Running a business in a small town is quite different from running one in a big city. The population is small, and the demand is less. Naturally, most business owners try staying away from opening stores in a small town.
While it is true that business opportunities aren’t as great as in a big city, there is scope for growth in a small town too. What is required is a business growth strategy tailor-made for businesses in a small town.
In this article, we’ll talk about 10 secrets to growing your business in a small town.
Let’s dive right into it!
Ten Secrets to Small Town Business Growth
If you already have a business in a small town or want to start one, you have to keep in mind that your business strategy should be in accordance with the products/services you want to sell and your potential customers.
Here are a few business growth tips that can help you:
1. Know Your Locality
To grow your business in a small town, you first have to know the locality very well. Unlike in a city, it is not possible to run a business from just about any corner.
Small towns usually have a designated space for companies and stores, and you should preferably open doors in the same location. You can also look for strategic places to start your business if you can find one.
2. Identify a Threat
One of the most effective types of business growth strategy is to identify threats and challenges. Running a business is difficult, but what makes it more difficult are obstacles or threats that hinder growth. This could be weather adversities, lack of raw material, transportation or communication problems, dwindling demands, and more.
It is essential to ensure whether a particular area/town is conducive to the growth of your business. Or, you may end up wasting time and money.
3. Understand the Demand
The key to business growth is consumer demand. If there is no demand for the products or services you offer, your business will most likely fail. So, while charting your business growth plan, you must determine whether there is an ongoing demand for what you are about to offer.
To know this, you can run a survey amongst the locals and gather inputs from them. You can also set up a questionnaire and learn more about what the locals lack and what they may be interested in. This will help you create a product line that’s in tune with the needs of the people.
4. Involve the Local People
Small towns are usually very well-knit, with most people knowing each other. If you have growth in your mind, you must involve local people in your business. People are usually wary when a whole lot of outsiders flock together and start a business.
On the other hand, a handful of locals can make others feel comfortable about visiting you. You can hire local builders and constructors for your store, choose some local guys to assist you in your business, and so on.
5. Create a good rapport with locals
No business development strategy will succeed if you do not have a good connection with the local people. In small towns, word of mouth and personal connections go a long way in determining success. So, if you want your business to grow in a small town, you will have to connect with the locals and create a good rapport.
Knowing more and more people personally will help build trust in you and your business. Naturally, they will come to you more easily and more often than you can imagine.
6. Be the leading brand.
Population and economy in towns are much smaller than in cities. As such, growth opportunities are less in small towns as compared to large cities. However, you have to try to grow to your full potential. That’s why you have to aim to be the leading brand in your locality.
There are many market development strategy examples where businesses have grown exponentially in small towns and eventually expanded to big cities. You have to put in your best to ensure that your products/services are sought after by all in town.
7. Empathise with local sentiment
Local businesses can grow well if they are in tune with local sentiments. While creating a business growth strategy for yourself, make sure that you consider the emotions and feelings of the locals.
For example, if you are running a cake shop, you can run a line of speciality cakes and pastries during a local holiday. Or have some merchandise supporting the local club when the game season is on. This will indeed create a close bonding with your customers, who will return for more.
8. Make your business scalable
You may start as a tiny store in the corner of the town. But you can soon outgrow yourself if your business strategy kicks off. So, build an easily scalable business. You may implement an effective growth strategy, but all will fail if your business isn’t scalable. So, you have to be ready for that special order of a hundred cupcakes or t-shirts, or else you will lose customers.
9. Grow a loyal customer base
Since you cater to a small customer base, you cannot ignore anyone. In a small town, you must treat each customer equally and guarantee satisfaction. You have to make sure that you give your customers what they want and take care of their queries or grievances if any.
As you serve your customer well, you grow a loyal customer base that stands with your business. There are many business growth strategy examples where businesses made big because of strong and loyal customers.
10. Help the community
This is another one of the most effective types of growth strategy. Growth in a small town isn’t just about earning money; it’s about giving back to the community as well. People like businesses that contribute to a cause. It may be supporting the local old-age home or orphanage or helping others in times of adversity. By enabling the community, you become close-knit with others and gain their goodwill.
If you want to succeed in your business in a small town, you have to try various business growth strategies. It may be challenging to build your foothold initially, but you can thrive and survive well once you do.
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Q. What businesses can I start in a small town in India?
Ans. There are many options that you can choose from to start a business in a small town in India, such as grocery stores, bakeries, tuition classes, repair shops, clothing stores, and so on. However, no matter what type of business you start, make sure it aligns with your passion, skills, and customers’ preferences.
Q. What factors should I keep in mind when starting a business in a small town?
Ans. Most people think that starting a business in a small town means fewer opportunities and limited resources. But that’s not the case! Here are a few factors you can consider to start your business in a small city:
- Understand your target audience and assess their needs.
- Consult other business owners and learn about the challenges they’re facing in that particular area.
- Visit the local government and learn about the various policies and regulations of that town.
Q. How is starting a business in a small town different from than in a big city?
Ans. As an entrepreneur, you understand the importance of choosing the perfect location to start your business. Both small towns and big cities have pros and cons, such as:
- Big cities have access to a ton of resources as compared to small towns. However, thanks to the internet, you can order almost anything and get it transported from one place to another quickly.
- Big towns have a larger population, which means more people are looking for jobs. Thus, you can choose from a deep pool of talents and hire the best ones for your business.
- When it comes to competition, small towns are the clear winner here. Fewer people means fewer businesses, which further means better opportunities to stand out in the crowd.
Q. How can I market my small business in a small town?
Ans. Here are a few strategies to market your business in small towns:
- Word of mouth marketing and referrals.
- Be active on social media.
- Sponsor live events, such as sports events, parades, etc.
- Get local press coverage and share your brand’s story
- Distribute samples and freebies among locals
- Invest in attractive billboards and place them in high-traffic locations.