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I need some help with how to start running my own business in a small town. I dream of opening my own business but i need help. Any advice

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Katherine’s Answer

Agree with Erika's advice on the importance of relationships in a small town. I've interviewed many business owners in small towns and word of mouth will be one of your most valuable assets in building your customer base. Do you already know what kind of business you want to start? If not, I would think about what skills and passions you have and have casual conversations with people in your town to understand what needs they have that are currently being met through other businesses. Start small, test, and experiment into it - whether that's your product, service, how you price. Once you have some confidence in where you can take your business, get organized sooner than later. You can leverage some resources others have cited. Personally, keep track of your customers, your spending, your sales. Have a system so you have clear categories, etc. Starting a business can be hard in a small town so think about how you could extend your reach through social. But also be aware that just because you are online or a marketplace, the sales don't automatically flow in. There's still a lot of work to be put in in understanding your customers, how to reach them, and delivering the best experience to them.

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Bryanna’s Answer

Growing up, my Father ran his own heating and air conditioning service.  I learned a lot from helping him.  The first step is to develop a plan.  I suggest starting with identifying your planned costs.  This will help you understand how much revenue you need or if you will have to scale back on planned costs.  Start with imagining your first day of operation.  Ask and answer as many questions as you can so that you can visualize the entire operation. Where will you conduct this business? What are your hours of operation? How will customers know about your business - signs, social media, local Chamber of Commerce? How will customers reach you; via phone, social media, internet, walk-in a store?  Are you selling a product or a service?  How will you know if your pricing is fair and competitive? Will your customers want to touch or try the product?  How will you handle customers if they are not happy with the product or service?  Once you've envisioned your first day, think about the first month and the first year.  What will you need to do if there are natural peaks in your business; i.e. for my Father, the first cold snap meant an increase in furnace issues.  If you are planning a retail business, the day after Thanksgiving means increased shopping.  Spending time developing a comprehensive plan will help you succeed that difficult first year. 

Bryanna recommends the following next steps:

Develop a written plan and realistic budget

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Erika’s Answer

Hi Isabella - One of the best ways to start running your own business is to learn from other business leaders in the community. I would recommend joining the Chamber of Commerce and networking with other professionals in the community that have started businesses. In a small town especially, creating lasting customer relationships and brand loyalty is key, so networking is the best way!

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Isabella’s Answer

Get good grades and you'll find out how to make a business in a small town. ;p