Getting a Business Off the Ground in Your CommunityHelping your friends and neighbors is a great way to be a part of your community. Starting a business in your hometown can be a great way to provide for yourself and your family while also benefitting those around you. Before jumping in, be sure you’ve researched the intricacies of this new venture, as there may be challenges attached that you haven’t considered.

Planning for Success by Appealing to Investors

The obvious first step in starting your own company is to create a business plan. The plan should detail what product or service you intend to provide, how you’ll be selling it, how the business itself is structured, how much funding is required, what it will be spent on, and what sort of profits you expect the business to bring in. Having a feasible and specific plan will show investors that you’ve given this idea the proper amount of thought. It will also provide you with a roadmap moving forward.

Consider what sort of location your company will need. If you intend to simply offer services online or in customers’ homes, a simple home office may be sufficient. Then again, an actual store would require a brick-and-mortar building to set up in. Be sure to figure rent or mortgages into the financial breakdown in your plan, as unplanned expenses can end a new organization before it truly begins. Keep in mind as your business grows, your base of operations may need to move or grow with it.

In these early stages, it’s important to develop good accounting habits to head off any monetary issues down the line. Keeping up-to-date and comprehensive books is easier with modern invoicing software options. You can use these programs to bill customers, pay employees, produce scheduled invoices for recurring orders and keep an easily accessible record of the company’s financial health.

Navigating the Red Tape

For first-time owners, the amount of paperwork and regulations involved can feel impossible to navigate. Most companies in the U.S. require an Employer Identification Number from the IRS, which functions as a social security number for businesses. Setting this up in the early stages of your project will save you a headache at tax time.

It’s also advisable to form a Limited Liability Company. An LLC will protect you personally from certain financial and legal troubles the company itself may face. Different industries require different permits and licenses as well. Since there’s no “one size fits all” approach to which documentation is required for a business, it’s not the worst idea to speak with a lawyer or other professional who is more experienced than you in these matters.

Giving Back to the Community

With the organization established, it’s time to do some good in your town. Your neighbors are your customers and employees and without them, the business would surely fail. In addition to the obvious moral benefits, charity and outreach are great ways to garner the love and support of your community. Not only will you pull in more clients if they know you’re helping them in other ways, but surveys have shown many people who donate do so simply because it makes them feel good.

Starting a business is a wonderful way to benefit not only yourself but those around you. The right community-minded company can be mutually beneficial for owners, employees, and customers alike. For more ways to give back, reach out to Community Pay It Forward Program.

About the Author

Jason Kenner is just a dad who loves sports and adores his kids, who’s trying to be a good parent. The thing he realized as he started researching challenges he was facing with his own children, is there are a lot of similarities between sports and parenting. He also goes out of his way to teach them how to be a positive impact on the environment. So with On-Par Parent, he’ll share his best advice about both, but he won’t pretend to be a pro in either. And he promises to go easy on the sports puns!