If you’re starting your business in a rural area, you may face some unique challenges. The good news is that there are ways to navigate through them. Here are a few.
Marketing your business
Marketing for small businesses has changed a lot in the last few years, but while online marketing is powerful, traditional word-of-mouth is just as important. This is especially true in rural areas, where people may have less access to the internet but rely heavily on recommendations when choosing which businesses to support.
Having said that, your business’s online presence is also very important. If you’re not sure how to promote your business online, this article can help.
Your business’s reputation helps maintaining word-of-mouth, especially if you’re operating in a rural area. That’s why it’s vital to provide a good service or product, offer good customer service in person as well as online.
We know that sometimes, getting internet connectivity in a rural area can be difficult. But even if it takes some time or is an initial investment, it’s worth doing if you’d like to grow your business.
The internet is a powerful (and free) tool you can use to connect to customers. Search engines such as Google and social media platforms such as WhatsApp Business and Facebook can help you reach, communicate with customers and lots more. As a rural business, it’s also vital that you can be found on Google Maps- learn more about this here.
Finally, taking your business online can help you expand your client base, especially if you feel you’re a bit limited due to your location. To learn more about taking your business online, give this a read.
Understanding your market
As a business, your product or service should be solving a problem or fulfilling a want or need in your community. You may feel like you know your community well, but it’s always good to update your research to make sure that your business is relevant in different seasons, as well as events such as COVID-19. What are the community’s current needs, and how can your business solve them? Answering this question will help you see what you’re doing right, as well as where you can improve.
As we spoke about earlier, word-of-mouth is very important for rural businesses and one of the best ways to become known in your area is to get involved in the community. Be present at community events and gatherings, and collaborate with other small businesses so that you can expand your reach. We know that this can be intimidating at first, but it’s an important leap to take. For more advice and support on developing your confidence as an entrepreneur, read this.
Tracking your expenses
If you’re operating in a rural area, you might be bartering with your products or services with others in your community, or letting people get things on an “IOU” basis. There’s nothing wrong with this, however you should be tracking your expenses so that you still remain profitable. The good news is that you can do this online- here are a few online resources that can help you.
The truth is that it’s possible to grow your small business in a rural area- success isn’t just for entrepreneurs in the city. Just as long as you know how to navigate through the unique challenges, you and your business will do well. Good luck!