“We just don’t have as many businesses as we used to.” It’s one of those rural myths that I hear variations of all the time.
- “Our downtown is all boarded up. All the businesses are gone.”
- “Census numbers show fewer employers.”
- “We did a business count, and the number of businesses is way down.”
But it’s a myth. See, we have new kinds of businesses, ones that don’t get counted at all. They’re not in downtown storefronts or listed in business counts.
What are these mysterious new businesses?
- They include kinds of business we’ve always had but not counted, like people running a side business.
- They also include businesses that haven’t really been much of a factor, like independent professionals.
- They include new styles of doing business like the Innovative Rural Business Models.
If you’re still looking for businesses in traditional ways, you’re going to find the remaining traditional businesses. You’ll have to look in new ways if you want to new businesses.
- You’ll have to look for multiple businesses operating Together in a shared space, and other Business Inside a Business examples.
- You’ll have to look for Tiny businesses, frequently squeezed into a small nontraditional space.
- You’ll have to look for Temporary businesses operating in booths at events, popping up in empty store fronts or only existing seasonally.
- You’ll have to look for people doing business outside our traditional obvious frames.
The nature of business is changing. We won’t keep up with it by thinking in the same old patterns.
- Where your future entrepreneurs and business leaders come from - July 25, 2017
- Clean Your Own Sidewalk - July 17, 2017
- Why your downtown looks empty - July 10, 2017
- Farm Fresh Auctions – a new angle on the local niche - July 3, 2017
- The big flaw in rural business counts - June 26, 2017
- The rural contradiction: “There aren’t any good jobs!” vs. “We can’t find good people!” - June 19, 2017
- Can rural communities retain young people? Are rural Millennials different from urban Millennials? - June 12, 2017
- How do I attract good employees for low-level jobs? - June 5, 2017
- Retail’s big split: why big boxes are in trouble and what small town retailers can do - May 22, 2017
- Surprising results in the Survey of Rural Challenges 2017 - May 15, 2017