As a business owner, I’ve always been driven by the desire to succeed, grow my business, and make a profit. But over the past few years, I’ve come to realise that there’s more to life than just chasing after financial success. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that businesses should be profitable and sustainable. But I also believe that there’s a way to do business that prioritises something other than just the bottom line: wellbeing.
That’s why, in 2023, I’m setting a new goal for my business: degrowth.
I have been hugely inspired by the incredible Lucy Findlay MBE, from Social Enterprise Mark CIC. I have learnt so much from working alongside Lucy and her team over the past few months, Lucy wrote a blog about degrowth, you can read it here. This is the first time I came across the term DEGROWTH, and it was the start of a revelation for me as a business owner.
What is degrowth?
Degrowth is a movement that advocates for a reduction in the overall scale of the economy, with the goal of improving the wellbeing of both people and the planet. It’s based on the idea that the pursuit of endless economic growth is not sustainable and ultimately leads to negative consequences, such as resource depletion, environmental degradation, and social inequality.
Instead of focusing on growth, degrowth proponents argue that we should prioritise things like sustainability, equity, and quality of life. This means rethinking our relationship with the economy and the way we produce and consume goods and services. It means putting people and the planet before profit.
I believe that degrowth is the right goal for my business for a few reasons. First and foremost, I’ve come to realise that chasing after growth for its own sake is not always the best way to run a business. By prioritising wellbeing over growth, I can focus on creating value for my customers, my team, and my community in a more holistic way.
How to achieve degrowth in a business
Achieving degrowth in a business might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually not as difficult as you might think. Here are a few steps you can take to get started:
- Set clear goals and metrics for success. Instead of just focusing on financial metrics like revenue and profit, consider using metrics like sustainability, customer satisfaction, and employee happiness to measure your progress.
- Rethink your business model. Look for ways to create value without relying on traditional measures of growth, such as reducing waste and increasing efficiency. Consider alternative business models like the sharing economy or circular economy.
- Engage with your community. Building strong relationships with your customers, employees, and other stakeholders can help you create value in a more meaningful way. Consider hosting events or workshops to build connections and create a sense of community.
- Collaborate with other businesses. Instead of competing with other businesses, look for ways to collaborate and create value together. This could involve sharing resources, partnering on projects, or creating networks of like-minded businesses.
As a business owner, I’m excited to embark on this journey towards degrowth in 2023. I believe that it’s possible to run a successful business while also prioritising wellbeing and sustainability. By setting clear goals and metrics, rethinking our business model, engaging with our community, and collaborating with other businesses, I believe we can create a health and well being focused future for business owners and their employees.
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