The First Steps towards Owning a Business as a Minority
Arts Marketplace in Grand Rapids, Michigan, aims to support women- and minority-owned businesses with an inclusive community space to showcase their products, as well as providing them with the resources and encouragement necessary to succeed. We are passionate about helping minority-owned businesses flourish and thrive, and here, we share insights on getting started.
Research the Market
Before you invest time and money into your business, it’s crucial to do market research to test out your business idea. This phase is critical because it not only assists you in smoothing out the kinks in your business but also assists you in determining whether your business will work at all. Market research helps you to better understand your customer base and can also help you determine the demand for your product or service, the target market, market saturation, and more. Resources like SpringGR and Start Garden can help in these early developmental stages.
Develop a Business Plan
You’ll want to construct a business plan once you’ve zeroed in on your customer and figured out what will work best for your business. The basis of any company is your business plan, which is a step-by-step guide to the structure, operation, and growth of your new company. It will be used to persuade people that working or investing with you is a wise decision. The business plan should include everything from a company profile and mission statement to details on market research, your product or service, marketing strategies, and funding.
Register Your Business
The next step launching your business is to ensure you register your business correctly and complete all the legal requirements for new businesses. The location and structure of your business determine how you’ll need to register your business. Once you complete this step, you can be assured that your business will be running legally and in compliance with regulations.
Get Certified as a Minority-Owned Business
Governments and corporations across the United States frequently set aside a portion of their contract budgets for minority-owned businesses. However, if you want your business to be officially recognized as a minority-owned business, you must get an official certification to demonstrate that it is credibly established and is prepared to engage with large public and private institutions. The certification isn’t required for you to start your business, but it can be extremely beneficial as you get started and grow, with opportunities for special funding and contracts. This certification is offered by several government agencies at the municipal, state, and federal levels. Here are a few options to consider:
- Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program
- National Minority Supplier Development Council
- Federal and local certifications
Become a Vendor with Us
Minority-owned businesses are a growing sector of the business economy, and if you’re an entrepreneur of color trying to make your ambition a reality, you might be wondering where to start. At Arts Marketplace in Grand Rapids, MI, we are committed to helping minority-owned businesses succeed by showcasing their products and providing them with the tools and support they need. Contact us today to learn more tips on starting your minority-owned business or becoming a vendor.