not going to be sending a completely holistic message if you are scatterbrained, unbalanced, aggravated, or unhealthy.
Another important point to consider is the clarity of your message. People hate it when they see posers, or the “do what I say, not what I do” crowd. If you are promoting aromatherapy oils but are known to run around your workplace riled up and agitated, something is not right. If you profess to want people to live holistically through proper diet and exercise yet are constantly complaining or playing the “poor me” card, you’re living out an imbalance. This is going to affect your message.
It’s far more important for you to be balanced before all else – you are the engineer, the crafter, the weaver. You are the architect in your life, so the last thing you want to be building is doubt and uncertainty. There is nothing worse than someone who professes to be balanced or wise, yet they are known to be short-tempered, tardy, mismanaged, or spiteful.
As you run your business, consider waking up earlier and going to bed earlier. Start eating a filling, healthy breakfast full of fresh fruits. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and make sure you practice proper hygiene. Make sure your workplace is neat, and by this I mean, limit the clutter and excess around you. If there are piles of papers on your desk or you find yourself at a loss for where you put a certain tool or email, you’re doing it wrong. An holistic mindset will make you so much more efficient, your business will naturally get affected in a positive way.
One last note about the holistic mindset: start meditating. This is a huge life change that many CEO’s, business owners, sports figures, and even movie stars are adopting. Why? Because meditation has one of the best, proven track records of improving health, mental stability, ability to make sound choices, handle stress, and solve problems. It is one of, if not the most powerful tool to strengthen and balance the mind. The health and life benefits of meditation are numerous, so naturally these positive effects will seep into your business and become a part of your branded message.
Your Holistic Path Starts Now
You already know what’s best for your business, message, and your own personal health. I assume you just read this entire article – that means you are mentally equipped with the information necessary to enact change and get your message out there. Your business can be a vehicle for positive change in the world, and you can steer the ship. Don’t hesitate or wait on making changes to your business methods or brand. If you know you can walk the holistic path, do it. No matter how hard you think it is, you won’t have any regrets once you start seeing the dramatic changes in the way your business functions.
Reaching people and touching them with a message should be the primary concern of your business.
It’s not about making money, it’s not about making ends meet, it’s not even about the product or service you are selling, although those things are important. What an holistic business is all about is how you affect change in the world and the people around you. Craft your message and start shouting it from the rooftops. Clients will come, customers will come, relationships will form, and change will be made. This is the cultivation of holistic space, and works every time.