Are you interested in starting a new business in Bend? Moving to Bend can help you understand the city and learn more about the advantages of running a business in Bend, but it’s also important to tap into the wider business community. Here are several key tips for entrepreneurs who want to set up shop here!
Find Local Organizations to Help Out
Many, many organizations in Bend exist to help out those looking to start new ventures. The Bend Chamber of Commerce is an obvious place to start, and that’s a great beginning. We suggest you get involved in Score of Central Oregon, which helps link you up with mentors and workshops that are designed from the ground up for people who want to start new businesses. Get involved ASAP and get the on-the-ground advice you need to make good decisions. We also suggest spending time with EDCO and researching local requirements at the City of Bend.
Additionally, all of these amazing resources have plenty of advice on working in the latest conditions, including dealing with social distancing requirements, mask rules, and much more.
Scout Out Locations and Competition Early
Bend is one of the most entrepreneur-friendly cities in the country, and that leads a lot of competition for customers and dollars. It’s important to start as early as you can thinking about locations, looking for rental possibilities, and researching traffic/popularity. You should also waste no time seeing what similar businesses in Bend are doing, and if you can compete with them directly or not. From renting a small studio garage in Old Mill to setting up a new restaurant near COCC, start as early as possible so you’re ready to go.
Take Some Classes
Speaking of Central Oregon Community College, the college also has a Small Business Development Center that focuses on practical training, useful workshops, and one-on-one advice from experienced professional trainers. This can provide excellent hands-on education for starting a business in Central Oregon, especially to those who are newer to entrepreneurship.
Look for Incubators and Accelerators
There are also more specific incubators and accelerators in Bend designed to help and even fund new ventures in very specific industries. The previously mentioned EDCO is one broad example of these organizations, while others include BendTECH, FoundersPad, and Outdoor Worx. We also suggest taking a look at incubators in Portland and Eugene, which often like to help new companies with potential in Central Oregon as well.
Join Social Media and Work on Partnerships
Focusing on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Google My Business may seem a little silly when first setting up a business, but it’s actually very helpful for new ventures in Bend. Small businesses in the city are great at following each other on social media and supporting each other, so it’s easy to start drumming up a presence early. It’s also more important than ever to start posting and sharing your good reviews to get more positive ratings, since that’s how most people in Bend tend to make buying decisions. This can also help you contact stores, taphouses, and local shops that may be interested in carrying your products.
Finally, remember that Moving to Bend is happy to keep you updated on the latest Bend news, relocation advice, and what you should know about doing business in the city!