Cottage Industry For The Rural Marketplace Is What People Need
Cottage Industry Customers Have The Same Basic Needs
Cottage industry for the rural marketplace is a business operated in a person’s home to turn hobby activities into income.
Maslow’s Theory proves that until a lower-ranking need is satisfied, there is no desire to pursue a higher-ranking need.
The first level is physiological: Breathing, food, water, sex, sleep and health.
The second level is safety: Security of body, employment, resources, morality, family and property.
When people have reached the pinnacle of the pyramid, they are most likely living a well-rounded and satisfied life.
As a result, they are more inclined to purchase unnecessary things.
What Does Maslow’s Hierarchy Have To Do With Cottage Industry?
Potential customers, in any market, have the same basic needs.
Also, the pyramid gives you a very important clue about products and services to create or provide.
A cottage industry owner can study the needs and desires of the market on Google insight to learn trends to influence buyers.
Depending on where your product or service fit in a buyers’ category, you will have a general idea about who your potential customers are.
For example, a home baker targeting the local rural marketplace is not likely to focus on expensive, fancy cakes and desserts, but instead on home baked breads and pies.
This guidepost offers some cottage industry ideas for hobbies, passions and activities that may be appropriate for selling from home.
Starting a cottage industry business means using what is readily available and required in terms of raw materials and local demand.
Remember, it is not enough to just have something to sell.
You must sell something that people need and want during good times and bad related to food, water, clothing and shelter.
When money is tight, everyone tends to cut spending to basic necessities.
Therefore, your salable hobby activities must adapt to changing lifestyles.
It was not very long ago that my grandmother used her hobbies to make ends meet by raising turkeys for others, and growing and selling pumpkins.
Can you see the need and novelty in this simple idea—Thanksgiving dinner.
Reinvent Yourself With Cottage Industry Ideas
I have reinvented myself time, after time, after time by selling my hobby, which is my knowledge of antiques and collectibles.
I am not alone.
There are many unemployed or underemployed hobbyists marketing their hobby out of necessity.
Whether you are a hobby farmer or a big homesteader with an array of meat animals and half acre garden, things can get tough.
Eventually, you may be forced to look for creative ways to earn some extra money to supplement lost income.
Well, look no further than what is readily available on your property for ideas to meet the needs in your local marketplace.
Cottage Industry Delicacies For Local Restaurants
*If your passion is hobby farming and “preserving heritage food,” then a food cooperative could be a win-win for you and the entire community or:
Harvesting Wild Mushrooms, Growing Mushrooms
Wild Honey, Beeswax, Other By-Products
*Heritage Table Flowers
Cottage Industry Handmade Products
Fortunately, there is a lot of money in the cottage industry if you are the Martha Stewart type that love domesticity and hobbies.
Folk Art Quilts
Folk Design Rugs
Folk Art Lamps
Grass Woven Baskets, Jars, Jugs
Local Clay Pottery
Cottage Industry Services
Rural Real Estate (Campsite Rental, Cabin Rental, Old Roadside Store Rental)
Small Engine Repair (Lawnmowers, Kabota’s, Golf Carts, Go Karts)
Small Appliance Recycle, Repair, Sales
Homestead Hair Cuts
Mobile Senior Services
*Heritage Food Canning/Preservation
Note: State restrictions may apply
Cottage Industry Market Demand And Competition
Review of the local cottage industry competition is necessary.
Competition means there is a market, but how big is it?
It is important not to saturate the market and to supply the right type of product or service for your marketplace, which is something that is in demand.
Much of what is wrong with our current economy is over supply.
To test this theory, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are my competitors?
- Who are my customers?
- How much can the market absorb before saturation?
- Is there a shortage or surplus?
Location of your cottage industry marketplace is also important to consider.
For example, produce is sold at the farmer’s market.
If it is too far, proper transportation arrangements are necessary.
Or, sell it directly to a restaurant and let them pick and carry.
Hiring people to assist you increases production costs.
Marketing is easier for a farm-based cottage industry business because the produce is sold directly to the town’s people.
Farm produce is seasonal, so you must answer the following:
- Is the crop or product available only during certain seasons?
- Are raw materials available year round?
- Can the product be kept in storage?
- Is the service or product only required during certain periods of the year?
- Can there be off-season production?
Grow some produce off-season to generate substantial profits.
Since, there are few competitors during this period such as growing mushrooms.
Such produce, although requiring more time and attention, can offer a niche market opportunity for cottage industry home workers.
How Big Do You Want Your Cottage Industry Business?
Be careful in deciding the size of your cottage industry.
If too small, the cottage industry might not generate enough income to pay expenses and make a profit.
Breaking even is simply not acceptable.
If too big, it becomes too difficult to manage properly and might require extra help, which adds to costs.
If too big, the market might not be capable of absorbing the produce, vegetables, etc.
It is usually better to start small and work slowly.
It is time to expand the cottage industry when you have tested the market and income is coming in.
At first, you may think that because you are capable of handling the business by yourself that is the best indicator of the market’s “true” size.
Nevertheless, several questions must be answered before you determine the size of your market:
- Who are the customers?
- Where are the customers?
- How many customers are there?
- How much produce, products or services can each customer use?
- Are there seasons or days of the week when the produce, products or service is more in demand?
- Who else is offering the same service, product or produce?
- What percentage of the market share can I expect to take?
- How much money do I have to start the cottage industry?
- How much can I manage by myself?
- How can I ensure quality?
Write down your ideas so you will not forget.
Also, remember that a need is a potential customer’s desire for your product’s or service’s “specific benefit,” whether it is functional or emotional.
Want is the desire for your product or service, which is not necessary.
Balancing sales in both categories is what makes and keeps a cottage industry business profitable.
On the other hand, newbies must learn to adapt to customers’ changing lifestyles.
When money is tight, everyone tends to cut spending to basic necessities.
For this reason, all cottage industry customers have the same basic needs.
About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com bringing you the best of my knowledge, skills, abilities, tips and resources. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas.
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