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Simple steps to start the green transformation

drgreenhouse3Our planet is under duress. It is contaminated—and it is up to you to help save it now.

That declaration might sound like an overture to a superhero movie, but experts have long known that how we live, shop, eat, and produce goods can harmfully affect the Earth.

“African Americans, especially, should not treat environmental issues as insignificant, but as a necessary source to save money,” says Norris McDonald, founder, president, and director of the African American Environmentalist Association, based in Fort Washington, Maryland. “The African American consumer market is the profit margin for most products and services. So our purchases and lifestyle habits can make a difference in what distributors offer.”
As African Americans have become more urbane, McDonald says, farming and natural lifestyles aren’t as appealing and have been replaced with modern lifestyles and technology. However, reverting back to these rich traditions is necessary to reverse the damage being done to the environment. “It cleans up the planet and it saves money,” he says.

If you doubt that you’re having a real impact on the environment, measure your carbon footprint—an assessment of your impact on the environment as measured in units of carbon dioxide—at www.carbonfootprint.com. Your results may be alarming.

If consumers make at least one simple lifestyle change in their homes each week, they will save trees and animals, help slow global warming, and protect us and our children from the health hazards arising from exposure to a contaminated environment. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Paper or plastic bags? Neither. Use re-useable, inexpensive canvass or cloth bags instead.
  • Drink filtered tap water in refillable jugs instead of bottled water to manage landfill waste.
  • Buy from local farmers’ markets to lower transportation costs and support small food producers.
  • Adjust thermostats by one degree: Lower the heat and wear more clothing; turn the air conditioner temperature down and use fans.
  • Recycle books, paper, plastic, batteries, and clothing, and buy recycled products and consignment.
  • Go paperless. Receive and pay bills online.
  • Use less water: turn off while brushing your teeth and lathering in the shower. Check water drips.
  • Unplug cell phone chargers and other appliances that are not in use.
  • Turn off lights and replace incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs to use 75% less energy.
  • Improve your home’s insulation by checking the weather stripping around windows and doors.
  • Buy or make natural cleaning products.
  • Apartment tenants, encourage landlords to fix leaks and insulation gaps to prevent rent increases.

Learn more about greening your home at www.greenhome.com, www.thegreenguide.com and www.greatgreenpet.com.

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Elaine Jackson

    Great comments on how to be prepared for a great business

  • VanceG

    Great start! 

  • Carolynne

    Good ideas.  Do you have any sort of outline to help plan a business?  I have had a successful business with a partner starting from grassroots without a plan and it grew but now I am venturing out on my own on a much larger scale…very exciting!

  • Aieshal

    This information was great!! I can’t wait to get my business going. 

  • Mjareaux

    There are many sites that offer biz plan software, and many are free. check cnet.com to start

  • Kennette

    I am going to replay the video and write down the checklist talked about.  I think it is perfect, it is concise, and easy to follow.  I am going to share it with other individuals I come across that are trying to start a business.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500905412 Jay ‘Komplikated’ Veal

    What are the key points to ask for funding in grants? I am not in the red at all and feel that I can gain hundreds if not thousands of more clients just by getting a grant to cover cost.

  • Stylediva916

    Love all of bullet points.

  • Tscottbru

    Excellent presentation and easy to listen to. 

  • Dlhoops3

    Wow. Great information. Wow.

  • Shay

    I’ve worked with templates in the past, they are very helpful, thanks for all the great tips!

  • Lafay01

    This was good information…much needed

  • Askmysecretary

    I see how this will help to get the business off to a great start!

  • Askmysecretary

     This was the perfect start to the SBU. As I am starting out and I am a single mother, I love her pointing out in the life plan think of you and your family, Also, reminding us to write out the business plan and business concept.

  • Edwardboyd77

    Very informative with tips that will aid me as my plans start to take off !! These 6 keys should help be successful.

  • Kendrick Goree

    great advice. Thanks BE

  • Klowens0305

    Great advice! The business plan seems to be the stumper for most people.

