The Dos and Don’ts of Running a Rural Business
Running a rural business can often come fraught with challenges. Living far away from an urban centre, you’ll likely find network speeds a problem, in addition to issues related to transport and infrastructure. However, it is important to recognise that each person’s individual context requires a unique solution.
With that being said, there tend to be some overriding factors and situations affecting rural businesses that need to be discussed. All in all, here are some of the most relatable dos and don’ts when it comes to running a rural business.
- DO focus on location: Transport links and infrastructure are both likely to be important factors that will have a great impact on whether or not your business will become successful. Good local infrastructure will help ensure that the transport of raw materials and/or anything else your business requires will be both inexpensive and timely. Public transport links are also important if you intend to rely on employees that do not live in the immediate area. Or, if you have the capacity to do so, you might organise a shuttle bus for them instead. Location is also of great importance when it comes to broadband speeds. Some rural areas have great broadband speeds while others do not, and as such, it is important to check the speeds when considering the location of your business.
- DO get involved with the community: Living in a rural community isn’t quite like living in an urban one. Above all things, the people are different. In rural areas, you’ll often find that people tend to interact within tight-knit communities, which are often willing to help one another in times of need. You’ll find that by interacting with these communities and telling them about your business, you’ll be more likely to receive local support than in urban areas.
- DO consult a professional: As previously mentioned, the best business advice is contextual, meaning that the person advising should be informed about the individual business’ context. When it comes to rural businesses, there are few professionals. One of which, however, is Mark Lumsdon Taylor, who is well versed in consultancy regarding businesses in rural areas, as well as those involved with food.
- DON’T be allured by romanticised ideas: Okay, now this might sound a little strange. However, many people find the idea of packing up and moving away from the hustle and bustle to be appealing. Even if you are aware of the hardships that you might face, wishful thinking might lead you to believe what you want to believe, and hence not take these concerns into consideration.
- DON’T neglect your social media: Even if most of your support is coming from your immediate community, that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be advertising elsewhere. Why close the door to potential customers when getting them doesn’t require the greatest effort. So, make sure you maintain a good presence on social media and post regularly!