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How to Start a Successful Business in Your Community

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By Guest Writer: Meredith Jones

Don’t be fooled: You don’t have to be in a big city to experience big business. By doing research and preparing the right way, you can start a small business in your local community that thrives. What’s more, your business could also contribute to the enrichment and flourishing of the community itself. In that sense, it’s a win-win!

At Mid-Plains United Way, the focus is to help build stronger communities in any way that we can. That’s why we’ve provided a few practical tips for entrepreneurs who are thinking about opening a business amongst their neighbors:

Choose a Path

When starting a business that is focused on local residents, it’s essential to understand two things:

  1. The concentrated market can work to your advantage.

  2. The limited population can present challenges.

In order to build a local business that succeeds long-term, you’ll have to provide a high-quality product or service that consistently meets the demand of your market. This requires extensive research of your local market and geographic location, among other things. In other words, what do people in your town need?

After laying the groundwork, you need to brainstorm and sift through business ideas until you find the right one. Here are some small business ideas to kick off your brainstorming and research:

● Restaurant

● Food truck

● Coffee shop


● Pet grooming and boarding

● Salon or barbershop

● Grocery store

● Bed and breakfast

● Event venue and planning