  • Rnvus1

    Sound Advice. Very easy to understand

  • Rnvus1

    Sound Advice. Very easy to understand

  • Suzifamouscakes

    Great ideas! I really enjoyed the lesson.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000459650183 Kayia Royal-Smith

    I can attest to all of the suggestions offered by the Small Biz Lady.  I have taken a break to go back to school so I can take my business to another level with a certification in my chosen field, but I know she’s right on point with her advice. 

  • Erica D.

    Great video! I know my target market but I do need to work on a business plan.

  • http://www.heavensdisciples.com/ Heaven’s Disciples

    Great video. Creating a detailed customer profile, defining how my business will support me, and updating my business plan are things I need to add to my checklist.

  • http://twitter.com/lovelyone105 Charisse Johnson

    Great ideas!

  • http://www.iloverumcake.com/ Rhonda

    EXCELLENT!  So excited about the tips!

  • Laquita

    Great infonin my first lesson. I’m excited 😄

  • Victorine

    I have recently started watching Black Enterprise  on cable and I must tell you how much I enjoy it and how it has helped me to continue pursuing my dream in having my own business in construction. Thank you and all your staff for this wonderful program.

  • Lisa

    Read an article a few years ago about picking a career or business that aligns with the life you want. Makes you prioritize and focus on what’s really important when creating your life

  • Kimberly

    Great start! Looking forward to hearing more!

  • Launchedladies

    Very helpful! Working on my business plan ASAP!

  • Faykeys1

    excellent

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1138869896 Thanesha Wilson

    This review was great, I am definently on the right track. My recent challenge is writing my business plan. I have a target date for completion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000202743986 LaShunda Martin

    Thanks Small Business Lady! I so far have everything in place. But you gave me vital tidbits of information that more than encouraged me to keep pushing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ferventsontony.harrison Ferventsontony Harrison

    im still working on my business plan and i have my taget market thank you

  • Lucubrate75

    The answer to the points problem may be in the rules, which I believe have change in order to deny that there is a problem with the points system, it states as follow: COMPLETION OF A TASK DOES NOT INDICATE THAT THE ENTRANT HAS BEEN OR WILL BE AWARDED THE POINTS ASSOCIATED WITH THAT TASK. SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT, IN ITS SOLE AND ABSOLUTE DISCRETION, TO REJECT, DISQUALIFY AND OR REMOVE ANY ENTRANT AND/OR THE POINTS (OVER 5,000 OF MY POINTS HAS BEEN REMOVED) ASSOCIATED WITH ANY TASK FOR ANY ENTRANT THAT VIOLATES THESE OFFICIAL RULES WITHOUT ANY NOTIFICATION OR WARNING SO THAT EXPLAINS IT IN A NUT SHELL THOSE OF US WHO ARE NOT RECEIVING POINTS OR HAD POINTS TAKEN AWAY MAY HAVE VIOLATED THE RULES HOW? YOU WILL NEVER KNOW BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT TELL YOU SO YOU CAN JUST STOP CRYING AND WORRYING ABOUT IT, JUST DEAL WITH IT AN MOVE ON. I READ THE RULES CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW I VIOLATED THEM, I KNOW I’M A BIT OF A REBEL AT TIMES, SO I QUESS I HAVE BEEN EXPEL THAT IS WHY THEY REMOVED MY POINTS LOL I HAVE BIGGER FISH TO FRY ONE THING FOR SURE THEY ARE GOING TO REMEMBER MY NAME http://lucubrate.co

  • K Acrosby

    Excellent takeaways!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cloyallhs Cloyette Harris-Stoute

    I just registered for the courses.  Great tips to start ups.  Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cloyallhs Cloyette Harris-Stoute

    I just registered for the courses.  Awesome advice.  Thank you.

  • Dccitylife

    Great video, short and to the point.  Good stuff 

  • Gourmet Queen NY

    Great advice about the life plan. Too often we get caught up in the details of building a business without realizing that the building it up may break you down in the process.

  • http://www.nthedetails.com/ NTheDetails.com

    Great list!

  • http://www.nthedetails.com/ NTheDetails.com

    I never thought about the idea of having a ‘Life Plan’, but it makes complete sense.

