How to Start a Local Business | Disabled Person

The above picture is of a zoomed-in picture of a computer keyboard. There are a couple of black keys and 1 red key that says "Sell Yourself."

How to Start a Local Business

The impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic on people and businesses is still unfolding, but it’s clear the new reality is somewhat different from the past. It’s changed the way people live, work, and do business. If you’re a disabled entrepreneur wanting to start a business in your local community, specific considerations can affect your success in the long run.

This doesn’t mean you must cast your dreams to the wind. disABLEDperson explains it only means you need to be prepared and make sure you have all the facts at hand to create and grow a sustainable and mutually beneficial business.  

Conduct Market Research

You're unlikely to buy a house without considering what it looks like, how much it costs, and whether it serves your needs. The same holds true for starting a business. The most essential step in any business enterprise is conducting in-depth market research. Big business is possible in small places if it addresses the needs of the community.

Shopify notes that technological advancements have given consumers a choice of multichannel and omnichannel services. They can choose from doing business physically, by telephone, or online. Therefore, it’s essential that you carefully consider the available business options, physical location, customer demographics, and your community’s shopping preferences.

Write a Business Plan

Regardless of the size of your business, if you fail to plan, you're planning to fail. A business plan is the roadmap to your success and needs to include information on proposed funding, location, name, registration, and federal and state regulations.

It’s also essential to choose the proper structure for your business, as this affects your taxes, ability to raise funds, required paperwork, and personal liability in case of legal action or closure. The most common and simplest business structure is a sole proprietorship. If you start this type of business, you can choose a “Doing Business As” name, different from the legally registered name. A DBA allows you to sell products under another name if a domain name for your business isn’t available or if you want to expand your product range.

When planning your business, you want to make sure that you’ve considered what you can do to make your customers’ experiences easier. For example, you might want to use software with a balance API integrated to make fund transfers easier. Having a business advantage is all about what you can do to exceed your customers’ expectations.

Put Your Local Community First, While Supporting Far-Away Causes

Oliver points out that local businesses are the backbone of small communities. Your business can create valuable job opportunities and help grow the economy. It contributes to money circulating in the local community, and the taxes you pay can be used for community improvements. Your business adds local color and creates an opportunity for new innovation and development in the community.

Also consider expanding your reach globally by donating, raising awareness, or even volunteering to causes that are meaningful. Being a local business doesn't mean your impact can't be felt all across the world.

Engage With Your Community

How you engage with your community determines the success of your business. By investing your time and resources, you show you're prepared to give back to your community, and this builds support. If you have a restaurant, try sourcing fresh produce. If you sell products, try featuring locally made items. Serve on local boards, participate in local events, and sponsor sports teams or causes that represent and build your brand.  

A Local Mindset

Knowing how to start and create a sustainable business that serves the needs of your local community also guarantees your success. And remember that there are needs in other localized parts of the world.

disABLEDperson, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to reduce the high unemployment rate of individuals and veterans with disabilities. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!