How to Launch a Business in Your Local Community
Launching a business to serve your community is a wonderful way to give back. You can cater to everyone’s needs, benefit the economy, and make money while you’re at it. By their very nature, local small businesses depend heavily on their community’s support. If you’re thinking of launching such a business, you will need to carefully align it with your unique community’s nature and needs. Here, Jonah’s Hands walks you through the considerations to make when launching a local business:
Your community is your biggest patron
It’s crucial to understand that for local, small-scale businesses, the majority of income typically comes from the local community. Having a good relationship with your community is integral to your survival. You will not only need to focus on the business aspect of things but also foster a social connection with the people around you. Provide a valuable service and, more importantly, be seen as a business that’s a valuable part of the community.
How your business can benefit the community
TRUiC sums up how your business benefits the local community nicely: It helps prop up your community’s economy, creates jobs, has a cultural impact, raises environmental awareness, increases city revenues, and inspires entrepreneurship in others. If you put extra emphasis on giving back, your business will benefit the community even more. For instance, some businesses host local charity events while others volunteer employee time for causes that need it.
An effective way to give back to your community is by donating simple crochet items that you and your employees can make yourself in your spare time. It’s fast, convenient, and doesn’t require a big money investment. Needless to say, it also scores brownie points with your community – and helps people in need. You can learn simple crochet patterns in the Giving Back Crochet book.
How to start a community-based business
You’ll need a solid business idea, first and foremost. Ideally, you should research your local market conditions and pick a niche with little competition and a great deal of future potential. Furthermore, you should consider doing something that you find personally interesting, and that aligns with your past experiences.
Once you have something figured out, you should write a business plan – Investopedia explains how to do so. This document will help you set up your business. It contains details about everything important – your funding, monetization strategy, market conditions, customer relationships, and business goals. Finally, you will need to take care of basic legal tasks like registering your business, acquiring a license or permit, getting an EIN, and acquiring a trade name.
Consider an official business structure
Forming an LLC can be beneficial. It can help you limit the risk you face by launching your own business, as limited liability protects your personal assets against lawsuits. Other benefits are less paperwork, more flexibility, and some tax benefits. You can avoid hefty lawyer fees by filing the paperwork yourself or using a formation service. States have different regulations around LLC formation – check the local rules before you move forward.
Ways to raise your profile locally
Building a strong relationship with community members is how you attract customers and keep them coming back. There are countless ways to do so. You should participate in local eventslike fairs, volunteering initiatives, and charity drives. You can host workshops and trade shows. You can sponsor local sports teams and events. Finally, you could network by joining local business groups.
Engage with your customers on social media to market your business
Social media is one of the most powerful ways to engage with your community. You can create a local social media group for your followers, a business page, and profiles across various platforms to reach the most people. Talk to your followers and be approachable. One of the best ways to keep your followers engaged is via memes. They’re fun, easy to follow, and shareable. You can use an online meme maker tool to make your own meme. After choosing a template, you can customize it by adding your own background and changing the appearance of the text.
Go back to school for a business degree
Running a business requires serious knowledge. Although you can pick it up as you go, you may find going back to school for a business degree worthwhile – especially if you feel ill-equipped to launch right now. You can earn a degree in accounting, business, communications, management, or similar and learn skills that allow you to avoid mistakes in your business. See your options here. With an online degree, you could even run your business while going back to school at the same time.
Running a business will require careful planning, goal setting, and a host of entrepreneurial skills. You can go back to school to gain the skills or knowledge you need or seek mentorship from an experienced businessman or coach. As your business will be heavily reliant on your local community, focus your efforts on building a strong, lasting relationship with it for the best results.
Author: Jenna Sherman