  • http://www.sapersteinandassociates.info/ ssaperstein

    great start up tips, the side hustle and business/financial plan are my top 3

  • Tim

    This was good advise for someone who wants to start a profit business, however what are the rules of engagement for a non-profit business of which I want to begin dealing with Men’s Health Issues. I am keenly aware of some of this checklist will cross curricula for all businesses. But its important to not focus only on for-profit ones.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUQ3BZXSV2F5S3YKNCZYS4BYYM Natika Gatson

    Im going to read your book “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.  I have multiple businesses that I would love to start but just don’t know where to start & I appreciate this forum…

  • http://southernrootskitchen.blogspot.com/ Kimberlee S

    Great list on preparing for your business

  • Infinitepurelove

    Great info. just what I needed to hear.

  • Misha

    This is an awesome checklist. It was organized and concise to let me know what the major steps are that I need to take.

  • Dlovitt2

    Our “Small Biz Lady” tells us about our key componets for our business tool box which is a required checklist for a successfull business.  As a business owner these important stepsis what we must be mindfull of as our business grows.

  • http://twitter.com/FrancesDoughert Frances Dougherty

    Thank you so much for this.  This information has been so useful for me with my small business. 

  • Phoebe

    Thanks, direct and to the point.

  • Sacharaniartistry

    Where do franchises fit into this?

  • Donna

    Great advice! Particularly, the inclusion of a Life Plan. I had a retail business in the past that did very well. Unfortunately my family relationships suffered. I was fortunate that we recovered from it.  Not this time. Lesson learned. Now I’m including life outside of work inside the plan. Thanks for the confirmation.

  • Debussey626

    I agree with information. Great presentation.

  • http://twitter.com/BizyMan20 Dvon Dowell

    Great Info!

  • De’on

    I agree with all points made here. But what if, for instance, you’re like me and don’t have a REAL salary coming in? Should you then go full force into starting up your new business? Or continue to work part time while starting up and/or launching?

    • bevmick

      I’m fortunate that the business I am working to develop (catering/event planning) is also a business in which I can freelance, work as a temp, and/or contract my services through various agencies or craigslist and glean new skills and experience while still working independently. Is your industry similarly adaptable in this way …?

      • De’on

        My industry, wardrobe styling & personal shopping, is; however, getting a client base is hard when my actual business isn’t established and I’m working part time in a completely different field. I have done a few freelance jobs, but I’m finding that freelancing in my area, on the hours I have free isn’t very easy.

        My (sort of) expertise is in editorial styling, so I’ve only worked with clients for personal styling once or twice. I am trying to get a job as a personal shopper in a department store, so that I am gaining more skills that can apply to my personal styling & shopping business once it launches. But even finding those types of jobs isn’t a walk in the park.

        I just want to get the business up and running; I don’t want to feel like I’ve hit a dead end & get stuck there.

        • bevmick

          I ended up in catering/event planning, but guess what? I have a BFA in Visual Communications with major areas of concentration in Fashion and Graphic Design. My first question to you is: Do you have any degree(s) and/or certification(s) because everyone who thinks they have a sense of style calls themselves a “stylist,” for God’s sake! Think about Kim Kardashian! EEK! Have some credibility behind yourself; have a book/portfolio of your work at the ready …

          • De’on

            Ha ha ha! You’re right, styling is an “everybody thinks they can do it” kind of job. I have a BA in Fashion Design & Merchandising. I have already begun a portfolio, but much of my work is editorial. I also interned as a fashion assistant at a local magazine and have written many style, health & beauty pieces.

            I’ve been looking into different trainings & certifications that’d be good to have (without going back to school). I think what I may do, is try to get a part-time personal shopping job at a store like Bloomingdale’s/Saks, that way I can gain experience working with real people. But I’m even worried about getting stuck in THAT.

            This is why I’ve been telling myself it’s now or never, to go full force. I just… I want to be able to do it right. You know?

  • bevmick

    Although I’ve been doing a part-time business for some time now, it never hurts to be reminded of the basics in order to go back and revisit those things that can determine your failure or success.

