Starting a Business in the Local Community: 4 Tips for Success
Small- to- midsize enterprises (SMEs) enhance local communities in several different ways, as they stimulate economic growth, keep money in the community, and provide jobs to those who may be deemed unemployable by companies of larger sizes. What’s more, 99 percent of Australian small businesses actively give back to their local communities — whether through volunteerism or donations of goods, money, and services.
For some tips on launching a business in your local community, check out the following article from Start Up Names. You’ll learn how to market your products and services to community members, network with other business owners, and serve those around you!
1. Market Your Products and Services
To start a small business in your community, some of the first steps you’ll need to take include choosing a legal structure, selecting a unique business name, and creating your website and social media pages. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google My Business are just a few of the places you’ll want to market your new business and the products and services you offer.
Moreover, you can use a website builder if you’d prefer to build your own business website, but many SMEs choose to enlist the help of a professional web developer. Online job boards can be used to find developers for hire and compare freelancer reviews, fees, and delivery times — but keep in mind that rates will depend on the developer’s level of experience.
After building your business website, it’s important to promote the site on your social media pages, add it to your email signature, and participate in online group discussions and forums. These marketing strategies will drive traffic to your website and promote your business in the local community.
2. Network With Other Small Business Owners
In addition to marketing your products and services online, you’ll need to network with other SMEs in your community. Here are a few tips and strategies to up your networking game:
- Join an organization such as BNI Australia, Women’s Network Australia, or the Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA).
- Attend and participate in community events such as parades, festivals, and conferences.
- Cross-promote with other small businesses in your community.
- Teach classes and events for community members and other SMEs.
You can also network with other local SMEs online. Be sure to “like” and “follow” other small business pages on social media, and see if you can write guest blogs for their website.
3. Serve the Local Community
When starting a small business in your local community, it’s also important to serve those who live in and visit the area. As a few examples, you could create a paid or unpaid internship program for students in the community, sponsor local groups and events, and become a board member for a local nonprofit organization. You could also dedicate a few hours each week to volunteering in your community or donating your products and services to a good cause. Volunteerism is great for business, and it makes your local community a better place to work, live in, and visit.
4. Delegate Business Tasks
As a busy business owner, it may feel impossible to take on another commitment, altruistic or otherwise. Before committing, delegate certain tasks like bookkeeping and payroll to clear your plate of the tasks that don’t necessarily need attention from you specifically. Additionally, find ways to boost productivity without an increased time commitment on your end. One way to boost productivity is to track your time efficiently through employee (and personal) time tracking software. Look for software that offers a robust reporting feature to gain valuable business insights, predict time needs for job costs, plan for payroll and even increase profitability. By finding ways to delegate tasks and improve productivity, you’ll have more time to get involved with your local community without sacrificing business success.
The Bottom Line
As you start a small business in your local community, you’ll be more likely to succeed as a new business owner if you serve those who live and work in the area, network with other SMEs, and market your products and services both on and online. Community involvement is an important part of increasing brand awareness, building consumer trust, and growing a small business — and these tips will help you to connect with your community and reach your target audience!