Video: Sustainability Basics for Business Operations

(Alice Shaw Speaks)

Good afternoon everyone. Can you hear me okay? Bianca is nodding. Okay, great.

I'm Alice Rios Shaw, project lead in the Dallas College Human Resources professional development department. We welcome you to the breakout session today as part of the Sustainability Summit. So for those of you who've never participated in a WebEx event before, just a few tips that we would like to share with you. One of those being that we do have closed captioning availability and excuse me, we are going to make that available to you and you should be able to see that. You can use a navigation bar that pops up at the bottom of the screen to access the functions of captioning is available there as well. And at the end of the webinar, you'll be able to ask and fill out an evaluation just to let us know what you thought about the session. And that greatly helps us improve our efforts for the next webinar that we do. So please do so when it pops up on your screen because your feedback is very important to us.The webinar is being recorded and it will then be available on our website after the transcription and the captioning are completed to comply with ADA accessibility compliance measures.

So, let's go ahead and get started with our session today. Our presenter is Bianca Grant, and we welcome you Bianca. Bianca comes from working in a small family business, and then she opened her own remote services firm in 2008. Bianca has assisted clients large and small for more than 20 years now. She says she is a natural born problem solver. She has a lot of hands-on experience with how business and technology merge and work together. She's worked in government, in education, and in the private sector and various support roles, working with international firms in an administrative (inaudible) Bianca to understand how business functions around the globe and how strategic planning, coupled with a highly qualified administrative team equals success. Bianca brings all of her experience and love of problem-solving to this role as the owner of VBS of Texas in determining each client's administrative needs and constructing an innovative way that will help a lot of businesses run seamlessly. So, without further ado, I'm gonna go ahead and pass it over to Bianca.

(Bianca Grant Speaks)

Hi guys, thank you for joining us today. So today we're going to get right into some sustainability basic for business operations. As Alice said, I am the CEO of (inaudible) business service of Texas. And one of the ways that I do help clients is to help them to sustain their business, are to create ways to sustain their business or help them when they're trying to maintain Business, sustaining their business. So we're going to hop right into it. I do want to remind you guys that we do have a handout of digital information. And you can scan it right here on the QR code now and we will show it again at the end of the presentation.

So let's get into it Sustainability basics for business operations. The world continues to use natural resources unsustainably, despite the technological advances that promoting energy efficiency gains. Commercial and residential energy consumption continues to grow and that can greatly affect the sustainability of a day to day business operations, especially when it comes to consumption and production. So what are the biggest energy expenses for small businesses? Well, of course, lightbulbs, we need light bulbs to run the business, to have certain energy levels, but also desktop computers and monitors are staple in small businesses today. However desktop computers cost a great deal in terms of energy. For example, a typical desktop computer can use about 250 watts per hour with a monitor adding another 20 to 40 watts per hour. Just think of this, if this desktop computer is left on all day that is really a lot of energy. And even your average laptop computer uses between 15 and 26 watts per hour, between 15 and 60 watts per hour, sorry. And if you do leave those monitors on at night or through the weekend when the business is not in operation, they can continue to suck up power and waste energy. And then of course, we have office, the office copy machine that again, that is a common appliances in small business today. However, these machines use a great deal of energy, even when they're in sleep, or stand by mode. The average copier uses 2400 watts while running, 310 watts while in standby mode and 200 watts while in sleep mode. This means that even when you're not using the machine to make copies, the devices is still costing in the business energy. And then the big one, which is paper. So paper pollution causes serious and causes serious adverse effects to the quality of air, water, and the land around us. 86 gallons of water is used to make 2.2 pounds of paper. And it takes about 2.6 gallons of water to make one piece of A4 paper. An A4 paper is typically the paper that's used during to make, to create contracts. And so I have an example. I was recently at a car dealership, looking to purchase a new car. And once I was in office. The salesperson, of course, required some documentation, so they wanted income and bank statements for the past 90 days. And for me there's also included my business financial statements because I am a small business owner. And this is how this process goes. So the salesperson asks that I emailed the documents. Then once the documents are email, instead of placing the documents in a secure portal for review, or allowing the customer to upload documents to a secure portal. The sales man prints the documents out for review. After reviewing the documents the sales person discards the documents in a shredder bender, which there's great recycling, right? That's good to recycle the paper with shredding it. Though we're going to talk about some ways that come along with shredding paper as well in a second. And that was just a huge, paper waste in my opinion, and I started to look around the company, look around the building. And I saw dozens of customers doing the exact same thing, printing out loads and loads of paper. So that led me to believe that there wasn't even a digital process in place for collecting and verifying documents. And then the paper waste did not stop there. When it was time to sign the contract, the company prints out 2 sets of 20 plus sheets of paper. Of course, the customer copy and the company keeps a copy. Again, no digital process in place for the hundreds of cars that they sell each day. And it made me think this is a huge franchise across the United States. So if each franchises is doing that, that is a huge amount of paper waste. And paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste. And not only is discarded paper a major component of landfill sites, but even paper, paper recycling getting back to that shredding is a source of pollution because the sludge that's produced during the deinking process.