    • http://twitter.com/SirBrotherhood Stephen Sean Hewett

      So true, one has to constantly reinvigorate one’s entrepreneurial spirit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=645660622 DeWayne Alston

        I just went through this experience just yesterday, the need to reinvigorate my entrepreneurial spirit.

  • BreeNR

    Well hello all! I def am behind on the classes as I just registered this starting class is on point. I’m currently a business owner looking to improve on my 3 month old business. SBU is right on time. Def need to update my business plan and ensure that the other plans (financial, life, etc.) are in line with what I originally set out to do. Its funny how easily you can start with one plan, but when the ball starts rolling you just roll with it. Time to tighten up!

  • Sandra Butler

    Develop a life plan and a financial plan that will benefit your family….

  • Sandra Butler

    Develop a life plan and a financial plan that will benefit your family….

  • Warfieldjoe

    Great tips! I’m applying this month. I having given myself 30 days to organize. This tells me I’m on the right track. Thanks :)

  • Hope Randall

    Very informative and detailed

  • Arienne Hudson

    The SBU courses are very informative. I’m so excited to start my business with the information I’m receiving I think the SBU courses are a great idea for new and seasoned entrepreneurs. Pass on the success!!!!

  • Ulc_tutoring

    Good information!  Didn’t really know that the business plan should be updated every 2-3 months.

  • Mrazq1

    As usual, great information! Thanks!!

  • L morton

    I’ve been trying to encourage my husband, a small business owner, to maintain an up-to-date business plan…maybe he needs to watch this video.  Very practical information provided…smart move – start your business WHILE you’re still working. Like that!

  • Tettcommunitydevelopment

    great information…didn’t know you should update your business plan every 2 to 3 months during the first few years of business.

  • Zurriane

    Good information,  Most of us that are in for the long haul need these types of reminders.

  • Shelia

    Just started classes today. Wont be able to win a prize or get points, but its never too late to take advatage of good business advice / knowlege.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Antonio-Jones/659291571 Antonio Jones

    Very good info, never bad to revisit the exentials of the beginning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Antonio-Jones/659291571 Antonio Jones

    Very good info, never bad to revisit the exentials of the beginning.

  • Richard Jackson

    This is good stuff. I’m just getting going and I’m glad this information is available. Thanks BE!

  • http://twitter.com/JSC_MGMT Justina Ajusma

    You should look into your local Small Business Development Center

    Or contact SCORE/sba. They offer alot of resources to guide you 

  • http://twitter.com/JSC_MGMT Justina Ajusma

    I agree. That was a good point. We have to constantly re-assess our Plans

  • http://twitter.com/JSC_MGMT Justina Ajusma

    Great Information. Thanks BE

  • csaunders4

    I totally believe that a business can’t start without a business plan..it took me awhile to start one and it’s an ongoing project!

  • Maria

    Hello everyone!  I just found out about Black Enterprise University!  I am exited to know that my family and I are on the right track as for as our start up business is concerned.  However, our cup is not full and I am excited to learn all i can about becoming a successful business.

  • http://twitter.com/AFLStudio Juana Sky

    lol. @ do not start a restaurant b/c you like to eat … 

  • Renee

    The check list was awsome.

  • Bobby

    Always invest in yourself first.

  • Sandra Butler

    BUILD A LIFE PLAN TO START THE BUSINESS OF YOUR DREAMS….KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.START A BUSINESS WHERE YOU HAVE THE SKILLS…TO START…

  • Jacquie Parish

    This information was right on point.  I started my business in November 2010, however, I am still working my 9-5.  

  • Mckela Simon

    I start my jewerly bussniess a year ago and when i first start the piece i brought has gone up in price and now im at a stand til on funds..but this did give me some  ideas on what to do next

  • Mckela Simon

    This was some good info i been in the my bussiness for about a year and i wish i would have know about tis before i got start in it…

  • Rene Michelle Floyd

    Wow! I finally got to start these courses…so excited to learn how to go to the next level.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ABCWellnessFitnessCenter Tammy Wright

    We’ve been in business fulltime since 2008 and it is true to start your business as a side hussle until your business can make some $$.  I did not know to update my business plan every 2-3 though, but it make since because the economy is ever-changing.

