This is a short sample from the SaveYour.Town video “Refilling Your Business Pipeline” featuring Deb Brown and me.
Small towns and rural communities will need new business startups to revitalize their local economies, but not many people have the resources today to do a startup the way it’s traditionally been done.
Part of what holds your potential new entrepreneurs back is thinking that going into business has to be a big and difficult and long project.
Imagine all the work that “everyone knows” is part of starting a new business:
If you decided to open a retail store, you have decide on your specialty and what kind of merchandise to carry, deciding or guessing whether your town will support it, finding a location and remodeling it or even bringing it up to code, decorating, finding suppliers and getting started with them, getting your local banking established, securing financing, hiring staff, advertising and marketing, and all that before you even know whether your initial concept is actually sound.
In small towns, those problems can be magnified where you may face a shortage of usable buildings, long distances to suppliers who don’t pay attention to small accounts like yours, few local banks, no chance of local financing, few choices for potential workers, and a smaller potential market. It seems like it takes a lot of time, money and work just to get into business.
You have to get all your ducks in a row.
What if I told you there was a much easier way to get into business?
Just get one duck and go from there.
Imagine building some steps in between. If you could buy just a few products and test them by running a temporary business inside another business for a month or two, you’d learn a lot about what sells in your local market right now. If that works, maybe you could rent a small booth in a shared retail building. If something doesn’t work, you can fix it and try again.
From there, jumping up to starting a traditional store doesn’t seem as hard. You’ve learned what people want to buy. You’ve established relationships with suppliers. You’ve gained a loyal following. All those smaller steps lift you up closer to jumping over that hurdle of starting a traditional business. And if you miss a jump at a smaller step, it’s easier to recover and try something new.
Why this works
That’s the purpose of the innovative rural business models. They put people in a much better position to succeed, or to fail in a manageable way. It cuts time and money off the process of getting into business.
For economic developers, these give you an easy way to add entrepreneurship promotion to existing projects and activities. It’s not about starting new things from scratch. It’s about finding and building on the small steps that already exist in your area.
Get the full video
The entire 30 minute is available for purchase at SaveYour.Town: Refilling Your Business Pipeline.
- Community engagement planning: old way vs. Idea Friendly way - October 3, 2021
- Boost your maker economy with a “Made in” day - September 17, 2021
- How a ghost town made something from nothing with a folk festival - September 3, 2021
- Rural business idea: sell foraged fruits and more - August 3, 2021
- Best practices for rural housing - July 19, 2021
- How to be more open to new ideas #IdeaFriendly - July 3, 2021
- Market your small town as a movie filming location, attract movie and game fan tourists - June 28, 2021
- Survey of Rural Challenges 2021 results, analysis of themes from 2015 through today - June 7, 2021
- What makes a small town a micropolitan or nanopolitan? - May 22, 2021
- Improving Rural Housing: turning blighted dilapidated houses into new homes - May 7, 2021