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McAllen is a wonderful place to start a business. It plays a significant role in both the state's economy and cross-border trading with Mexico.

As McAllen continues to grow from a rural to a metropolitan area, small and large businesses alike can thrive here.

Here are six tips to help your McAllen business grow and prosper.  

1.Know Your Market

The number one thing you have to do to be successful: know your market. It is important to align yourself with fellow business and community leaders. If you can get the support of prominent leaders in the community, that will give you an advantage in obtaining business referrals and information on upcoming business opportunities. The best place to start is by attending the city board events.

All city board meetings are open to the public, and the business owner looking to expand should attend all pertinent events. Go to Chamber of Commerce meetings and especially City of McAllen Commission meetings. City Commission meetings are conducted every second and fourth Monday of the month at 5 p.m. The City Commision is the city council, and these members are aware of all upcoming projects and, more than likely, personally know top businessmen in the community. You want to walk in confident and well versed in what business you’re in. Introduce yourself and invite them to join you for a nice lunch or dinner. This is a great way to lay the foundation for your future professional relationship.

2.Networking a Trade Show

Networking with customers at your trade show booth is a great way to connect and promote your business.

Trade shows garner exposure for your business as well as credibility. Plus, they allow customers to put a face to your company name, which will help strengthen your brand and humanize your business.

You can find dates for trade shows in Texas on the Texas Festivals & Events Association website.

Don't forget about the prospect of buying a booth or vendor table at local events as well, such as fairs and expos. Even local events can bring a lot of exposure to your business and show that you support your community.

3.Partner Up with Other Local Businesses

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Networking is important for obvious reasons, but consider taking it a step further by partnering with McAllen businesses that complement yours. Cross-promotion not only opens up your business to a new audience of potential customers, but it also helps keep other local businesses thriving.

There are many ways you can make cross-promotion work. You may partner with a business by advertising them within your store or shop, or you could even offer a referral discount. And they would do the same for you.

For example, if you run a landscaping business and you partner with a home remodel business, chances are your respective clients could very well be interested in what the other offers.

4.Stay Up-To-Date With McAllen Business News

Staying up-to-date with national business news is important, but be sure to subscribe to publications that specifically apply to McAllen and the surrounding area as well.

One great example would be Texas Border News. This local commerce news source covers essentially every aspect of local business news, as well as offering insights into ways local businesses can improve (i.e. industry and market reports).

These types of publications will be a great tool in the continued growth of your business as well as provide you with information on networking events, workshops and business training in McAllen you could benefit from. Depending on the publication you may even be able to advertise your own business.

Registering with the local Chamber of Commerce will also give insight into McAllen business affairs, important events and new business laws you should be aware of.

5.Give Back to the McAllen Community

Businesses that are active in giving back to their community tend to prosper, and for good reason.

Giving back to your community helps the people in your city, while also giving your business good exposure. Think of ways you could incorporate your products or services into a charity donation or similar event.

An example would be giving a percentage of your proceeds to a charity or foundation of your choice for one month.

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A successful local business is one that makes a positive impact in their region. There are few things as rewarding as helping your community.  

You can find a list of McAllen nonprofits and organizations online, such as on websites like this. You could also consider being a sponsor of a local athletic team, such as a children’s softball league.

6.Consider Switching to a Local Bank

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If you've been dealing with a big name chain bank, consider switching to a local institution. Local community banks are a wonderful choice for small business owners. These banks help support the local McAllen area, give back to the community and feature all the same technology as chain banks.

Plus, local bankers help market your business for you, because they interact with several different business owners within every industry, and would have no problem connecting you with them if they see a business opportunity.

For instance, you'll still have your mobile apps and the other tech you've grown accustomed to. Better yet, community banks, like Inter National Bank, offer a more personalized service and often are more willing to work with small businesses looking to acquire a loan. Your business won't simply be viewed as just another business.

McAllen, Texas has a lot to offer business owners, and the city's continued advancement shows promise for those looking to start off in a prospering region.