Savvy minded folk are often inclined to bring their entrepreneurial personalities to rural areas, blank canvas communities that are hungry for exciting new businesses, creative concepts, and economic stimulation, not being as saturated as their urban counterparts. There is certainly a great deal of opportunity to be found in regional, rural areas, especially for local businesses that will boost regional employment levels and bring communities together.
There is, however, a caveat, one that many urban business owners fail to realise, which is that rural businesses require a different approach, both in terms of mindset and operation. If these approaches are not considered, new businesses established in rural areas tend to struggle or quickly fail. So, to ensure that your business success, connecting with a new community, we’ve put together the essential rules you need to know when starting your own rural business.
Importance of Relationships
While the urban population densities might have made professional relationships more flexible due to the number of options and individuals based in one area, rural locations are far less densely populated, making strong relationships crucial to maintain. If you do not keep good relationships with both customers and support services, you will soon find your business isolated from the very community it hopes to serve, with even small tasks becoming somewhat difficult.
Rural business experts, such as Mark Lumsdon Taylor, often acknowledge this importance and work with entrepreneurs to ensure they are integrating within their communities as best as possible.
While urban areas are abundant in competition, saturating their business markets, rural areas are far more sparse. To remedy this, government and foundations often create funds and financial services dedicated to supporting small and rural businesses so as to better stimulate regional economies. Before you begin paying for your expenses and development, be sure to seek out local financing opportunities, since they may help your business get started.
Utilise Digital Services
The internet, including social media, is a beacon. While urban areas can generally assure a certain amount of footfall, rural areas cannot. Therefore, businesses situated in such areas must effectively use social media and other eCommerce platforms to their advantage. In addition to local business campaigns, online neighbourhood groups should be frequented too, not only to understand the needs of the community but to integrate oneself into it, demonstrating that you, as a business owner, value the community.
Runaway success is rare in rural areas. While it is not entirely impossible, a less saturated market (and slower pace of life!) generally means that your growth will be slow. As such, it is important to have a realistic idea of your finances and projected growth before you open your doors.
This is not to say that success is more difficult but it is simply different. Generally, the slower and more personal work environments, those that allow for more significant relationships to be developed, makes for a more rewarding business experience, which is a success of its own.