Written by Kimberly Hayes
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There are perks to running a large corporation. But one advantage local small businesses have over the corporate giants is the ability to reflect a community’s character and connect with residents on a business and personal level.
Running a small business also means you’re making a positive impact on the local economy, providing jobs for neighbors, and playing an integral role in the overall success and happiness of your community. If you have the bug to start a company, these tips from Liberation is Lit can position you to make a significant impact on the local level!
Learn About Your Community
Even if you already have a business idea, it’s critical to do market research to gauge how much of a demand there is for the product or service you plan to offer and how many competitors you’ll be up against. Market research will also reveal crucial demographic information about your target audience, including geographic location, income, age, and other factors.
The goal is to provide people in your community with something they want or need. Do your research and look for gaps to fill.
Make a Business Plan
Early in the process, you’ll want to take your idea and hammer it into a business plan. Take the time to prepare a plan that explains your company and products or services, details your marketing strategies, forecasts your profits and expenses, and outlines the strategies you’ll implement to achieve your goals. A quick online search of “ZenBusiness starting a new business” will connect you with helpful resources to get going on your business plan.
Get the Capital
The expenses associated with starting a business are what keep many people from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. If you can bootstrap your business, it will allow you to maintain complete control of the decisions and overall direction of your company. However, this path also comes with the highest risk for your personal finances.
Fortunately, there are many other options. You can apply for small business grants and loans or launch a crowdfunding campaign. You can seek out venture capitalists or angel investors who will front your money for a stake in the business. You could even ask friends and family members to pitch in to cover some of your startup costs.
Select a Structure
The way you structure your business will determine how you pay taxes, your level of legal liability, and many other factors in the coming years. Choose a structure that sets your company up for success, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), cooperative, or corporation. Diligently research to figure out which will benefit you the most.
Create a Branding Package
Now to the fun part — branding your business. Make sure you have a catchy business name that reflects your mission and values. It’s ideal if your name conveys the products or services you offer, and it should also resonate on various marketing platforms. Moreover, you’ll need to design an attractive logo that distinguishes you from competitors and choose the typography and colors with which you want customers to associate your brand.
Build a Web Presence
Creating a web presence is non-negotiable for businesses these days, even if you’re catering to a local market. Consider hiring a professional to build a top-notch site for your small business. If you have the extra time, you can learn how to do it yourself using an affordable web builder. An impactful website will:
- Showcase your logo
- Provide informative, unique content
- Integrate social media accounts
- Draw traffic through search engine optimization (SEO)
- Engage your target audience
Once you’ve established a site, it’s time to draw up a digital marketing strategy. Consider the various channels (e.g., social media, email, paid ads, etc.) you can use to get your message across.
Starting a small business is an excellent way to contribute to the betterment of your community. Follow the tips above to lay a firm foundation for your company. Then you’ll be ready to tie up any loose ends, such as establishing your accounting system, opening a business bank account, and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. Most importantly, stay true to your mission and values, and your target audience will respect your brand!
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about how we inspire activism through books? Visit LiberationIsLit.com today!
Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created Public Health Alert to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns.
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