The greening of the American economy is underway. Up and down the country, we are seeing the gradual embrace of environmentally-friendly products and materials. What green entrepreneurs are waiting for is the moment when green consumerism reaches the mainstream. At the moment, many are hard at work trying to explode the myth that green products are simply a niche.
"The real question is 'How does green equal better?'" says Joel Makower, executive editor of GreenBiz.com and author of Strategies for the Green Economy told Entrepreneur magazine recently. "That is, how does making the green choice become a no-brainer, because it's just clearly the better choice. You buy the green car because it's more fun to drive or a better deal. Until it's about that, it's going to be a niche audience."
We are constantly trying to sketch out where the next big business opportunities will come from on this blog. While there is no denying the strength of the green sector, we are still far away from the day a driver selects a new electric automobile over a gas-guzzler because it provides better fuel efficiency. But the Entrepreneur story has great insight from the businesses that are driving green business into the mainstream.
"The challenge facing green-product companies going mainstream is how to motivate consumers to shop value and not simply price. The key is to define and present both the product and green value in one marketing message," says David Mleczko, co-founder of Signature Green Marketing, in the piece.
The story identifies the cleaning sector as one of the biggest areas for green growth. Demand is growing for more ethical cleaning products. At Franchise Direct alone, we are seeing a huge upsurge in cleaners targeting the green sector. The story also makes a point of noting that Walmart is doing a lot to improve its carbon footprint and has even been publishing its own sustainability index. So the stars are definitely aligning for the green industry.
And probably more than other industry, green franchises make a lot of sense for entrepreneurs, as they offer a direct path to success, without the unpredictability of a start-up.