You were country before it was fashionable. You’re ready to begin your small company in rural America. In 2023, rural enterprises are booming. In the 2000s, rural economies lost manufacturing employment, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Service and retail employment, mostly in small enterprises, have replaced such positions in recent years.
How can you help your rural small company thrive? Let’s examine the ups and downs of owning a rural company and how to develop a successful partnership with your community.
Benefits of Rural Small Business
You may be thinking whether you need to move to a more crowded region before launching your firm. That’s one possibility, but you may also take use of rural business advantages. Benefits include:
You’ll Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond
In remote areas, retail shopping is scarce. If your bowling alley is the only one within 50 miles, you’ll naturally draw local bowlers. You may develop quickly in a small region if you’re the only source of a product or service.
If you create a brick-and-mortar company, you’ll still have lots of internet competition, but you may be shocked to discover that local clients still choose your shop over an ecommerce choice. Why?
Shopping Local Will Last
Small Business Saturday, which follows Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the U.S.’s greatest shopping day, has grown in popularity. The Small Business Administration reports that since 2010, Small Business Saturday has reached $23 billion in yearly expenditure.
“Near me” is also the most searched term online. People are looking for local restaurants, businesses, service providers, and more. If your company is the only one of its sort in your rural area, clients will flock to it.
World Is Your Oyster
Brick-and-mortar companies benefit from the local shopping trend, but rural enterprises don’t have to operate in isolation. You may always take your small company online and reach a national audience.
Today’s internet company entrepreneurs don’t need a warehouse or factory to succeed. Becoming a third-party Amazon seller utilizing Fulfillment by Amazon, dropshipping, or producing and selling online training courses may get you started in ecommerce with minimal money and expertise.
Negatives of Rural Small Business
Operating a remote small company has its drawbacks, as with everything. Fortunately, you can overcome problems once you know about them.
Connectivity Isn’t Guaranteed
Rural America is catching up to urban areas, although some communities still have poor Wi-Fi and phone connection. Online enterprises may fail due to this. It may also hinder brick-and-mortar companies that use the internet for point-of-sale, accounting, and bookkeeping software.
Your target market has a cap for physical enterprises. You may find it difficult to develop if your prospective consumers are just within driving distance. Traditional marketing won’t work if there’s no populace to support your firm. There are always methods to diversify goods and introduce new income sources to take part of the company online.
Be Ready to Disrupt the Status Quo
Life is slower in the country, which may be a benefit. However, it may also delay adaptation and transformation. Be prepared for local opposition if you start a rural company, particularly if you’re competing with an existing firm or if your business causes additional changes like construction, traffic, etc. Try leaning into your community and making a good effect to succeed in rural areas.
Rural Small Businesses and Community
Two sorts of communities can help your rural small company succeed. The first is your firm’s community, and the second is your support network of other small business owners.
First, become active in your local community to build your rural company. In a rural community, building connections is essential. Introduce yourself and search for ways to help, particularly to other company owners. Volunteer, fund local organizations, and reward repeat local consumers with incentives and exclusive offers.
You’ll also want to expand your small business community. Your support network of like-minded entrepreneurs can help when required. In a poll, 91% of company owners said a strong small business community is the key to success, and 60% said they found it in a local community. Wondering where to start building your small business community?
- Small Business Administration locations.
- Contact SCORE for a free small business mentor.
- Check out social media communities for entrepreneurs and company owners in your sector.
- Find your local Chamber of Commerce.
Rural Small Business Grants and Resources
Rural small company entrepreneurs may get help if they search. If your firm needs funding, try applying for a rural small business award. You may also wish to investigate financing and resource possibilities. To begin:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: The USDA provides rural business development grants in all 50 states.
- Small Business Administration: The SBA helps rural small companies with grants, loans, and other funding.
- SCORE: More than free business mentors, this group offers several services. You may also discover a full list of rural business finance possibilities.