How to Build a Sustainable Business

Nov 05, 2019

How to Build a Sustainable Business

Sustainability is a more important issue for businesses around the world than ever.

Sustainable resources help eliminate waste and support healthier environments while allowing organizations to continue to provide the services and products that their clients demand. Most often, the term “sustainability” is used in regards to physical goods that have an impact on our ecosystem and preserving the planet.

But what if the same approach to sustainability was used in the context of your services business? Does it function in a consistent, future-ready manner? Will processes, technology, and resources remain efficient and scale with your business over time?

What Does Sustainability Mean in Today’s Businesses?

Investopedia defines sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

When applied to business this means that a company must create a strategy and adopt technology that will not only succeed today, but remain effective and relevant after years of growth and changes within an organization. However, businesses today may adopt technology without a long-term integration strategy which could eventually affect sustainable profits and employee retention.

Like poor environmental processes that create excessive waste and depend on resources that cannot be replenished, bad business practices waste potential revenue and burn out a company’s resources. The effects of non-sustainable business processes include:

  • Unused and unintegrated technology
  • Increased employee turnover
  • Slimmer margins across projects
  • Business process unsuited for scaling
  • Low resource utilization rates

While these may seem like minor inconveniences to a business individually, they add up over time, creating challenges and cutting into profits that prevent growth and efficiency as a business.

The Tenets of Sustainable Business

Creating a scalable, future-proof business that will allow a company to scale its teams appropriately will look different for every organization. However, there are several key factors that can be applied across businesses and adapted to each, depending on their unique demands. These include:

  • Creating Flexible Business Processes – The business processes you depend on today should still be viable and dependable after team growth, gaining new clients, and taking on more tasks. Streamlining tasks and keeping projects moving forward through the use of project management solutions will not only prevent lost time, but create processes that do not break under greater pressure.
  • Using Resources That Adjust With Your Business – Changing clients and market conditions mean that your company may suddenly require additional short-term resources that don’t justify full-time employees. Leveraging contract workers can help your business adjust to sudden increases or decreases in demand while also accessing specialized skills that are not always needed in everyday tasks.
  • Building on Scalable Technology – The solutions used for critical business processes, such as project management, resource management, insights, and accounting, should be able to work for businesses of any size and adapt to changes in business strategy or operational processes. If it cannot, the technology will soon become outdated and lead to inefficiencies, lack of information needed to make informed decisions data and ultimately slow growth.

Applying these tenets to your organization will help you operate today, prepare for the changes that occur as businesses and markets grow and evolve and position you for success.

Ensure Long-Term Success in Your Services Business

Sustainable businesses achieve higher profit margins and long-term success. Learn more in our helpful ebook, “5 Steps to More Profitable Projects,” and start your journey to long-term sustainability today.

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