|Small Business Information|
Starting a New Business in a Small Town
Q. I am a former pastor who left the ministry after sixteen years to spend more time with my family. We moved to a very small town (less than ten thousand people) and I want to start an internet café business and also offer PC repair. How can I investigate and then promote this business?
A. In a big city, you'll make decisions by numbers and neighborhoods. In a small town, you schmooze!
On the surface, everyone will be friendly, optimistic and positive.
Your challenge: Get below the surface and learn the true story. You might consider asking a lot of questions before you disclose your own intentions. Listen for, "I wish we had"
1. Talk to others who have opened businesses recently.
What challenges have they faced? What works and what doesn't? Were others newcomers successful? If so, were they truly new or did they have deep roots in the town, such as a brother who lived here forty years?
If nobody's opened a business for awhile, dig deeper. Maybe there's no market. Or maybe they're just waiting for you to arrive! Sometimes a new business can generate latent demand. It's a judgment call.
2. Make a great first impression.
Promotion isn't hard in a small town. Ten minutes after you've opened, everyone will know! Some towns resist doing business with uppity newcomers. Others welcome new blood. Regardless, your first impression will linger a long, long time. And you'll have trouble recovering from a local opinion leader with a bad experience.
3. Uncover the town's market and memory.
Considering buying a business? Take time to discover the owner's reputation. When the local residents seem eager for a change of management, you'll need a new name and image. But if someone's just moved away and everyone misses them, you've got a wonderful opportunity. Right now in Silver City we could use a few first-rate pet-sitters and dog groomers.
But be sensitive to change. Before I moved here, I'm told, at least three coffee shops failed. Now we have several, along with a wine bar and a microbrewery. All seem to be thriving.
4. Search the fine print of local regulations.
Here in Silver City, our newest businesses had to fight all kinds of red tape to get opened. One called City Hall to get help with a business that was new to the area. "It's not listed here," said the clerk, "so it's probably illegal." (The business has opened and thrives.) Another discovered his license hadn't come through because the Council forgot to add it to the agendaand they weren't interested in making last-minute changes.
Any time you serve food or drink, you know you're facing permits. Find out what's involved locally.
5. Prepare to do most of the work yourself.
In a small town, you can have trouble finding good help. The local work ethic may surprise you in either direction.
6. Know your community.
Will your market come from second and third generation local residents? Or are you serving those who relocated recently from urban areas? Here I've met folks who think three dollars is way too much to pay for espresso drinks. But those who bonded with Starbucks will buy at least one cup a day, every day.
7. Build relationships.
If you can attract a town leader, you'll draw a following. Conversely, if you inadvertently alienate a key player, or if a local person's got an idea on the drawing board, you'll be miserable.
And in a small town, you'll be expected to be a super-citizen. Choose alliances and sponsorships carefully. Prepare for all sorts of friendly requests to donate time, materials and money.
I offer one-to-one consultations for anyone considering starting a business.
About The Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career. http://www.cathygoodwin.com.
"Ten secrets of mastering a major life change" mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: email@example.com 505-534-4294
Environmental Pressure Washing in Pennsylvania
If you run a mobile car wash, mobile fleet washing company, mobile auto detailing business or a Pressure Washing firm in Pennsylvania there are things you should know. Pennsylvania is serious about cleaning the environment.
Do You Love Food? - Then Maybe Opening a Restaurant is Not Such a Crazy Idea
The restaurant industry in the United States employs an estimated 12.2 million people, making it the nation's largest employer outside of government agencies.
Find Your Niche & Follow It - Part 1
In this series of articles I'm going to show you how to find out if there's a hungry crowd for your information product BEFORE you write a single word.
Pressure Washing Business Case Study, Tractor Cleaning
So often small service businesses fail to exploit niches, which have little if any competition. I know as I built my companies we always tried to identify all the market niches and go after them. We were not always able to succeed at everything, occasionally we would fail; it happened more than I would care to admit, but those are lessons learned. The best way to get to success is to learn from the challenges of the past and so in my office I have a huge trashcan, bigger than any executive you will ever meet. And it is always full. That's okay. Let me tell you about one of the more successful niches we discovered in the pressure washing business; tractor cleaning.
