December 09, 2022

The SouthCoast region of Massachusetts is a great place to start a small business. With its mix of urban and rural areas, the SouthCoast provides entrepreneurs with the perfect environment to test out their business ideas. If you're a freelancer who is ready to turn your side hustle into a full-fledged business, the One SouthCoast Chamber outlines some steps you can take to get started.


Creating a Business Plan

The first step you should take when starting your business is to create a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. A well-crafted business plan will improve your chances of securing funding and attracting customers.


If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available online. You can also find local workshops and events that can help you learn more about creating a business plan.


Networking to Find Clients

One of the best ways to find clients for your new business is through networking. Attend local events and meetups related to your industry. Get involved with chambers of commerce and professional organizations. And don't forget to utilize social media; Eventige Media Group notes that LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting with potential clients.


Why You Should Form an S Corp or LLC

If you're starting a small business in Massachusetts, you may be wondering whether you should form an LLC or an S corporation. While both have their benefits, setting up an S Corp in Massachusetts may offer some tax advantages that could save you money in the long run.


An S corporation is a type of corporation that elects to be taxed under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code. This allows income from the corporation to flow directly to the shareholders, who are then responsible for paying taxes on it at their individual tax rates. This can often result in a lower overall tax liability than if the corporation was taxed as a C corporation.


An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that provides its owners with protection from personal liability for business debts and liabilities. When you check into how to form an LLC in Massachusetts, you’ll find that LLCs are popular among small businesses because they are relatively easy and inexpensive to set up and maintain. In addition, LLCs offer flexibility in terms of how the business is governed and taxed. For example, unlike corporations, LLCs are not required to have a board of directors or hold annual meetings. And while LLCs are taxed as partnerships, members can elect to have the LLC taxed as a corporation. 


Forming an LLC is a simple process that can be done online or through your state's secretary of state office. And once your LLC is formed, you'll need to take care of ongoing maintenance tasks, such as filing annual reports and paying taxes. But forming an LLC is well worth the effort, as it can provide important legal and financial protections for your business.

Marketing Your Business

Once you've got your business up and running, it's time to start marketing it. There are many different marketing strategies you can use, but it's important to find one that works for your budget and your target audience. Traditional methods like print ads, radio commercials, and TV commercials can be expensive, so they may not be feasible for small businesses just starting out.


Instead, consider using low-cost or even free marketing methods like online advertising, content marketing, or social media marketing. These methods allow you to reach a large number of people without breaking the bank. And Sprout Social suggests not forgetting about word-of-mouth marketing; this tactic is still one of the most effective ways to market your business, and it doesn't cost anything!


Returning to School for Your Degree

While having a degree isn't required to start a small business, going back to school and earning your degree can help you run a successful enterprise. If you're interested in starting your own business but don't have any formal education in entrepreneurship or management, consider returning to school to get your degree. Doing so will give you the knowledge and skills you need to run your business effectively. Plus, having a degree from an accredited institution will make you more attractive to potential investors and customers alike.


Starting a small business in the SouthCoast region of Massachusetts is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who are looking for affordable real estate and access to urban and rural markets alike. If you're ready to turn your freelancing work into a full-fledged small business, take some time to create a well-crafted business plan and get involved with networking groups in your industry. 


You should also consider forming an S corporation so that you can take advantage of favorable tax benefits. And finally, don't forget about marketing; although traditional methods like print ads can be expensive, there are plenty of low-cost or even free marketing tactics that can help get your name out there without breaking the bank!


Looking for business support in Douglas County? The One SouthCoast Chamber champions our community’s economic and cultural growth through networking, events, and advocacy. Contact us today to become a member!