5 Steps You Can Take to Start a Small Town Business

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There are many types of entrepreneurs. There are many types of entrepreneurs. Some people are attracted to business because they have a passion for it, others are born into it. Others are motivated by solving a problem and are drawn to it. How can you ensure that you start a successful business in small-town areas?

Related: What is an Entrepreneur?

Step 1: Create your list

It is easy to find a gap in a small community by simply doing a Google search and then taking a walk.

You can simply walk around if you live in a town. Look around at the offerings of local businesses. Pay attention to what you see and consider the possibility of finding something you like.

Spend a weekend if you don't live in the city but are thinking about moving there. Spend some time in the area and ask yourself the same question: Where would you like to go?

You might find restaurants, a hardware shop and a beauty salon, but what other amenities would you want? What business would be most likely to attract people from a large city if a town has a direct connection to the transit system? Is it near natural resources that people aren't yet thinking about using for business?

Are there mountains, rivers, lakes, or hiking trails? What could be a potential business if you had a train link from the city to hiking trails? There may be many urbanites who want to hike but don't want to travel by car or carry their gear on trains. Perhaps an equipment rental shop could rent all their equipment or a guide service might be a viable business idea.

Related: How to Create Startup Business Ideas for the Digital Era

Step 2: Collect a list of people

You have now got your list. But that's only one perspective. This brings us to the next step. Ask the town about its needs. Ask the residents of the town about their needs and what they wish they had. Are they able to travel far to get to a dry cleaner, to enjoy certain entertainment, or to the gym? Ask as many people as possible, not just a few.

Related: 5 Questions to Ask to Determine Whether You Have a Great Business Idea or a Dud

Spend a few hours looking for high-traffic areas in your town. Record the answers and ask questions. Ask local people, ask businesses, and ask anyone you like. You will soon hear the same ideas repeated.

The local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start your search. Local chambers of commerce are likely to keep a close eye on business ideas. They will not only keep a close eye on businesses but they will also be able to connect with you as the business process progresses. This is a great bonus point.

Bonus: Asking a lot of people questions will help you to build connections and make it easier to get your business off the ground.

You will have a list with businesses that you have created, as well as a list with businesses that others have mentioned. Now it's time to compare the two. There will be some overlaps from the tests so focus on these.

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Step 3: Identifying the best gap for you

Is there a business on the list that makes sense to you? Are there any gaps that make you realize, "Wow, I already own everything I need"?

You might be asked: Have you ever worked in a bakery? What about a bakery? Both for retail and production. Are you a baker? Are you able to create your own recipes? Are you a baker? Have you started a baking club.

Is it time for a bakery to be opened? You might think so, but it may not be. The question is then: Is that something you would like to do?

Related: Why you must really know yourself before starting a business

You can remove a bakery from the list if you are certain that you don't want to open one, even if you love pastries. You should aim to find something that meets the following criteria:

What is the town's need?

If I don't know what I am good at, what are my strengths?

What are my goals?

These 3 points will align and you'll be on your way.

Related: How do you know if a business idea is worth pursuing?

Step 4: Protect your upside and hedge your bets

We have now asked many questions that helped us build a foundation for identifying a business idea and to identify the right company. It is now time to address the structural questions that will validate the idea.

These questions will help you to identify the challenges that you need to overcome before you launch a business.

This business would not be profitable if there weren't enough customers to generate an income.

Is it possible for this business to fail because you don't have the right knowledge?

Is your product or service not good enough to make this business work?

This will enable you to identify market gaps in the most effective way, giving you the best chance of success.

Related: Entrepreneurs aren't risk-seekers -- They just handle risk better

Is it possible to slowly fill that gap with your resources? This will ensure that the business is strengthened correctly, and not just filling the gap to find out it will soon collapse.

Can you do this by starting on a smaller scale? You could sublet some space in a commercial space rather than taking over the entire area. Are you able to get customers to sign up in advance? Can you open it from your own home if you don't live in the area? You could also fill in a smaller portion of the gap.

You may find yourself facing more challenges than you are comfortable taking on. This is one of two options. You can either create a better solution, or go back to your list and find another gap. You have now identified your gap and addressed the reasons it didn't work. Now we can move on to the next step.

Related: How do you know if a business idea is good enough to pursue?

Step 5: Develop a business plan and go beyond

Now that you have decided to go ahead with your business idea it is time for a complete business plan. This is possible with the help of all your work.

Related: How to write a business plan

Be sure to finish the business plan. It is dynamic. It is not necessary to follow the plan exactly. The purpose of it is to provide a guide. The skills you have acquired in this process might lead to a better solution, or allow you to explore other areas. These are all possibilities entrepreneurs face.

Find the gaps, fill them, decide what is best for you, manage your downside risk, plan, and execute.

Related: 5 Tips for Starting a Business Right


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