Private Franchising is not Real a Real Franchise
One major issue not being addressed right now in the regulatory definitions which guide consumers and lawyers in business opportunities and franchising is the new term being used; Private Franchising. The Federal Trade Commission decided it would revise its definitions of such opportunities in 1995, but failed to address this issue. The use of the term; Private Franchising has grown over the years.
Are You Using a Chess or Checkers Small Business Marketing Strategy?
Until the day I learned to play chess I loved playing checkers. Both games require a strategy that maximizes a player's ability to capture her opponents pieces without first losing her own. Checkers was fun. But the complexities of chess lead to more satisfying victories and defeats.
More Rules for Franchising?
The FTC- Mighty Federal Trade Commission has unilaterally decided to change the franchise rule. They changes are sure to hurt American business, Franchisors and the over 400,000 Franchisees in the United States today. These regulatory changes even if mere interpretations and opinion cause events which have unintended consequences. Such changes are rarely forgotten as one simple stroke of a pen by a Federal Trade Commission attorney who does not understand the real world of franchising can wipe out several quarters of profits.
Employee Monitoring - Business Risks For Employers And How To Avoid Them
E-mail and Internet use are integral parts of the typical worker's daily routine. Because of its speed and overall convenience, e-mail has replaced the interoffice memorandum as the preferred method of communication. Employee access to the Internet also is important as a means of conducting job-related research and transactions.
Banking and Company Credit Card Policies for Small Business
Does your small business have a banking and credit card policy? If not, perhaps you might wish to think on it. Developing such policies and procedures is not a difficult task. It will not take you long at all to make a relatively simple operations manual to cover your banking and credit card strategies. Below please find an outline or guideline to assist you in developing your own small business banking strategy.
Increase Your Profits with a Point of Sale (POS) System
Whether you operate a chain of restaurants, a mom-and-pop convenience store, or a medium-sized retail shop, you are in business to make money. And, one of the most critical aspects to your profit and loss is your ability to track information? you need to know which products are making you money, what items need to be re-ordered, who your customers are, and so on. This is where today's point of sale (POS) systems play such a valuable role.
Four Reasons Why Small Businesses Succeed (or Fail)
The American system of business management has been admired and emulated around the world. This system is characteristic of two traits in the American psyche: (1) enthusiasm for the future and making things better, and (2) an openness and willingness to change in order to achieve that end.
What is Rule 15c211 and Reverse Merger
Doing Business With Friends: Five Tips for Preserving the Friendship... and Your Sanity!
My colleague, Jane, recently lamented to me an all too familiar story about mixing business and friendship. Jane subcontracted copywriting work out her friend, Joan. Jane's copywriting business was blossoming (partly in response to her most recent brilliant article marketing campaign) and giving the work to Joan seemed like a win-win for both of them.
Where to Find a Cash Windfall of $10,000 to $1,000,000 -- You Never Knew You Had
There is a rather famous true story called "Acres of Diamonds".
Is Your Business Making Money?
Is your business making money? Would you know?
Computer Tips that Help Small Businesses Operate Profitably
When working properly, computers enable small businesses to make big business profits; however, get booted off your computer and you're suddenly starving. In most instances, computers usually act up due to lack of care by its owners. Here are four computer tips that'll keep you up and running smoothly.
Change May Be Your Ace in the Hole
Whether it has been thrust upon you by external market forces or it has simply bubbled up from the internal dynamics of your enterprise, change itself always presents opportunity for improvement. And in a knowledge based economy, change may be the only thing we can count on as small business people. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must embrace change as a necessary strategy for commercial success.
7 Tips to Improving Your Cash Flow
Cash is King... That is what everyone tells us and it is true! You cannot function successfully in any business without proper cash flow. So if this Cash Principle is so well known, then why is it that so many businesses struggle? Sometimes the obvious is not always so obvious when you are entrenched in running the day-to-day aspects of your business. Here are 7 Tips to Improve Your Cash Flow!
Tips For Successful Home Show Businesses
Opportunities for home show businesses have never been more abundant. If you're thinking about joining the ranks of those in the many show businesses at home available, use these quick tips to get going.
Small Business Checks ? Money Saving Options
When you go into business for yourself, there are many things to consider. What you don't want to worry about is spending too much money on unnecessary items. Business checks are one of those things. They don't have to be expensive. Your bottom line keeps your business going, and it is important to keep it that way.
|home | site map|