How To Start A Community-Based Business

How To Start A Community-Based Business

Did you know community-based businesses are the lifeblood of the American dream?

More than 50% of our population would like to start a business of their own to serve in their communities.

What are the benefits of starting a community-based business and what are the challenges or obstacles?

In this article, we’ll explore the answers to these questions and more. Let’s get started. 

Why start a business that serves a community rather than building a global empire? A global empire certainly offers more opportunity for profitability and long-term wealth building.

However, a community-based business offers the less-than-tangible results of connectivity and meaningful interaction with others.

Further, relevant income can certainly be acquired, as a result of those relationships, as well.

Starting a community-based business relies on the goodwill and intentionality of the community members to become loyal customers of the goods offered or services provided by the startup business.

Step 1: Assess Your Target Audience

The first step to starting a community-based business is found in assessing the target audience in the community.

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Will your customer base be large enough to create a profit? To find out the answer to this question, you’ll want to survey community members.

If you need to go door-to-door to take an assessment, spend the time to do so. You’ll need accurate information before moving forward.

Alternatively, you could send out surveys, or conduct a poll at a neighborhood grocery store to obtain the results needed.

Step 2:  Analyze Your Competitors

Similar to assessing the community, you’ll also want to analyze any competitors.

If you have direct competitors, you’ll want to consider ways in which your company might overcome their offers.

Create discounts or product packages, offer buy one, get one introductory offers, or combine services at your new nail salon.

Discover the pricing models of competitors, their marketing strategies and special promotions offered.  

Step 3:  Construct A Business Plan

The next step to building your community-based business will be found in constructing a business plan.

Refer to the startup business plan template pdf free to detail the components of your plan; including the mission statement and objectives and how those goals will translate into actionable processes and successful results.

Within your business plan, you’ll present an executive summary, a financial forecast, the marketing strategies your business will employ, and the operational structure for day-to-day business practices. 

Step 4:  Secure Funding

When your business plan is complete, consider approaching lenders or investors for startup funding.

The financial projections included in your business plan will serve as your roadmap of funding needs.

The pros and cons of acquiring investors means the money given for funding need not be repaid; however, the investor will hold an equity position in your company.

Lending will accomplish funding; the loan will need to be repaid with interest on a scheduled timeline. 

Step 5:  Hiring And Training Personnel 

Hire and train personnel with the same priorities as yours. Look for those with a pleasant customer service attitude and those who handle transactions with courtesy.

Be aware of sensitive information that staff members may handle or process.

If, for example, you are considering how to start a bookkeeping business you’ll want to ensure your personnel understand the sensitivity of monetary issues. 

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Step 6:  Marketing Goals And Strategies 

Marketing within a community requires different goals and strategies than those of a major corporation.

In many ways, your goals will depend on your personal reputation of trustworthiness and credibility.

You’ll want to market your goals along with your service or product in order to send the right message to your target audience. Use the following samples as a guide: 

  • Have emergency contact cards printed with the phone numbers for local police, fire department, and poison control. Include your name and phone number and offer the cards to community members. 
  • Sponsor local police or fire departments. Also, sponsor sports teams or any other community-related activities or events. 
  • Print your company name and contact information on pizza boxes. Ask your local pizzeria if you can pay for the printed ads on top of each pizza box; this is a creative way to spark interest. 
  • Join local clubs and associations and take an active role in leading wherever you join. Run food banks or clothing closets for those in need during difficult seasons and ensure everyone in the community has access to federal and local assistance. 
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No matter which methods of marketing you use, your goodwill and connectivity in the community will ensure your target audience will return again and again as customers to enjoy doing business with you, along with a bit of conversation along the way. We wish you success!

Written by Alan Taylor
I’m Alan, a technology writer with a decade of experience testing and reviewing software. I’m passionate about providing honest and unbiased reviews to help consumers make informed decisions. With a background in computer science and a talent for simplifying complex concepts, I enjoy exploring new technology trends.