[This article was written by Lizzie Weakley.]
Rural life offers so many advantages over a city setting. Cleaner air, less traffic, and fewer neighbors are just some of the reasons many people prefer to get away from the concrete jungle. Of course, there are some limitations in rural life, and they hold especially true for rural businesses. Here are four tips on how you can get the same amenities for your rural business that city entrepreneurs get for theirs.
A business without internet access has no chance to compete today. Even if sales aren’t conducted online, there is so much advertising, market research, and product information to gain online. In the city, most people contact an internet provider, get service installed, and go from there. In rural areas, there may not be such an easy path. For example, Arizona rural wifi is available via a specialized local provider. Talk to your local providers and other businesses about what the choices are.
With so many online retailers offering fast, free shipping, it can be tough for rural businesses to compete. By your nature, you may not keep as much inventory, so it is key to be able to offer your customers the fastest possible special orders. Document the promised and actual shipping times of various couriers and choose your best option based on that. You may also be able to create meeting points where you can get faster delivery by picking a shipment up a few miles from your business.
Probably one of the more obvious differences about working in a rural area is the lack of local television service. You can usually watch TV out of nearby larger cities, but getting your events and advertising on their can be difficult. Investigate local cable options. You may be able to produce a simple video and submit it to them to air, and their rates are likely very reasonable.
As we’ve noted, your website is an important part of your business. Yet many small towns have few or no website designers or developers. Network with small business groups to find those who work remotely and can offer you service without necessarily spending a lot of time face to face with you.
There are so many benefits to working off the beaten path, but those who beat the path help generate amenities that can help you. These tips can help you make your business successful in spite of your location’s remote setting.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.