How to Start a Community Business and Why It’s Worth It?
Starting a local business is a wonderful way to connect with your community while pursuing a professional path you’re passionate about. Community businesses give neighbourhoods unique character and contribute tangible value, resulting in greater resilience and increasing the odds of long-term success. Want to contribute to this growing trend?
Read on to discover the benefits of community businesses, as well as some tips from Tech 2 Learners Technologies on how to start your own business in your local neighbourhood.
Harness the power of your community by addressing an unmet need
As you consider what type of business to start, consider your community’s needs. Biz Journals explains that by identifying unmet needs, you can grow your future business’ market, increasing your odds for long-term success. Connecting with your community can help you determine what ventures your area could use, from child care to healthy food services.
Write out a detailed business plan
Once you have your business concept firmed up, write out a business plan. Your plan should clearly explain how your company will be run, details its organizational structure, provides a market analysis, and offers financial projections for the future.
Formally register your business as a legally recognized entity
At this point, you should also decide on and register a business structure. Your most basic options are sole proprietorship, LLC or S corporation. Taking the formal step to incorporate your business offers a couple benefits. First, it helps protect your personal assets in case your business gets into legal troubles. Further, it will make it easier to keep your business versus personal finances separate, which is handy for bookkeeping and tax reporting purposes.
Get the startup funding you need
Any business will require some initial financial investment. Make a list of all of the startup costs you can anticipate, from commercial rent to staffing and marketing, and be sure to consider your credit score if you intend to apply for a loan. Beyond lending, there are many ways you can get the money you need. You can also consider raising funds within your community, since your business will ultimately serve its needs. A local fundraising event is a great way to make this happen.
Develop a comprehensive marketing plan
Marketing will help raise your business’ profile and is critical to attracting customers. Start by creating a website. You can use a do-it-yourself website builder or hire an expert via an online job board. Remember that your website is just one component of a detailed marketing plan. WordStream provides inspiration for other marketing techniques worth pursuing, like social media and email.
Incidentally, it’s never too early to start thinking long term – which could mean expanding your business, or even giving yourself an edge in the field by pursuing an online degree. Best of all, online programs offer the flexibility you need to maintain your business, even as you gain the knowledge and experience you need to take said business to the next level.
Maintain and support your community connections
As your business grows, make a point of staying connected to your local community. For example, you can hire people from the neighbourhood, use local suppliers, and contribute to neighbourhood events and charities. Sponsorship deals are a great way to get your business noticed while giving back to the community. Thrive Hive offers more tips for businesses that want to embrace community involvement, like hosting field trips and holding contests.
A community business can be a fulfilling and lucrative entrepreneurial venture. So follow the guide above to start your own today!
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