Maybe you’re moving to a small town, or you want to open up a second location of your business. Either way, opening a business in a small town is very different than opening one in a large city. Read on for what to keep in mind.
You might think there’s more competition in the big cities just from the sheer number of businesses around, but that’s not always true. In small towns, people usually have established lives and routines, and they may already have certain stores that already meet their families’ needs. Make sure you’re not encroaching on a beloved store that has already worked its way into residents’ hearts. Such a market would be difficult for a newcomer to compete in.
Depending on how rural the town is, there may be a lot of unoccupied space that gets very little traffic. Knowing this, you should try and find a location near a mall, or a busy shopping center. Stores tucked away in some remote area where traffic is slow probably won’t get you as many customers. Calculate how much extra it’ll cost though – you don’t want to be paying so much rent that you have little money left for other important things, like inventory. Find the middle ground.
Life is much more slow-paced outside of the city. People value their neighbors and day-to-day interactions. It’s important to remember this when dealing with customers. Always put your best foot forward, and wear a smile. Remember that customer satisfaction is the key to finding success in small towns (or elsewhere, for that matter). A happy customer will likely talk you up to relatives and neighbors.
It’s easier to find a niche in a small town than it is in a large city. There could be so many unfilled niches that you can easily occupy! It’s a good idea to talk to some current residents about what they feel the needs are. Pay attention to the existing businesses and what they have to offer. How can you make yours different and unique?
What are some of the successful businesses in other small towns doing? What have they offered that became very well-received by local residents? Don’t completely copy their business plans, but get inspiration from paths that others have walked. A town I once lived in had a specialty foods store downtown that was all the rage. Why? There were no other stores that sold specialty foods in such a high-visibility location. The store had high-end pickles for eight dollars a jar, gluten-free mini cheesecakes – all kinds of fancy foods that you couldn’t find elsewhere in that town.
Small town, big city – starting a business anywhere is no easy task. What’s different about being in a small town is that you have so many opportunities to fill niches that are looking to be filled. Take advantage of this! For more guidance on how to move your small business to a small town, visit our website at www.biz2credit.com.