How to Start a Small Business and Use It to Benefit Your Local Community
Running a business in a small town comes with advantages and challenges. One of the greatest benefits of opening a business in your local community is the opportunity to use your work for the betterment of the community.
Starting a Small Business in Your Local Community
The process of starting a local business begins with researching the local market. Identify a product or service that the local community needs that is not currently being provided by anyone else in town. Take care to choose a location that is accessible to enough people to build a customer base.
Once you have your idea and a location picked out, create a budget. Your budget should include startup costs, expected operating expenses, rent or mortgage payments, taxes and fees, labor costs, and other expenses. These figures will help you get an idea of how much capital you need to raise to start your business.
Consider creating a “doing business as” name for your business. Choosing a DBA makes it easier to expand your business or sell products under a different name. Additionally, if the domain name that matches your registered name is already taken, you can choose a DBA with an available domain name to set up your website. Here is a reputable and cost-effective service that can help you set yours up.
Using Your Business to Benefit Your Community
Local businesses help grow the economy of the communities they are located in. Statistics show that for every $100 spent in a locally based business, about $68 stays in the community, compared to only $43 spent at a non-local business. Local businesses employ local people and help support other businesses in the area, such as cleaners, suppliers, grocery stores, and information technology companies. The taxes paid by companies are valuable resources for community improvements. The stores and services in a place can also help establish a unique community identity. When visitors see thriving local businesses in a town, it improves their overall impression of the place, which may help attract new residents and increase tourism.
Local businesses have a unique opportunity to increase activism, volunteerism, and charitable donations in the community by hosting events, donating money or items, and leading by example. You can encourage the community to shop locally by patronizing other businesses in town whenever possible. This not only helps other entrepreneurs thrive but creates more local employment opportunities.
Engaging With Your Community
Encouraging community involvement with your business can be mutually beneficial. It helps strengthen the community bond and builds brand awareness for your business. Social media can be a valuable tool for community building; however, it is important also to meet your community members in person.
Empowering employees to get involved with community organizations is another good way to increase engagement. You can provide your employees with paid time off or other perks for volunteering with charitable organizations, organize local sporting events, and solicit feedback from employees about other ways they would like to get involved.
Transparency is another key component of building community engagement. If you have to make changes, such as laying off employees or increasing prices, that may affect the community, publicly explain the reasons why. Solicit feedback from local people and implement their suggestions where appropriate.
Local businesses are an important component of any healthy community. Choosing to open a business is one of the best opportunities to make a huge impact on the success and growth of your city or town.