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How to Start a Local Business—and How It Will Benefit Your Community

Starting a new small business can be great not only for pursuing your passions, but it also provides significant benefits to your local community. Do some research when you’re considering what type of business to launch, and use social media to connect with your community. The Katahdin Chamber of Commerce shares some tips on how to get started as a small business owner, and how your business can benefit your broader community.

Why small business is great for your community

Small businesses are often referred to as the backbone of towns, providing jobs to residents and adding unique personalities to neighborhoods. Not only does local business add to economic vitality, but it also creates community cohesion and a sense of connection for residents. 

When you start a small business, you add to the financial well-being of your community. Money spent at your business will have a ripple effect on the great economy, encouraging growth, and financial health, not only for you but also for your employees. 

How to get started as an entrepreneur

Once you’ve decided you want to start a small business in your community, it’s important to do your research. If you’re keen to serve a local customer base, consider what’s missing or in demand in your area. For example, if you love to bake and consistently lament the lack of bakeries near you, opening a bakery might be a great option.

When you’ve established what kind of business you’d like to open, connect with your local Small Business Development Center. SBDCs can offer a wealth of knowledge about how to get started as a small business, from offering workshops to free business consultants. Each local SBDC is different, so connect with your regional center and find out what resources are available to you.

Another crucial step is establishing which business structure is right for you. Many small business owners choose to set up a limited liability company or LLC because it’s easy to create and can provide flexibility and protection to your personal assets. You can set it up on your own or work with a formation service, but check in your state to see what rules and regulations are required when launching an LLC in Maine.

Establishing an online presence and marketing

When you’ve gone through the administrative steps, it’s time to make a presence for your business online. You’ll need to set up a website — either on your own or with help from a freelance web designer. There are some DIY website builders that can help you create your own, but if you plan to include more advanced features such as an online store, it’s worth having a professional web developer help you.

It’s also important to launch your business on social media. Along with your website, your social media presence is vital for helping customers learn about your business. A Facebook page can provide a platform for your business updates, whether it’s offering a sale or announcing new products or services. 

When you post on social media, it’s important to keep a few guidelines in mind. Be sure to write in a conversational tone, and use images or other visual elements in every post to help garner attention. Post regularly and consider using the live-streaming function to help your customers feel connected to you as a business owner and member of the community.

Launching a local business will be a great boon to both your personal fulfillment and your community’s economy. Be sure to work with a local business development center to help you learn necessary administrative steps, and set up a business structure that’s right for your company. And remember to establish a strong online presence by creating a snazzy website and posting regularly to social media.

Become a member of the Katahdin Chamber of Commerce for local support and to network with and engage businesses near you.  



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