Expert Contribution

Starting a Small Business?

CBB can help

Hi, my name is Steve Layshock, from Community Bank of the Bay in the Danville branch. 

You may have noticed the small-business boom over the last two years – micro-businesses, freelancers and contractors grew by the millions. Small businesses (a business with 200 or fewer employees) account for over 99% of all companies, and micro-businesses make up over two-thirds of all businesses in the United States. 

Micro-businesses employ nine or fewer employees, and 50% of all small businesses are operated from home. A surge of new business filings hit in the last six months of 2020, with over 4.4 million new businesses being created in 2020, and 2021 didn’t show any signs of slowing down. Experts say they contribute more than $1.2 trillion each year to the United States economy. 

The pandemic forces many to rethink work. Some people need to work from home, and others need to help with virtual school for their children, while others are simply ready for a change. With so much of our lives, products, services, and purchases online, people have found profitable ways to work with little overhead capital needed and from the comfort of their own homes, providing a service, and giving the flexibility to change course on a moment’s notice. As a result, people of every age and background seek greater autonomy in their careers. 

Use Your Interests & Expertise 

Many people turned their interests into businesses, selling their goods on e-commerce sites and social media platforms. According to Quickbooks Small Business Insights report, nearly 9 out of 10 small businesses (88%) say online sales will be an important source of revenue in 2022. Other entrepreneurs used their years of experience into starting freelancing, providing administrative, consulting, website design, and marketing services to other businesses. Podcasts were among the fastest-growing new businesses in 2020 and 2021 because they require very little upfront investment and can quickly turn profitable. 

Solve a Problem 

Starting a new business may not need a lot of startup capital, depending on what product or service you choose. However, your new business will take attention, care, and effort. If you have the motivation but not yet the idea, try working backward. What is one problem or issue that you can solve for people? For example, if you’ve been making dog treats for your dog that helps alleviate her arthritis, consider producing and selling these canine treats to a broader audience. 

Look to the Trends 

Be ready for both online and traditional in-person sales. Foot traffic – and in-person meetings – will ebb and flow depending on the time of year and the status of the pandemic. According to the National Customer Foot Traffic Report, in-store visits were up in October and November before falling again in December. As a result, your business will need to be prepared for both a robust online and offline presence. 

Take your cue from the millions of new businesses and learn more about starting one of your own. You can better position yourself by understanding current industry trends and best practices. As a local business bank, Community Bank of the Bay is here to help new entrepreneurs on their path to beginning a business. 

By Steve Layshock, Community Bank of the Bay 

About The Author

Team Danville
Community Bank of the Bay

Established in 1996, Community Bank of the Bay (CBB) is an independent, community-focused bank. Our mission is to foster and promote economic development in the communities we serve. We take the time to listen, understand, and develop customized financial solutions to support the needs of businesses. CBB is a FDIC member, SBA Preferred Lender, and a CDARS depository institution. We are California’s first FDIC-insured certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). 

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