Starting a Small Business

Serving Your Community With a Small Business

While “big box” stores offer convenience, many people prefer homegrown goods and services. This sentiment works to your advantage if you open a local business that supports your community. From deciding what to offer to maximize engagement, here’s how to get your local operation successfully off the ground in the City of Black River Falls.

Choosing Your Endeavor

Generating business ideas is as easy as identifying what’s lacking in your area. When you fill a niche, you’ll face minimal competition and will develop customer loyalty quicker than you would by starting an enterprise that casts a wide net and gets lost in a sea of similar companies.

Maybe the local population is aging, yet there’s no daycare center nearby. Situations like these all represent opportunities to start a successful enterprise. By avoiding concepts that have already saturated your community, you’ll profitably tap into a unique and dedicated customer base that’s being overlooked.

Setting Up Shop

Once you know what establishment you’re opening, you’ll need to deal with the nuts and bolts of a startup. Follow a checklist so you don’t overlook any critical steps. You’ll have to address everything from getting tax ID numbers to hiring staff to set up an accounting system, and the process can be overwhelming if you’re not organized. Check out these resources.

One decision that requires crucial consideration is your business structure. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, this has an impact on everything from how much taxes you will owe to how much you’re personally at risk. Depending on what you find after checking your state’s regulations, establishing a limited liability company could be your best option. Because this structure limits individual liability and safeguards personal assets, it’s favored by many entrepreneurs.

With an LLC, profits and losses are passed to your personal income, which may lower your tax rate. There’s also less paperwork and more flexibility with this structure. If you’re wondering how to start an LLC in Wisconsin, use a formation service, so you needn’t fret about hefty legal fees eating into your startup funds.

Engaging With the Community

To be successful, your venture must feel like part of the community. Engagement goes beyond providing needed goods and services; it requires outreach and involvement that demonstrate you’re a good corporate citizen. When you back organizations that are important in your neighborhood, you’ll be promoting both your company and your values. Supporting local causes creates unique marketing partnerships that raise your profile, so it should play a big role in your public relations strategy.

Set the tone at your grand opening by contributing a portion of your proceeds to a worthy group. Help a charity fundraise by hosting an after-hours shopping event where a donation buys attendees a discount on their purchases. Sponsor a sports team, offer space for an organization to promote itself, or give your own time to local causes. Well-planned giving has a positive social impact while expanding your exposure.

Starting a local venture can enrich both you and your community. By filling a neglected need, structuring your enterprise properly, and getting involved with good causes from the outset, you’ll be setting yourself up to make money and create a positive impact in your community.