What Does It Mean to Build a Sustainable Business?

When we think about being a sustainable business, we immediately think about how best to use our own resources to reduce any negative environmental impact. But to build a sustainable business means more than just recycling and using renewable energy. It means laying the groundwork for future employee and customer growth. An organization with sustainability as one of its core principles has a better chance of success in the future.

There are three basic attributes of a sustainable organization:

  • Continuity – the ability to repeat processes
  • Adaptability – the ability to adapt to sudden changes
  • Scalability – the ability to scale up or down as needed

Businesses that experience rapid growth often run into problems later because they don’t have repeatable processes to support new hires and onboarding. These processes must also be adaptable enough to change as needed to meet organizational requirements. Being able to scale – grow or reduce – on demand is crucial to building a sustainable business.

Inc. Magazine and the Kauffman Foundation studied the danger of rapid growth by surveying previous winners of the Inc. 500’s annual list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. The study found that after five to eight years from the time they first made the list, two-thirds of the winners had “gotten smaller, been disadvantageously sold or gone out of business entirely.”

As a business leader, you should focus on prioritizing sustainable scaling over rapid, unsustainable growth because rapid shifts aimed at addressing a current problem without due diligence can backfire later and become a blot on your organization’s growth story.

What fuels a sustainable business?

Never miss these if you aim to grow sustainably:

Platform for growth

All your business solutions should connect to a central hub and act as a platform for growth to improve productivity and efficiency. Instead of focusing on the features and functionality of each solution, think about the capabilities of the combined solutions.

Updated documentation

A simple and powerful automated documentation system can help your employees work more effectively. It allows your employees to modify or revise existing templates in the document generation system to comply with changing regulations. This helps manage and create business documents on time with greater accuracy.

Learning management

An integrated learning management system can help you customize and manage employee training across teams and accelerate employee engagement. Remember, the more knowledgeable your employees are and the longer they stay, the better they serve your customers. So, never be afraid to invest in human resources training because it yields a high return on investment. Also, don’t overlook security awareness training for your staff. Preventing even a single phishing attempt can save your company thousands.


Because they consolidate data, solutions that successfully integrate can be a long-term asset for your organization. However, some executives overlook this, resulting in a mishmash of incompatible technologies.

Lack of integration can be a real pain in the neck in the long run and could be the biggest hurdle in your organization’s sustainable growth journey.


Automating time-consuming and repetitive manual processes lowers costs, improves efficiency, reduces errors, and boosts customer and employee satisfaction. Make sure you don’t get left behind in an age when proactive businesses are automating their systems to achieve sustainable growth.

Partner for success

If you fail at being a sustainable business, you risk losing your employees and customers alike. It’s time to abandon rapid acceleration in favor of sustainable growth that can help you achieve customer/employee satisfaction and long-term success.

A managed service provider (MSP) like us can help you achieve sustainable scalability more seamlessly. Feel free to contact us for a no-obligation consultation on ways to make your company more sustainable.

Click here to download our “What Is Your Organization’s Current Sustainability Posture Score?” checklist to learn more about the concept.

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