Guest Written by Gloria Martinez of WomenLed.org
As members of a community, we often look for ways to make our neighborhoods a better place. Often, this is volunteering or donating money to causes near and dear to our hearts. But, this is not the only way that we can have a positive and long-lasting impact on the people and places that make up home. We can also open businesses within our community to give us the financial freedom to do more while also bringing needed goods and services to our friends and neighbors.
The Playful Possibilities blog presents more insight on how and why to start a business that will make your community a better place.
Determine local needs.
The needs of your community will not be the same as the needs of others. Before you launch any type of business with the intention of doing the most good, first determine what the greatest needs are in your area. In some neighborhoods, this will be access to education. In this example, an in-person tutoring business with flexible rates would be a good option. In food deserts (areas without access to a stable supply of healthy foods), an affordable produce stand may be more appropriate.
Get the word out.
Once you have your business idea and are up and running, you want to get the word out to the most people possible. The most logical way to do this is by launching a website and creating a presence on social media. If you’re not tech savvy, skip the drag and drop website builders and look for a web developer to help you create the best site possible. You can find an entry level web designer for anywhere from $15-$30, but a well-reviewed developer that is known for being timely and professional might cost more. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find one locally, but you can also use an online job platform to source someone who’s skill set matches your needs and budget.
Make it affordable.
When pricing products and services for a small business, you have to pay close attention to the average income and cost of living in a specific area. This can vary drastically from state to state and even from city to city. If you want to have the broadest reach, you have to make what you have to offer affordable to those people that would benefit the most. To do this, you may need to cut costs. Business payment platform GoCardless explains that you can reduce your overhead by doing things like outsourcing certain duties or allowing yourself or your employees to work remotely.
Hire people that would use your services.
When you’re looking to benefit your community, you can start by hiring the people that you are aiming to do good for. Hiring people with disabilities or mental illnesses, for example, not only puts these people to work but also showcases your dedication to the demographic you’re trying to help. Diverse hiring practices will also have a positive impact on the entire population of your neighborhood.
You want to do good, but you also have to earn an income to support your family. Opening a business with the intention of filling a need within your community is a great way to kill both proverbial birds with one stone. Remember, start by doing your research and make sure that your services are accessible to those who need them most.
Playful Possibilities was founded in 2019 and aims to bring out the best in children and adults alike by providing a safe and nurturing environment to heal.
A note from Courtney:
I just wanted to thank Gloria for writing this to share with you all and to take a moment to celebrate some of the other amazing local businesses and initiatives you may like to check out include the work of Chances Cafe, All Abilities Mackay, Healthy Clean & Green, Move and Play and let us know your favourite local initiatives below.