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The Winning Play 🥇

October 20, 2021


How to introduce sustainability to your SMB

A few weeks back, Eventive's Erne Murphy reached out, asking for tips on making small businesses greener. Eco-friendly business practices have become a hot topic. But it’s not a new concern.

The fight for environmental sustainability has been going on for decades. But in recent years, the work of environmental activists and scientists has really shined a light on the negative impacts of climate change. 

Per NASA, we're looking at hotter temperatures, more natural disasters, and rising sea levels - just to name a few consequences. And the everyday consumer is starting to take notice. 

Bill Nye and a burning world

Shipping company Sendle found that at least 75% of consumers consider sustainability an important issue to them personally. In fact,  71% said they would pay more for brands offering sustainable products and commit to reducing their carbon footprint.

As a result, this push for sustainability isn't just happening amongst consumers. Companies are starting to take on their environmental responsibility by pivoting toward more eco-friendly practices and getting transparent about where they're at. 

For example, Nike's Move to Zero project promises to recycle 10x more products by 2025. And JetBlue is the first US airline to go carbon neutral for all domestic flights.

But for a small business with modest budgets, setting similar sustainable standards might seem intimidating. Luckily, there are small, cost-effective changes that can still make a big impact. Here are a few to get you started: 

  • Switch to eco-friendly products. Are your raw materials ethically and sustainably sourced? Is your packaging recyclable or biodegradable? If you said no, search for alternative suppliers in your local community. More eco-friendly material and a reduction of transportation costs will help reduce your business's pollution.
  • Go paperless. A whopping 27% of all municipal waste is just paper. And recycling bins just won't cut it anymore, so the move to digital storage is key. (Not sure where to start? Try making your training paperless with Trainual. 😉)
  • Get certified. Most customers want to feel confident in a business's sustainable practices. So, hold yourself accountable with legitimate green business certifications, like Green C Certification.
  • Partner with green companies. With more businesses making environmentally conscious choices, you have more opportunities to partner with ones that share your sustainability values. (Hint: Look for those partners with matching green business certifications on their website!)

👉 Find more tips on building a sustainable business. 


GaryVee on 5 things all successful startups share

If there’s one online influencer who’s known for giving blunt business advice, it’s Gary Vaynerchuk – perhaps, better known as GaryVee.

Gary Vee says "Let's Go"

GaryVee is a serial entrepreneur, serving as the Chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia. He’s built his career recognizing what’s up-and-coming in culture. And it all started in 1998 – when he pivoted his father’s liquor store into one of the world’s premier alcohol e-commerce platforms.

And now, he’s also one of the most influential entrepreneurs on the planet. Currently, he has 3M+ subscribers on YouTube and 9M+ followers on Instagram.

A few weeks back, we sat down with GaryVee at Playbook 2021, this year’s biggest event in small business, for a candid Q+A on what the most successful startups all have in common. And in typical GaryVee fashion, his answers were insightful, direct, and cutting edge.

  1. They’ve built their brand. GaryVee advises the companies he works with to consistently publish content on social media and establish their online presence. Just make sure you’re providing real value (like actionable tips) in every post.
  2. Efficiency is a top priority. “When people say they don’t have time, I tell them: trust me, you do,” Gary explains. And creating that time could look like cutting hour-long meetings down to 30 minutes and only having the most essential people in the room.
  3. They know the value of “and.” Most businesses look at decisions like this or that. But in most successful companies, they’re this and that. Meaning, it’s best to think about how you can make both options happen. But only if both options are fully vetted and you have the data to back them up, of course.

👉 See all 5 similarities.


How Choozle grew 600% in one year

Choozle Podcast

Starting a business is like flying a plane and trying to fix it at the same time. And on more than one occasion, Choozle nearly ran out of gas.

The Colorado-based ad tech company started out eight years ago as a digital media platform. Less than two years later, it saw an opportunity: to pivot into the programmatic ad space. And it did.

By defining a new category and laser-focusing on programmatic ad solutions for mid-market clients, Choozle was able to change course. And it's seen incredible growth and challenges ever since.

From 2015 to 2016, it grew by an astonishing 600%. Its small team had to juggle keeping pace with an explosion of clients while hiring and onboarding new team members at breakneck speed.

Now, with a headcount of 60 and another 20 new hires planned for this year alone, it's showing no signs of slowing down.

👉 Hear the full story from Choozle's CEO.


This week's highlight reel

  • Easy peasy. Open enrollment season is back! And we’ve made picking the right plan super easy by defining (in everyday English) the most common health insurance terms
  • Just one click! Fintech startup Bolt raised $400M to make “1-Click” checkout available to all companies. Not just Amazon sellers. 
  • Pump it up! In a big bet that in-person fitness will come back stronger than ever, Mindbody acquired Classpass. Plus, they secured $500M in funding for the new entity. 
  • The future is bright. Zoom-based app BrightHire raised $20.5M to help interviewers make smarter hiring decisions. Their AI delivers helpful questions, insights, and data, so companies always choose the right candidate.

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