Your Small Business Works for Your Community

Importance of small businesses

Thinking about starting a business, you might be focusing on earning an income and taking care of your family. But, what you might not have seen just yet is the impact that small, local businesses can have on their communities. Keep reading for more information on how to get started and why it makes sense to keep it in your own hometown.

The Big Impact of Small Businesses

The word small is a bit of a misnomer, as there is nothing small about the impact that local businesses have on the economy. According to American National University, there are more than 56 million people employed by non-corporations, meaning the small businesses are collectively the number one employer in the US. Plus, these “mom-and-pop shops” take up nearly half of all commercial retail space and account for four dollars out of every $10 spent in retail.

As a small business owner, you also have an opportunity to support your local community in ways you may not be able to as an employee. You might, for example, sponsor a children’s softball team or take a day off once each month to deliver meals to the elderly and infirm. You also are in a position to get to know the people that buy from you through things like community events and open houses.

Launching Your Small Business

Like all businesses that have come before, your small business will start with an idea. You also need to identify the things you love and that you’re good at. In our post finding your niche asserts that finding your niche is a matter of knowing what you love, who would value it, and what problems it might solve.

Once you have your business idea in place, you can then work on writing a business plan. This is a crucial step in the formation process that allows you to create a roadmap of sorts that will outline your path toward success. Your business plan will include everything from your company name and marketing strategies to information on how you plan to pull a profit, which is especially important if you want investors down the road.

Something else to consider during the early formation process is establishing an LLC or other business structure. In Tennessee, your LLC can help you keep your personal finances away from your business since it allows you to open a bank account in your business’s name. To get started, register your official company name and appoint a registered agent. They will need to fill out an operating agreement and then file an official certificate of formation. You can use an online service to get this done. Finally, apply for a VIN with the IRS.

You also want to check if you’re required to have a business license or to register with any particular organization. If your business is located within the state, and you make more than $10,000 each year, you will need a license. According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, this also means you’ll need to pay taxes, which are due within four months of the end of each fiscal year.

Marketing Like A Local

Marketing your business might sound like a huge chore, and it can be. But, once you get the momentum going, it’s much easier. A few things that can help you get your business off the ground in the early days include:

  • A digital presence. Your online digital presence matters more than you might think. Having a website legitimizes your business. It’s also how most people will get in touch with you. Even a simple website can help you stand up against the competition by integrating mobile capabilities, which allow customers to contact or navigate to you with one click or to shop online.
  • An open house. Hosting an open house is a fun and exciting way to engage with your customers and business neighbors. Plan to open after hours to showcase the best of what you have to offer. You might even provide refreshments and give away small tokens of appreciation, such as branded Chapstick, hand sanitizer, or embroidered hats.

While you may start your new business with the primary goal of supporting your family, don’t lose sight of the fact it will also support your community. Not only do you have a chance to create jobs, you can also support causes near and dear to your heart. Getting started takes work, but it’s worth it, and becoming an entrepreneur takes you one step closer to achieving the financial independence you desire.

Get your Quote

Green Thoughts Design offers web design, search engine optimization, and other digital marketing services for businesses throughout the Chattanooga area. For more information, contact 888.263.6626.

Business Web Design

Business Web Design

Must Have Business Web Design

What are the MUST HAVES for your business web design

There are things that will work for a business web design and things that will not work for a business website. It will be our goal to outline a list of must haves and sprinkle in a bit of don’t do it comments. There are always exceptions, however when people visit a web design and particularly a business web design they expect to find a certain look or type for particular categories of business and/or sites.

With all of that said let’s get into the must haves:


Business Web Design Must Haves

Clear Calls to Action

Your business web design needs a clear call to action. The call to action button will and should stand out for your visitors as soon as they hit the page. It should be visible upon landing (exception to mobile browsers) and should be an attention getting color. I prefer reds and oranges. It should lead the way to what you want your visitor to do. What action do you want the individual to take? Use that text. Contact us. Get a Quote. Learn More.

Here’s an example.

Get a Quote Call To Action Button

Good Design

I think it goes without saying that your business web design needs to be attractive to your target audience. You want the colors to inspire trust and to work together. This also means you need a modern style for your website. You need a site that looks like it was built in the last 1 to 2 years. As a side note the average business updates and redesigns there website every 18 to 24 months. Make it look good and update it every few years.

Don’t do this.

Bad Web Design for your business

Mobile Friendly

This one is huge and should be one of your top goals. You MUST HAVE a business web design that is Mobile Friendly and works on all platforms and browser types. For example your site should resize appropriately for Desktop, Tablets, and Mobile Phones. If not you are putting yourself and your business at great risk. Google has stated they are giving the Search Engine Rankings preference to Mobile First Ranking and over half of all website traffic is mobile!

Going Mobile First for your Business web Design

Clear Contact Form

It’s absolutely necessary that you have a clear area on your website for visitors and clients to contact you. This area should include your NAP. Name, Address, and Phone Number. Bonus for local phone numbers, but if you do world wide business a toll free number will work.

You should include a contact form for the visitor to fill out his or her name & email at a bare minimum, however for most businesses adding a phone number field is a good followup idea. Finally, leave an area for the visitor to write a message to you.

I believe it’s best to include your NAP and contact information at the bottom/footer on each page aside from landing pages.

Clear Contact Form Example for business website

About Page

A business website design must have an about page, which is sometimes known as Our Story, or About Us. The point here is that those visiting you need to get to know you. They need to see real people and real office space or work stations. They need to connect with you on a human level. This may sound too much but it’s important. It builds relationship and connection when someone sees you instead of a model.

Keep the page short and sweet, tell a story or two about how you got where you are, and speak to the benefit or working with your business and how it differentiates you from other companies. Not too salesy though just to the point and honest.

Social Icons

Social Proof

Add social icons and links to your various social profiles. I guess it goes without saying that a quality business web design must have a social profiles behind it. Try to stay consistent with your branding across platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. For many companies these are the must have profiles, however in some instances you may wish to have a Pinterest or Snapchat depending on your industry.

Business website social proof and Reviews

Google Reviews Embedded

People are moved by Google Reviews, Yelp Reviews, etc take advantage of this and embed your reviews with an api or third party software to show proof of what others are saying about there experience with your business. This will elevate you and create a sense of trust.

On a similar note you need to work hard for your reviews and reply to all reviews you are given both good and bad. Build a process of followup with your clients were you request a review after service/etc and again 14 and 30 days later if you haven’t received it.

Closing Business Web Design Remarks

Follow the advice above to get on the right track with your small business web design. If you are feeling overwhelmed reach out to us for a free consultation. We provide full service affordable business web design and Search Engine Optimization.

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