Brother released their small business trends for 2019, and two struck me as particularly good for small towns and rural businesses.
Remote workforces will continue to rise
Brother says: “2018 was a pivotal year for remote working and as we head into 2019 that is not going to slow down. Good talent is becoming increasingly difficult to find and sometimes business owners are not able to find the right people for the job where they are. Hiring remote workers that are the best fit for the business will not only improve your business, but also significantly cut down costs on things like office space.”
Small town implications: We are the remote workforce!
To be ready, we need more and better training for modern technology talents. LinkedIn points to 2019 needs in AI, machine learning, blockchain, and data science, but also emphasizes the need for soft skills like time management.
The other big factor: BROADBAND. You can’t be the remote workforce unless you can work over broadband.
Side-hustles will become the main-hustle and there will be a surge in self-employment
Brother says: “With millennials making up much of today’s workforce, the modern workplace is shifting drastically. The millennial workforce places a heavy emphasis on personal satisfaction, so striking out on their own is rewarding. Self-employment brings a sense of increased control over your work-life balance, the work you are doing and overall happiness. This year, we will see a spike in the number of home offices and self-employed workers.”
Small town implications: Entrepreneur development is rural economic development
Old school rural economic developers may still cling to recruiting businesses or chasing after chain stores, but modern rural economic developers are entrepreneur developers. Rural areas have long had higher self-employment, and we can expect that to continue. If you want your small town to prosper, help your local entrepreneurs to prosper.
What trends are you watching in rural business?
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- Zoom Towns: attracting and supporting remote workers in rural small towns - December 10, 2020