  • ijeremythompson

    For some reason I cannot view any of the courses.  Does anyone know where I can find some help?

  • tythestylist

    So, I was having a conversation with a parent of a 18year old who said her daughter’s favorite magazine is Black Enterprise.  I felt so inadquate, I purchased the magazine think that I would not be completely interested in this magazine…To my surprise, I feel like this was the missing link in my life.  It is amazing that I have been doing research on starting my own business and when i open up the pages in the magazine…I AM LEARNING SO MUCH!  I HAVE SIGNED UP FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS UNIVERSITY AND I AM ENJOYING MYSELF!  THESE ARE EXCELLENT COURSES AND GREAT FOR A BEGINNER LIKE ME!

  • tythestylist

    Can someone tell me how I take the quizzes?

  • http://www.facebook.com/camachocolon Michael A. Camacho Colon

    This was definitely a refresher on what is the skeleton of a proper business.

  • http://twitter.com/soyoungco Sonya YYoung&Company

    I really enjoyed the Small Business Check List course, it really gave informative tips in planning my start-up business. Thank you for the reminder to update the business plan every 2 to 3 months. Awesome class.

  • Octavia Conner

    Great video. I started my business part-time until I had reached certain goals laid out in my business plan. It is true that I have to revise my plan every so often, but it helps me to stay on track and reach my business goals.

  • Wizzdom

    Great start up information! It’s important to start with the basics and build a strong foundation that you can always go back and revise as you progress.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1263115937 Donna Love Taylor

    Should you hire someone to do a business plan for you, or do it yourself?

  • Ben Cortez

    These our some great steps to start a business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1263115937 Donna Love Taylor

    I had an unusual startup.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1263115937 Donna Love Taylor

    I had an unusual startup.

  • Oneness4Real

    Thank yoo “SBU” for this course, it’s great information!
    Have a Blessed Day:)

  • lynden

    I agree with the bussiness lady, you must do your business as a side hussle because your business never makes money as anticipated. I started a business in January of 2011 and June of 2012, it is almost paying for it self. By the end of the year, it should be self financed.

  • shirl

    i am excited to get started and pray i findthe answers for my new business

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicole.quallis Nicole Quallis

    I second that…i am a part-time entrepreneur, with a small business management consulting business; focusing on building my business part-time until it can replace my full-time income

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicole.quallis Nicole Quallis

    I second that…i am a part-time entrepreneur, with a small business management consulting business; focusing on building my business part-time until it can replace my full-time income

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1263115937 Donna Love Taylor

    Every business owner or manager needs to have a refresher course periodically, and readjust their business plan and focus

  • Taniesha

    This was great start up advise!! I’m so anxious to start my business.

  • Devonne

    I recently started doing a part-time business and the SBU is right on time, the take away tips were very informative.

  • Michael Miller

    I wish I had been told to do a Life Plan first back when I tried my first small business.

  • Mrs J

    Good information did’nt realize needed to stay on current job until making same income.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1263115937 Donna Love Taylor

    Changes are inevitable so we have to adapt to change and find other alternatives. Same with a business plan, to ensure you are on the right track.

  • Husband & Wife Go Green

    Very enlightening…. it helps you to really think about your vision effectively.

  • http://twitter.com/SirBrotherhood Stephen Sean Hewett

    i often have trouble with the question, “What do you want out of life?” Honestly, I just want the freedom to do whatever. Not really sure past that.

  • michael125

    I’m currently working and trying to give a jolt of electricity to my trainig business. This is why I’m starting from scratch.

  • Ibrahim Koleosho

    This is timely. I am about to start 2 small businesses in Accra Ghana. A restaurant and a small farming. I will review my plans base on these 6 simple rules.

  • Campus Basics

    Thanks for the reminder to re-evaluate the business plan by updating it every 2-3 months.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wendy.j.hickson Wendy Jackson Hickson

    After viewing this video I found that I need to go back and complete valuable steps in order to continue having a business.

  • http://twitter.com/J5acDesigns J5ac Designs

    As I am a start up, the take-aways from this video are appreciated.