Going green with your small business marketing printing is one of the best steps you can take to enhance your small business on several levels, from saving money and cutting down waste to gaining positive media coverage free of charge. The following is a step-by-step plan to going green with printing for your small business.
Step 1: Print eco-friendly materials
No business wants to sacrifice quality or budget for green printing, and fortunately you don't have to when you choose a printing company that offers premium eco-friendly paper stocks such as 13-point recycled matte. This type of paper looks just as good (or better) than traditional non-recycled papers, and there is little difference in price.
You should also print your materials using eco-friendly soy inks, which have replaced petroleum-based inks at green printing companies. Petroleum inks release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the environment; while soy inks release far fewer VOCs during the drying process.
Make sure your preferred green printing company likewise follows eco-friendly business practices such as recycling; and when you print direct-mail marketing pieces have your printer mail them out for you to avoid the cost and carbon emissions associated with a middleman shipping company.
Step 2: Tell your customers that you've gone green
There's no shame in letting your valued customers know that you not only value their business, but you also value their welfare and have taken measures to go green with your printing. Include a green or eco-friendly logo and explanation of your company's commitment to going green and making responsible business decisions.
You can also check your other suppliers and distributors to see what their green practices are, since a company truly committed to doing green business will want to make sure its partners likewise share the same commitment.
Step 3: Get free PR for your green efforts
Become the local or industry expert on going green with your small business (you can do this by unofficial proclamation - really!) and then use your expertise to write a free column for your local newspaper or industry trade magazine. The writing will only take a few minutes every week or month, but the PR value of your third-party acknowledged expertise will be worth a small fortune.
You can also try creative events such as challenging other businesses to go green, awarding employees for their own green habits at home, and hosting an event in which anyone can bring in a non-green item and have it replaced with a green item (a dusting solution, for example). The goal is not necessarily direct sales from your event, but overall exposure that over time will make you the go-to company for your product or service because people are buying based on your eco-friendly efforts.
So, to recap: you get premium quality, you get to save money, you get to earn the respect of your customers, and you get free PR ... altogether, you know this will lead to more sales. What are you waiting for? It all starts with going green with your small business marketing printing!