In big cities and little towns, small businesses are the heartbeat of their communities. If you dream of launching your own business, there are a few steps you should take to ensure its success. So follow these tips from Know All The Things once you’ve decided on what goods or services you want to provide to your community.
Set Up a DBA
A DBA, or “doing business as”, is the name you want to give your business. Do an online search to make sure your business name is unique, and ask a few friends and family what they think of the name: It should be easy to pronounce, easy to remember, and easy to spell. Make sure you complete and file all the appropriate forms to register your DBA and pay a small filing fee to receive your DBA certificate. For convenience, let a well-reviewed service like Zenbusiness handle it for you.
Get an Employer Identification Number
Reach out to the IRS to obtain an EIN: this is the “Social Security Number” of your business. Having an EIN will help to keep your business and your personal information separate. Your EIN will allow you to open business bank accounts and get loans and credit cards. This is the number you will use to pay taxes and registrations pertaining to your business.
Reach Out to Customers
Once you’ve established your business, it’s time to let the world know about it! Place an ad in the local paper, advertise on social media, give out free samples at your local farmers’ market or restaurant. Print some flyers and brochures and see if neighboring businesses will let you distribute them. If your budget allows, film a short TV commercial for your local television station. Try to get booked on a local radio program to talk about what you do to people that live in your community.
Establish an Online Presence
As your small business starts to get noticed, people will want to know more about your goods and services, and they will go on the internet to find out. That’s where a business website comes into play. Whether you design it yourself or hire a professional, your website should clearly reflect what your business is about and make it easy for potential clients or customers to get in touch with you. Look at websites from similar businesses to get an idea of what is appealing to the eye–and what isn’t.
Engage With Your Community
Money spent at local shops and businesses goes right back into the community. By getting involved with local schools and community events, like sponsoring a sports team or organizing a food drive, your business is giving back to the community as well. Another way to engage is to offer free or low-cost classes: if you are a master baker, knitter, woodworker, advertise your event in the local paper and on social media and invite people in your community to join you for a fun class where you teach them some basics and offer them a sample of your goods. You might even find your new hire this way!
Find Ways to Help Your Neighbors
Small businesses often rely on freelancers when they need specialized services such as web designers and developers, seasonal help, cleaning services, as well as lawyers, accountants, and tax specialists. By hiring talent from your town to help you with your business, you are helping your community strive. Hire teenagers from your local high school when you need help on weekends or in the afternoons. Some retirees will also enjoy sharing their business know-how with you, and you can hire them as consultants or on a part-time basis.
Small businesses offer a window into the heart of the community they serve. They also help that community develop its own brand and identity. So make your small business a thriving success, and make your community shine!