On my mission to make an impact in the world of sustainability, I spent a lot of time in 2020 talking to owners of small, environmental-focused businesses, to dive deeper into their passions and understand more about their reasons for setting up the companies they run.
We also explored some of the key challenges they've been facing in their businesses and whether there are any industry-specific issues they've had to overcome.
Where have they come from?
There have been some wonderful stories about how these business owners have got to where they are today and what inspired them to set up a sustainability related business, which I thoroughly enjoyed hearing and being able to share my own story with them too.
Some of the themes in these stories include:
- Love of nature, the earth and animals - both on land and at sea
- Influences from family and friends
- Watching documentaries and observing the human impact on the planet
- Having noticed the need for sustainability within their own industry
- Noticing waste in their own home
Whilst there is a growing movement around the climate emergency & creating a more sustainable future, there is still a gap between understanding and action. So, it seems that all businesses in this industry, by default, must operate with a mixture of product and service alongside education and encouragement of others.
The challenges and questions I've been discussing with them include:
- How do we find those that share our values and would benefit the most from our services and products?
- How do we educate others?
- How do we encourage others to care enough to take action?
- How do we give others the confidence to try new solutions, services and products?
Their business and operational issues, however, are almost agnostic of industry.
I actually spent my career, before setting up my own business, working in different industries and seeing for myself how transferrable my skills and knowledge were - because there are definitely shared themes to the problems faced by businesses everywhere!
Having said that, the exact problems themselves can be so varied, with so many options for solutions and approaches - this is where I can add the most value for my clients, helping them get it right first time. The range of experience I have and my extensive network of experts and trusted partners, mean that I will always be able to improve the way a business operates, whilst the leaders of that business focus on leading it!
Some of the topics I've discussed with these business owners have included:
- How to manage the cultural differences in international teams?
- How to effectively scope and plan new project and business ideas?
- How to find and implement the right CRM system for their business?
- How to effectively plan for an uncertain future?
- How to effectively measure progress of their business in the right way?
How can I help?
The great news is that I was able to help with all of the questions they were asking. I could even help with the questions they weren't asking - sometimes as the leader of a business you may not realise that something needs improving, or you may not know where to look.
Through the services provided by DH Professional Solutions, there is always something I can do to help. And if there is something I can do, even just something small, for all of these businesses…. the combined potential impact of that is huge: Hundreds of businesses who are trying to save the world, all operating even more effectively than they were before - that gets us even closer to succeeding in saving the world!