There are plenty of green business ideas to earn extra income or make a living – from selling homemade clothing or recycled furniture to opening an organic spa or gift shop, starting an organic food stand, and recycling materials such as aluminum, cardboard, plastic, and paper.
Recycling, for example, helps turn used items into usable materials. This is one way to contribute to environmental conservation and make a profit at the same time. Opening an organic spa and beauty salon is also a great idea for a green business. Many beauty products are packed with harmful substances, chemicals, and compounds. A green beauty salon, on the other hand, uses healthier products for treatments such as straightening, color correction, color retouch, and others. Another option is to become a green business consultant to help companies develop and implement good practices. There are many ideas for an eco-friendly business, including opening a bicycle repair shop, developing mobile apps with eco-friendly features and functions, upcycling old furniture, and many others. Whatever the type of business, this is a way to contribute to sustainable development and minimize impact on the environment.
Green businesses are actually profitable, and the reason is that they save money by boosting productivity, improving energy efficiency, and minimizing waste. Of course, how profitable a business is depends on the product or service offered, location, market share, and other factors.
Writing a good business plan is the first step to opening a green business, especially for entrepreneurs who seek to secure external financing. A detailed business plan highlights the potential benefits for end-consumers and local communities, for example, reducing physical waste by using recycled and organic materials, minimizing water waste, using energy-efficient machinery and equipment, etc. Obviously, a detailed business plan includes sections on your labor and capital requirements, financial projections, sales and marketing strategies, competitive analysis, market research, and more. The goal is to convince creditors that your idea is profitable and you are serious about keeping your business running.
There are different ways to obtain external financing in Canada, including private loan providers and funding available under the Canada Small Business Financing Program. Many small businesses apply for loans under the government program to benefit from low-cost financing and purchase equipment, buildings, or land. Start-ups and small-size businesses with a revenue of up to $10 million are free to apply for a government-sponsored loan. Applicants are asked to present a business plan when submitting an application to their credit union, caisse populaire, bank, or another financial institution. The list of participating institutions includes the National Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Banque Laurentienne du Canada, Niverville Credit Union, and many others. Another option is to apply for an unsecured or secured loan from a private provider (see this), whether a finance company, bank, or another entity. Banks in Canada offer business loans, lines of credit, overdrafts, and other financial products. Many banks offer specialized products such as start-up loans, franchise financing, agriculture loans, and others. A small-size loan (see this) from a large or local bank, for example, allows businesses to buy equipment, tools, and fixed assets and meet operating expenses. Another idea is to apply for a business line of credit to improve your cash flow and cover daily expenses. Using a business credit card (see this) is yet another way to pay for day-to-day expenses, monitor and limit employee spending, and take advantage of business perks. What is more, timely payments help boost your score and increase your credit limit. A loan from a finance company is also an option, but the interest rate is usually higher.