So you have to think, how do we combat that? How do we combat this paper waste in this way? And other energy waste. Well, that brings us to process automation. What is it? Animation is using technology to produce and deliver goods and service with minimal human interaction. Animation improves the efficiency, reliability, or speed of many tasks performed by humans. Service-based entrepreneurs and small business owners should automate wrote or repeat tasks such as appointment setting, contracts, invoicing and onboarding and offboarding clients or customers. But how does this look? automation can be overwhelming. So I always suggest that my clients start small. A simple automation project will be something like automating your initial contact with a potential client or customer through getting a contract signed in an invoice pay. So again, how does this look? This type of automation is set up where one step triggers the next, and no human interaction is involved. There's a bright energy reducer right there. So most businesses are familiar with a lead capture which usually brings someone into their business. They may be looking to get a freebie or join the email list or sign up for something. And so the lead captures starts the process. And the lead capture triggers the appointment calendar where a lead books that time slot on your calendar when they are available. Once a consultation meeting is complete and the lead decides to move forward with services, automated trigger sends out a contract. And then once the contract is signed, automated trigger is set up to send an invoice to the new client. So there are a few benefits to this no back and forth with chasing down clients to get them on your calendar. Signing a contract, or getting an invoice paid. And then there is no use of physical paper involved whatsoever. And you can digitize contracts to replace paper. Contracts at a 100% does not require physical signature and a digital signature actually leaves the digital audit trail, which provides a more secure way to maintain information. Of course, a digital paperwork is easier to contain than paper files and digital invoices are not new. You guys probably have gotten an invoice in your inbox this week. But when you combine digital invoices with the automation process such as this one, it will allow your business to run more efficiently, again, reducing those energy costs.

Now, there are some steps in setting implementation of light this way again, ready to honour made or process are even a set of processes. There are few things that you should do. First, you're going to evaluate how would your business benefit from automation. So you look in your business and see where automation would benefit the business and also the environment. Begging you monitor the planning phase. You're gonna spend the most time in the planning phase because it allows you to get your thoughts out of the brainstorming and making sure that you have a solid plan in place. So think about what is more important for the business right now. And you do that by reviewing your current processes. So and initial completion. Choose a business management tool that has a chief focus on automation. Again, the race horse handout has some recommended business management tools that aid with automation. Determine a timeline And build out the automation. At the planning phase, you come to the third step, which is testing the automation process with team members. You want to test the process internally first, even if you don't have a team, our big team, you can probably give some friends or other people that are interested in your business to help you to test it out internally. In internally. And if there are any gaps in the process, go back to the planning phase, close the gaps, are retest. Now, this is very important because automation can be a beef. If it is not done correctly. So pushing out an automation process to your clients before it's ready only causes chaos and will frustrate your customer. The idea around automation is to simplify. So make sure your process, is streamline start to finish before going live with it. Or it's time to implement, implement the automation process with the selected group of new or existing clients. And last, get feedback on the new automation process, possibly through a short survey, if applicable, implement the revise automation process is across the business. So that is automation process Now we get into another administrative solution that I like, that I am going to show a little commercial clip first. and leading up to this summit I came across this advertisement often so, thought it was funny so I am going to play it

(GEICO Commercial)

Manager Speaks)

What did we decide on the flyers again?

(Martin Speaks)

Uh 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.

(Manager Speaks)

I think we are gonna swap over to over 75 years of savings of service.

(Martin Speaks)

What? We're just going to swap over?

(Manager Speaks)

Yep. Pump the brakes on this and swap it over to that.

(Martin Speaks)

Pump the brakes, and uh, swap over?

(Manager Speaks)

That's right.

(Martin Speaks)

What? Instead of all this I've already- 

(Manager Speaks)

Yep.

(Martin Speaks)

Well, what are we going to do with these?

(Manager Speaks)

Keep it in your desk, and save it for next time. 

(Narrator Speaks)

GEICO. Over 75 years of savings in service.

