If you’re thinking about starting your own business, there has never been a better time than now. The global pandemic has shed light on the importance of our local economies as more and more businesses shutter their doors. Keep reading for reasons entrepreneurship makes sense, not just for you, but for your community as well. Businessing also includes tips on how to get your business started effectively.
Why Small Businesses Matter
Locally-owned businesses increase the number of open jobs in your city. This means your friends and neighbors can pay their bills. The taxes you collect will also help fund community resources, such as your local school or park system. Small businesses typically offer more than cookie-cutter products, which gives your customers a greater range of products or services from which to choose. Further, and perhaps most importantly, being a local business leader gives you a face and more motivation to get involved in local politics.
On a more personal level, and as LegalZoom explains, starting your own business gives you a chance to fill local needs and seize an opportunity to take control of your own financial fate.
As with all great businesses, your small business will begin with an idea. Use this idea to find and exploit gaps in the local market. Once you determine where your product or service can meet unmet needs, you can get to work forming your business. Decide if you want to be self-employed or form an LLC or other organized business structure. Then, work up an organizational chart so that you know how future positions — such as sales, marketing, and management — will work and interact with one another. This information can be included in your business plan, which will act as a guide as you refine and expand your business.
Next, gather your gear and equipment and focus on your online presence. To save money in the early days, buy your computers and other technology directly from the manufacturer. You will spend less, and you will most likely have access to tech support that can walk you through setting up and linking each device. Other resources to have in place as you launch depend upon the type of business you own. Examples are digital printing press, camera and lenses, or raw materials.
Your online marketing is another priority. As we continue to physically and socially distance, your digital presence is going to be the most efficient way to reach out to your future market base. To attract traffic, start with a clean and functional website. Keep in mind that more than half of the people that visit your site do so after a Google search. Search engine optimization — the practice of positioning your site for a first-page rank — is crucial, as is the quality of your content. Provide informational articles on how to best use your products, and don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers and other affiliates to help spread the word. Social media and paid advertising also remain relevant.
Finally, and most importantly, once your business is up and running, do what you promise. While some bumps and bruises are expected in the early days, keep your word. A happy customer is a repeat customer, and they will bring their friends and family with them as they patronize you in the future. A word of caution: a dissatisfied customer is the one most likely to leave a bad review.
There are many benefits to launching a small business, and not just for you. While it does give you the reins to your financial future, your business will also have a far-reaching impact on your local community. But don’t jump into the process without some research. Know your market and spend your time and money getting yourself ready for business so that your business can grow, one happy customer at a time.
For small business trends, news, and resources, bookmark Businessing today.