Aspiring Fauquier Entrepreneurs: Boost the Community with Your Small Business
Small businesses provide many benefits to their communities. They create jobs, spur economic activity, and can be a source of community pride. If you're thinking about starting a small business, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Keep reading for our top tips on starting a small business in our Fauquier community.
The Local Economy Benefits
Small businesses contribute greatly to the economy. That's why it's so important to support small businesses in your local community. Not only do they provide goods and services that you and your neighbors rely on, but they also stimulate economic activity and create jobs — almost 13 million in the last 25 years, in fact.
You'll Need a Business Plan
One of the most important steps in starting any business is creating a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, marketing plans, and financial projections. Creating a business plan forces you to think carefully about what you want your business to achieve and how you're going to go about achieving it.
If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of books and online articles with tips for crafting an effective business plan for your new venture. If you don’t feel confident in your abilities to create one from scratch, there are a lot of great software programs that can help you put a business plan together. Take a look at a review guide, like the one from Capterra, that offers customer ratings, product synopses, and comparison tools for today’s top brands.
Opt for an LLC
When you're forming your new business, one of the decisions you'll need to make is what type of legal structure to choose for your company. The most common types of legal structures for small businesses are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. One popular option for small businesses is the LLC structure because it offers limited personal liability protection for the owners (known as "members") while still allowing them to receive certain tax benefits.
An LLC can also be relatively simple and inexpensive to form compared to other types of legal structures, making it a good option if you're just getting started with your small business idea. If you’d feel more comfortable having a professional file your paperwork for you, know that working with an online service is significantly cheaper than hiring a lawyer. Take some time to comparison shop different companies. The LLC service reviews by BestLLCServices.com offer insight on agency reviews, histories, and TrustPilot scores to help you make an informed decision.
Market Your Business on a Budget
A common challenge faced by small businesses is marketing their products or services on a budget. There are several ways to market your small business without spending a lot of money. One way is to take advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These platforms allow you to reach out to potential customers for free or at very little cost. You can also use word-of-mouth marketing by telling friends, family, and neighbors about your new venture. And finally, consider partnering with other local businesses in joint marketing ventures — this can help split the cost while still reaching a larger audience than you could on your own.
Once you’re ready to grow your business beyond the free and low-cost tools at your disposal, consider working with a freelance marketing expert to help you find new opportunities. These professionals cost much less than hiring a full-time employee or working with a big agency, but will still give you measurable results. Some of the best hiring websites for finding a marketing specialist include Fiverr, Contently, and ClearVoice. Be sure to vet potential candidates by checking out their portfolios, competencies, and client ratings on the freelance website you use.
These are just a few things to keep in mind if you're thinking about starting a small business in the Fauquier community. There are many resources available to help get you started. Do some research before making any major decisions so that you can find the option that makes the most sense for your particular situation, and be sure to join the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce to take advantage of all of the resources and opportunities we provide. When it's done right, starting a small business can be highly rewarding both personally and financially. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Fauquier venture today!Photo: Pexels