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A Guide to Starting a Small Business in the Charlotte County Community

Over the last few years, there has been a resurgence in small businesses popping up in communities across the country. And for good reason! There are many benefits to starting a small business, from boosting the local economy to creating jobs. If you're thinking about starting a small business here in Charlotte County, this guide is for you. Keep reading to learn more about how to get started.

Small Businesses Are Great for the Local Economy

One of the biggest benefits of starting a small business is the positive impact it can have on the local economy. Small businesses are typically owned and operated by people who live in the same community, which means the money they make is reinvested back into the community. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, "Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms." That's a lot of power for such a small group!

Another way small businesses positively impact the local economy is by creating jobs. Small businesses are often responsible for adding new jobs to the community, which helps reduce unemployment and provides opportunities for people to gain new skills and experience.

A Business Plan Is Essential

One of the first steps you'll need to take when starting a small business is to create a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and tactics. It will also help you secure funding from investors and lenders. 

Creating a business plan can seem like a tall order, but there are plenty of resources available to help you get started, including templates, software programs, and professional services. There are even individuals who specialize in creating business plans, and you can check out a recruiting website to find qualified candidates. Be sure to look at their credentials, including their areas of focus, experience summary, and client ratings, all of which will help you find the best man or woman for the job.

You Can Benefit from an LLC Designation

Another important consideration when starting a small business is what legal structure to choose for your company. One popular option for small businesses is to organize as an LLC, or limited liability company. LLCs offer personal liability protection for the owners (known as members), which means that if something goes wrong with the business, members' assets are protected. This feature is especially important if your business will be handling customers' personal information or data, as it can help shield you from liability in the event of a data breach. 

In addition to personal liability protection, LLCs also offer flexibility when it comes to taxes and ownership structure. For example, LLCs can choose to be taxed as either corporations or partnerships (depending on their number of members). This flexibility can be helpful if your business's tax situation changes over time.

Of course, in order to benefit from all of the advantages of LLCs, you need to make sure your paperwork is filed correctly from the get-go. Many entrepreneurs opt to hire an agency to get the job done right. There are many services you can choose from, so using a resource that helps you narrow down the best LLC services online is a smart move. Take a look at each company’s history, TrustPilot score, and client reviews to find a qualified agency.

You'll Need a Marketing Plan

Marketing is an important part of any business's success, but it can be especially challenging for small businesses with limited budgets. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective marketing strategies that don't require a large investment. For example, social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing are all relatively low-cost ways to reach your target market. And thanks to technology, it's easier than ever before to start implementing these strategies.

Still, marketing your business can easily become a full-time job, so if you don’t have the skills, time, or resources to tackle it on your own, hiring a freelancer is a worthwhile expense. This resource notes that there are several great hiring websites that can help you find a marketing expert at an affordable price. For example, Mayple will connect you with the top 5 percent of digital marketers in the market, while GrowTal is lauded for its capabilities in helping growing businesses reach new heights.

If you're thinking about starting a small business in your community, there are many reasons why it's worth doing. From boosting the local economy to creating jobs, there are numerous benefits associated with small businesses. The first step is creating a business plan, and then you'll want to decide on a business structure. Once your plan and structure are in place, you can begin to market your small business using low-cost strategies. With technology making it easier than ever before to connect with your target market, there's no better time than now to get started on growing your small business! Don’t forget that your membership in the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce will also help your business be a success in our community and beyond!

Photo: Pexels

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