How to Start a Business in Your Small Town

Entrepreneurs come from everywhere—rural areas, small towns, and big cities alike. That’s a great thing because all areas need great business ideas to elevate their quality of life. If you’ve always dreamed of being a business owner, you should know that you don’t have to move to a big city like New York or Los Angeles to make it big. Actually, depending on the type of business your entrepreneur self is dreaming up, you might be more successful by catering to the local community who you know and love. There are plenty of small-town business ideas that are destined for success. If you love your small town or a rural area and have a business idea you can’t wait to launch, read on for some tips.

Take a look around at the other small-town businesses.

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While a small town is a great place to start a new business, it’s important to remember that your target audience is pretty finite in a rural area with a smaller population. This is why it’s a good idea to take a look around and assess which local businesses are already cornering a niche in the market. Take a stroll down Main Street. Do you see a well-loved coffee shop, grocery store, bakery, or hair salon? Do you see locals lined up outside the ice cream shop or bookstore? If so, those are all areas that you should avoid as a new business owner.

After all, you don’t want any animosity with locals who perceive that you’re trying to rain on their parade. Instead, come up with a small town business idea that doesn’t exist yet. Maybe there’s no car wash, or maybe this small town could use a thrift store or a food truck? Go for something exotic or new—that’s a really great way to capture the attention of the local community.

Draw up an air-tight business plan and budget.

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When it comes to a small town business idea, there isn’t a whole lot of room for error. News travels fast in a small community, and if you didn’t have a great first impression, that can make or break what could have been a successful business. Before you start, draw up a business plan and budget that accounts for everything you’ll need for at least the first three years that your new business exists.

For example, if you’re going all-in on a local restaurant or food truck with cuisine that the locals haven’t tasted before, you need to think about merchandise, yes, but also about shelves and appliances. Restaurant equipment can be expensive, and you don’t want to skimp on freezers or refrigerant. Do some research about how much an Atosa freezer costs, and see if your startup might obtain an Atosa for less while still investing in the best stainless steel freezer for your cooling needs. A lucrative business knows when to invest in necessities and when to save. Either way, assume that you won’t be making revenue for the first little while, and ensure that you’ve raised enough capital to buy what you need and pay for overhead.

Create partnerships with the local community.

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All around the United States, there are plenty of small community folks who are welcoming and warm. Whether you’re starting a barbershop, a bookstore, or a food truck, it’s in your interest to get the local community invested in your success. Schedule meetings with community leaders, and find out how you can help them. There are plenty of opportunities for this. For example, maybe you can host special events that benefit a scholarship fund for local teens who want to go to college. Maybe your storefront can serve as an announcement board, letting locals know about gardening services or local classes. By showing your investment to the small community you’re joining, you’ll gain loyal customers who are invested in your small business.

If you’re from a small town or moving to a small town, there are plenty of small business opportunities to take advantage of. Whether you’re starting a local grocery store or a boutique beauty salon, remember that it’s about the small community. That’s the best way to start a great business and make lasting friendships at the same time.