Give Back and Earn More: How to Start a Small Business in Your Local Community - Written by: Ed Carter of ablefutures.org
Starting a small business is no small feat. But despite the immense sacrifices, countless hours, and difficult decisions, most small business owners will say they’d do it all over again. The reason for that is, entrepreneurs typically have grit and passion for what they do; a relentless pursuit of their goal through hard work and determination. And the thought of giving back to their community and where they came from is fulfilling and soul-satisfying.
Further the rewards of business by giving back to the community that nurtures you.
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Help the Community Flourish
Small businesses are the backbone of our country and economy. While it can be challenging to compete with the big guys and stand out amongst the competition, remember that the work you are doing is extraordinary. Every small business impacts its local community intrinsically. Here’s how.
Job OpportunitiesAccording to Pie Insurance, small businesses employ over 47.5% of Americans and account for 99.9% of new jobs nationwide. By opening your business, you’ll provide locals with job opportunities, which is the perfect way to stand out in your community and support the locals.
Community IdentityLocal entrepreneurs and employees typically paint a portrait of the local landscape. This can mean stocking local products and wares, catering to the pressing needs of local areas, and adding charm and unique ambiance to the site. They, thus, represent the community and add personality in a way that large conglomerates simply cannot.
Increase CashflowSmall business success helps the bottom line for the entire community. There is increased cash flow that circulates back to the local economy in different ways. For example, a restaurant that attracts patrons will benefit other businesses in turn, as customers will seek out neighboring companies like shops and boutiques before dining. In addition, small business owners themselves tend to shop locally. Both these factors keep the money coming in and encouraging economic growth in a holistic, well-rounded way.
Engage With the Community
Increasingly, small businesses are shaping their community - and vice versa. Local companies offer bragging rights, create a one-of-a-kind experience, and attract local talent. It’s clear that leaving the office and getting more involved at the grassroots level will boost your business. Here are some fresh ideas for getting active within the community:
SponsorThere are so many opportunities for you to support and uplift your community truly. Find a cause you believe in, and then help - in whatever capacity you can. Sports teams, festivals, fairs, charity runs - the options are endless. And it’s not just the community that benefits but your bottom line too. Events are great exposure and prime marketing material.
You can also create a scholarship at the high school or university level. Even a $500-$1,000 cheque can make a significant difference in a student’s education. It is also an increasingly popular choice as the government offers tax breaks for businesses that do so. Bonus: you’ll get your name out there and create authority around your brand as well!
VolunteerVolunteering is another excellent way to give back and is a great team-building exercise to boot. Organize a volunteer day at the office for employees to unite around causes important to your organization. Use resources like VolunteerMatch or Idealist to find libraries, shelters, soup kitchens, or pantries to volunteer at.
InteractTry to get to know members of your community on a personal level. Programs like Learn To Be and Habitat for Humanity will allow you to give back while talking to other business owners and neighbors in the area. This will help you understand what drives the community and what business moves would be an asset for the locals. The more you cater to their needs, the more your business will grow and cement itself as irreplaceable.
Business Basics for Entrepreneurship
Are you ready to make a difference in your community? There’s no better way to do so than by starting your business. Here are the main tasks to take care of when you’re getting your feet off the ground:
Remember, you’re never alone. To reach your business goals and achieve success, you need to be backed up by the right people. And what better support than your local community? Let your passion drive you, and don’t forget to give back to where you came from. You’ve got this!