This is the second post related to Strategies of Abundance for small business ecopreneurs. My first post addressed why paying the bank is often an unwise decision.
Strategy # 2: KISS Principle: Keep It Small Stupid
While the mantra today might be get big or get out, be a millionaire or — for the more socially responsible — “getting to scale” without losing the values the business was founded upon, we’ve discovered the more human-scaled our operations and practices, the more we can accomplish in terms of reaching our Earth Mission.
Size matters not. It’s what and how we operate. Do the best we can in whatever our priorities and live without regrets. It’s a qualitative measure of success, not a quantitative one. Not bigger, but better.
There’s a small mart revolution going on, proclaims Michael Shuman in The Small Mart Revolution. It echoes the “power of one” worldview; we are the world. We don’t underestimate what a nation of ecopreneurial proprietors might collectively accomplish. Perhaps that’s how we view scale: a nation of ecopreneurs. However, we also respect the decision of those ecopreneurs whose fire in their belly lead them to become household names or lead to the sustainable transformation of their communities.
Strategy # 3: Thrive on Natural Capital
Healthy soil provides our daily meals. Winds will blow, regardless of the raging political debate on the pros and cons of renewable energy. Ecopreneurs, by their very focus on enhancing, restoring or preserving natural and social capital through their business operations, will prosper in the emerging restoration economy. Implement The Natural Step framework, or use the Ecological Footprint analysis to guide how, what, and where your business (and life) ebbs and flows. Eliminate waste, for waste is simply lost profits.
As the availability of natural resources continues to decline while the demand for resources increases (thanks to an ever-growing human population and developments in China, India and other nations), just about everything will get more expensive. Many feel it at the pump and produce stand.
At Inn Serendipity, the more energy prices rise, the quicker our investments in renewable energy pay off. Swings in food prices have little impact on our enterprise, since we grow so much ourselves. That’s why we invest in the future, not save for it. Likewise, the more B&B guests who experience a shower with solar-heated water, the more people who realize that a break from fossil fuel is not only possible, it’s pleasurable.
Strategy # 4: Leverage the Local
A theme runs throughout our ECOpreneuring book: there’s a lot to be said for a local economy that’s largely about goods and services being exchanged among neighbors. A strong local economy can reduce shipping costs, exert fewer ecological impacts, offer greater social and community cohesion, result in more money circulated within the community rather than being siphoned off to some distant place, provide a more stable economy with jobs less dependent on distant decision makers and therefore more secure, and provide a genuine ability to build mutual trust among community business owners.