Helpful Tips for Dallas Business Owners
For some people, starting a business is a dream come true. For others, however, it quickly becomes a nightmare.
Some entrepreneurs are natural-born business leaders, and others should stick to a weekly paycheck. No matter how adept you are at generating sales, it never hurts to find some useful tips.
In the city of Dallas, Texas, you’ll find lots of opportunities to start and maintain your own company, and as one of the larger communities in the country, there’s no shortage of customers. It’s no secret why so many people continue moving here with the sole intention of beginning a new business venture.
Although starting a company is no simple task, it doesn’t have to continue feeling impossible. Here are a few ways to keep your doors open in Dallas.
Maintain Your Building’s Exterior
Too many inexperienced business owners forget that if your outside surfaces remain filthy, no one will come to shop. A customer begins forming their first impression not when they meet your staff, but when they park outside.
If your parking lot has potholes, or you have cobwebs hanging from your signs, it’s going to appear as if you don’t care. When people think you can’t be bothered with the small stuff, it’s hard to trust what it is you offer.
You should likely have your building painted, and your parking lots refreshed every few years, or sooner. The hot Texas sun takes its toll on your exterior areas sooner than you would expect.
It can be challenging to realize that your exterior needs help when you spend all of your time indoors. One way to remind yourself is to walk around the outside at different times of day to ensure it always appears its best.
Operate on Business-Friendly Communities
While more companies are moving away from brick and mortar stores to create digital shopping experiences, you can’t always do that with all business types. You can’t exactly print out your dry cleaning, and it’s hard to enjoy a message if you’re not there.
Even if you do handle all of your sales online, there is still the matter of taxes to pay out at the end of the year. If the city you currently reside in seems to punish business owners with higher taxes and fees, it may be time to relocate.
Among the best places to operate your business is the greater Dallas area. In addition to favorable business tax rates, CEOs have chosen the state as the best place to work out of for more than 14 years according to the Texas Economic Development Corporation.
Texas also gets backed by CNBC, Forbes, the Silver Shovel Award, and many other industry experts. At the very least, you will see that you’re starting on even footing.
It’s Less Intimidating Than It Looks
It’s understandably frightening to think about starting a little mom and pop shop when you know some of the largest names in the business are your corporate neighbors. How can you compete selling subs on the same block as Frito-Lay, Boston Pizza Company, and other powerhouses in the snack world?
Even if a major corporation is operating in Dallas, it doesn’t mean that they remain a direct competitor. Massive companies are the minority group, with over 80% of businesses staying classified as “small” according to Inc.com.
When you’re in good company among other smaller businesses, it does help take the stress off of having to go toe to toe with an organization that has millions at their disposal. Although that may mean competing against many others, it’s a massive city to start operating.
For all you know, having a skyscraper in your backyard might be beneficial to you. All of their employees have to eat lunch somewhere, after all.
Know Your Zoning Requirements
Surprisingly, for a city that is as supportive of business growth as Dallas, there are many regulations to ensure you meet. The officials can dock you for any number of things, from not having enough trees on your property, to sidewalks that didn’t pour widely enough.
One of the strictest areas of the local business laws refers to zoning regulations. When trying to operate a food industry-related company, you’re facing intense scrutiny.
These businesses have to stay current on liquor licenses, whether you can serve food and more crucial requirements. Other companies may find it challenging to locate somewhere to call their new headquarters, let alone stay running.
For this reason, many would-be business owners decide to turn elsewhere before settling down. While other communities may make it easier to start, you are giving up a significant local consumer base in the process.
Use Local Education to Your Advantage
There are a surprising number of universities and colleges in the community, which means access to a constant stream of those new to the workforce. When you have available entry-level positions, or you’re looking for specific specialized skills, targeting campuses might remain a wise move.
When looking for fresh blood for your staff, it’s relatively easy to join in on any available job fairs that the school might consider hosting. Or, if you’re looking for them to visit your new store, you can easily pass out stacks of flyers in minutes.
If you know that one school is rivals with another across town, you can always play to whichever side remains closest to you. By incorporating a little school spirit and an open mind, you can hope to attract more of the college crowds every day.
You can even try and volunteer as a guest speaker to place your company directly in front of them. Or, you could choose the more expensive route and become a sponsor for one of their sports teams.
Keep an Eye Out for Funding
While the city might remain sticklers for some business requirements, one area they aren’t shy on is providing funds. Although government programs are always going through cycles, some appear more frequently than others.
The Texas Enterprise Fund has remained a cornerstone in attracting new companies to the state since 2003. These federal funds have helped everyone from small businesses, to bring Apple and 3,600 new jobs with it.
PeopleFund, formerly the South Dallas Development Corporation, is a non-profit organization that has continued helping companies grow since 1989. These experts assist in leveraging debt and equity, create new jobs, and allow easier access to capital, among other services.
The South Dallas-Fair Park Trust Fund is a city-run program that has assisted companies in securing funding for decades. However, there are specific requirements, and much of them pertain to improving the city through the housing, community service programs, and other assistance options.
How many occasions have you gotten told that it isn’t what you know, but who? Considering how many companies operate within Dallas, there are numerous opportunities to shake hands and network.
To begin, the local Chamber of Commerce regularly hosts seminars, events, meetings, and more. You could easily meet others in the same industry or get your name out with other like-minded individuals.
Most people starting businesses stay clueless when writing business plans or research. The city’s Business Assistance Center can point you in the right direction with experienced individuals.
There’s even a thriving tech industry, paving the way for more growth. Starting a company in Dallas remains a considerable business option.
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