(Commercial ends)

(Bianca Grant Speaks)

Is always interesting when I see that commercial because is so true. Most of the time companies waste. Just for the sake of wasting, even before I starting my own business. I was always amazed by how much paper waste went on within a business. So thinking about that, that brings me to content repurposing. What is it? Content repurposing is when you recycle content that you already have. Simply put it means to reuse the content more than once but, put it in a different format. And when I meet with my clients and they're looking for content package, I always tell them, content is everywhere. What content do you already have? Even if you are a novice at creating content, you still have some content that you can start to setup or repurposing. Now, there's so many different pieces of content that you can repurpose, but for this presentation I chose 4. The first one is social media. So go through that social media. Think about what you posted on your social media and the way of specials, events, campaigns. If you already have the social media planner set up, you can easily pull the information from the planner. Next is video. Video is great because there are so many ways to chop up video. You can pull snippets from video. You can cut and crop video to make stills and turn a video into an a mini e-book it's just so many great ways to repurpose video. And written content which is my favorite, is the most versatile way to repurpose. For example, did you know that you can take one blog post and repurpose it into 80 different pieces of content. turning it into a video tutorial, or pull a survey, our create a Pinterest board with the information. Presentations, so you guys have seen a lot of presentations today. Pull those presentations off the shelf or out of that file folder on your desktop because you can take it and repurpose it and flip it and do so many different things with it. For example, wave already repurposed this presentation by using parts of it, for our social media posts leading up to this summit. So there was no rewriting involve just pulling phrases and graphics from this presentation, we were able to post information across seven different social media platforms.

Now, how do you go about repurposing? There are a few steps involved. First, you want to review the content that you currently have. And again, going back to what are you using in your social media, what are you using to market? So whatever content that you feel is dated, consider revise it, or getting rid of it altogether. If you are new in business, or you're working on new content. Create evergreen content. And when you create evergreen content it's just with the thought of reusing it. So think about as you create, how can I reuse this and where can I reuse this? Build a content repository. And this is a collection that holds our houses all of your content. So it allows you to just pull it when you need it and it's all in one spot. And there you have it. Then you can create a graphics library. A lot of places that you can do that is, Canvas uh they have great They have a free program that you can use. I also have a paid program but the graphic library will house just a few simple graphics that you can use to pull text in, take text away, and images as needed. Now when you think about building your graphics library. Remember to have at least three key components of your brand, which are your colors, your fonts, and your logo. When you're ready to publish content, era, arrange your graphics and your content for whatever you are using it for if its a social media campaign to create an email list, special promotions, or if you're launching a product or service or if you haven't, especially when are even or for unit. And another way to use your repurpose content is to send it to your email list via text message. People always have their phones and most of the time when they sign up for free BR subscribe to an email is they will provide a cell phone number. The best thing about that is that graphics content and links can easily be sent via text message to a group of subscribers. 

Now we talked about two administrator solutions to help your business to become more sustainable. Now let's talk about the benefits of implementing these solutions. First, automation. The greatest benefit of automation as reducing the use of time, energy and resources. Automation also reduces your carbon. And 0 waste solutions include digitizing a manual contract or process by using a software that allows you to enable digital signatures, document management and archiving of those documents. And using a digital signature alone will reduce both paper and energy use and costs. Now repurposing content. Repurposing content reduces paper ways and the consumption of water and energy. It also expands the reach of your brand so you don't have to think about creating something new all the time. Again, what do you have, what do you already have that you can take and reuse. And it also helps to reduce the use of having to market or promote your business or services through direct mailers. Implementing these finished writers solutions do take some time and planning but it is well worth it for a more sustainable future. Now I have place some additional resources for building a more sustainable business. Here they are clickable in the download or you can click, if you download the presentation. Again, If you haven't grab the resources, you can scan those now through the QR code. And the resource package includes the presentation itself and we have an automation template, five steps to automating a business process. An infographic crash course, re-purpose any piece of content. And then that business management platform suggestion for setting up a business process is where automation.

We will now take some questions and thank you guys for being here today.

(Alice Shaw Speaks)

I appreciate it very much. Bianca we will wait to see if we have a couple of questions trickle in. But my question to you in case anyone in the session is wondering, is your presentation available for them to review?

(Bianca Grant Speaks)

Yes, the presentation is apart of the download package, if they would like to download it. 

(Alice Shaw Speaks)

Great! Okay, any questions going once going twice, Bianca is here and that your service. Well Bianca, that was a great presentation. I guess if anybody does have a question after the fact that they think of something, they can contact you through the information you provided in your package.

(Bianca Grant Speaks)

Yes. Also we have information at the end, you can reach us on most social media platforms. Also, if you did want to book a free discovery call we do have a QR code here for that as well.

(Alice Shaw Speaks)

Perfect, thank you so much. Appreciate the information.

(Bianca Grant Speaks)

Welcome, thank you. 

(Alice Shaw Speaks)

Yes, Bianca and Aimee, have a great rest of the day.

(Bianca Grant Speaks)

You too, bye. 

(Session Ends)