Have you been thinking about launching a local business? Whether you intend on offering a physical service or selling products out of a retail store, running a local business will be incredibly rewarding. Local businesses create job opportunities, keep money circulating in the community, encourage community engagement, and contribute to the cultural identity of a neighborhood. Here, we explore some of the steps involved in launching a local business, so you can get started today!
Pick a Great Business Idea
First, you need a strong business idea. Take a good look at the businesses operating in your market and try to identify an unmet need. For example, GOBankingRates explains that every neighborhood needs a few key businesses, including a coffee shop, bar, bookstore, barbershop, bakery, nursery, grocery store, mechanic, and laundromat. If your neighborhood is lacking a service that the local residents need or want, consider launching a business that fills this gap!
Choose a Business Structure
Once you decide on a business idea, your next step is to choose a business structure and register your business with local, state, and federal authorities. Choose a business structure that makes the most sense right now. You can always change it later as your business grows.
Launching your local business as an LLC is one of the simplest and most affordable options. An LLC will establish your business as its own legal entity, protecting your personal assets and limiting your personal liability for business-related lawsuits and debts.
Obtain the Right Licenses and Permits
Next, you will need to obtain the appropriate licenses and permits to operate a business in your neighborhood. It can be confusing to determine which city, county, state, and federal organizations you need to contact about your planned business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommends consulting a lawyer or accountant to ensure you don’t miss any important regulatory requirements before you open to the public.
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Hire Your First Employees
Ready to onboard your first team members? Whether you’re launching a general store or a trendy café, you will need to hire staff before you can open your doors to customers. Facebook is a great way to find employees for your business. By using Facebook’s targeting features, you can advertise your job opening to specific people based on their age, location, skills, interests, and countless other variables.
Hiring your first team members is a great opportunity to establish a positive reputation for your business. Offering a living wage, hiring a diverse team, treating employees well, and offering valuable perks are great ways to show your customers that you care more about people than profits!
Market to Community Members
Finally, it’s time to get the word out about your business. Start advertising your business to local members of your community before you open so that people can get excited! Building a pre-launch marketing campaign is a great way to drum up interest. OptinMonster suggests creating a coming soon page that announces what your business is about and encourages people to sign up for your email list for updates.
Creating content is another great way to build excitement around your brand. Write blog posts packed with valuable information and post behind-the-scenes photos of your business on social media. If you need to change the dimensions of images you're uploading, you can use an online picture resizer. You could even launch a podcast or YouTube channel! All of this will help you build a group of loyal followers who can’t wait to check out what your business has to offer.
There’s something undeniably special about running a small business in your local community. Nothing beats the chance to connect with your neighbors, support the economy, create jobs, and provide valuable products and services to the members of your community. Start building your small business today!