By David Dixon

Starting a woman-owned business in your local community is an investment that can be personally rewarding and professionally fulfilling, and have societal value as well. Companies that are good corporate citizens can have a notable positive impact on the communities they serve, and in turn, are typically well patronized by citizens.

Here, PrimaMundi outlines ways your female-forward business can make a difference.

Getting Started

There are several important pre-startup tasks you’ll need to take care of to ensure your business launches on the right foot. Develop a business and marketing plan to help you identify your target market, make hiring decisions, and develop your operating budget. You’ll also want to have an engaging and interactive website, a social media presence, and a business bank account.

If you haven’t yet formed a limited liability company, now’s the time to do it. An LLC can protect you from some types of liability, and be beneficial at tax time. You can file the paperwork yourself, pay an attorney, or, preferably, use a formation company like ZenBusiness to take all of the hassle out of the process. States have different rules around LLC formation, so learn yours in advance.

Secure a Location

If you’re starting a brick-and-mortar business, according to SCORE, you’ll want to find a location that’s in your budget, easy to access, and has the space and amenities your business needs. Also consider growth potential – if you plan to expand, having extra square footage can be beneficial. You may need to outfit your shop with fixtures, office equipment and supplies, display cases, or dining areas, depending on the type of operation you’re launching.

Your business should be a reflection of your vision, so consider how you want to be perceived when making design choices and building your brand. You’ll need signage, adequate parking, and potentially insurance and security features, both to protect your business and your customers.

Hire Staff

Hiring from your local community shows your investment in the people who call your city home. You’ll help bolster the economy, while providing jobs for people who need them. Consider the positions you need to fill, write detailed job descriptions, post the openings, and conduct interviews.

According to Robert Half, you’ll want to hire personable people with knowledge and experience in your particular industry. If you’re in a financial services line of work, you may want to conduct background checks and otherwise vet top candidates before extending an offer of employment. If you don’t need full-timers, consider hiring independent contractors or freelancers on an as-needed basis. Other services – like accounting, tax preparation, marketing and IT – can also be hired out.

Join Professional Organizations

Local chambers of commerce and Rotary clubs can be great resources for small business owners, providing a wealth of opportunities to network and build your business. Women’s development centers and small business development organizations may also offer mentoring, workshops, and opportunities to apply for special business loans and grants. Involvement can also get you connected to the community. You may opt to support local environmental organizations and community groups as a way to get your name into the public. This builds affinity for you and your brand, allows you to be a good corporate steward, and builds goodwill in your community.

Launching a woman-owned community-based business is an excellent way to grow your company while supporting the economic health of your local citizenry. It’s also a way to be an advocate for other female professionals and up-and-comers. So take these tips to heart to make the biggest impact you can.