Running A Rural Business: Use These Tips For Success
There Will Always Be Something New To Learn And Discover!
There are so many websites out there that will spew up tips and steps to help you start up a business, and it is no surprise.
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Nowadays, people are seeking out creating and running their own rural businesses in the hopes of success.
As well as a chance to have working hours that are more suitable to them than the corporate 9-5 drag.
These websites are handy, but you can’t just follow a step-by-step guide and immediately become successful.
Running a rural business is not like running a lemonade stand.
So, this is why we are giving you these best tips to help you on your way to running a rural business successfully.
We won’t lay out instructions for you, but we will give you tips and things to consider, so you’d best put your thinking cap on and get ready to think about the world of business that lies ahead.
Create A Business Plan
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Business plans are essentially written documents that provide a description and overview of a company’s future.
All businesses should have one of these.
This is a plan that should explain your strategy and your key goals for the company.
This should include things such as how you will make your business more profitable, gain more resources, and increase assets, as well as plans for growth in your market, and where you project your business to be in the years to come.
This is also a good place to put a budget, and financial plans.
You can also include things such as your target demographic, and information about how you will go about advertisements, and growth in your market so that you can match other companies.
This is a document that projects the company’s future and is a plan crafted by you to help you make your way into your chosen market.
The top six requirements you should consider in your business plan include:
- Business Overview – A short elevator pitch on what solution your business provides and to which particular market.
- Products and Services – Review your competitors products to get an idea of how you can differentiate yourself from the market.
- Structures and Resources – This includes legal and you must understand what financial capital or human capital you require to grow and protect your business.
- Business Management and Operations – How will you structure your business in the short, medium and long term with roles and delegations.
- Market Analysis and Strategy – Answer simple questions here like market growth, where do you fit and how will you differentiate yourself.
- Financial Analysis – Projections for sales and running costs for the business should be included here including any capital expenditure required.
Research The Market You Are Going To Target
Don’t find customers for your product, find a product for your customers.
As we said, a business plan is a good place to collect information on the market.
Before you enter any market, you need to do research on it.
This means looking into other, similar companies and looking into how they run their rural business, how they grew, and what demographic they tend to get the most business from.
You also want to look into how these other companies market themselves, what kind of strategies they use to get their business.
By understanding the workings of the market and how other companies in the market target their audiences, you are already one step ahead.
As you can now start to consider how you will market your own business based on how it is already being done.
When doing your market research, there are a few methods to easily get an understanding of the market:
- Google Trends – Google is the worlds largest search engine and has all of the data you need to show is you market growing or declining in popularity.
- Social Media – Check out your social media groups and whether the communities there are alive and vibrant.
- Keyword Research – Tools such as SEMRush and Majestic SEO will give you trending data as well as competitive data for search volume in your business category.
Figure Out Your Strengths And Weaknesses As A Rural Homestead Business
Knowing your weakness is as important as knowing your strength.
Before you start to plan out your business, you need to understand yourself.
This means taking a look at yourself as a business owner and understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are.
This means understanding your own skill set.
You might be amazing at managing money and budgeting, but you could be awful at marketing.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you to manage in running a rural business efficiently.
Once you have identified your weaknesses, you could take a course on this to build your skills, and fill in your knowledge gaps.
It is also an option that you can get a business partner, who does have the skills you lack.
Whatever you do, identifying your business strengths and weaknesses will help you to fill in your knowledge gaps before you take the leap.
Good organization is not about changing your personality, just your habits.
One of the absolute ‘must-haves’ of business is to be organized.
You cannot be disorganized in running a rural business well.
To achieve success in running a rural business you must be organized,.
It will help you to complete any tasks and stay on top of things, thus avoiding needless stresses.
A good way to stay organized is to make a to-do list every day, and as you complete each task, cross it off your list.
You can also keep a business diary, and organizational planners, all of these can help you to stay organized.
Using these techniques can make sure that you will not forget anything and are completing every task you must, to stay on top of things.
Keep Detailed Records For Running A Rural Business
Records management is about knowing what you have, where you have it, and how long you have to keep it.
It may seem a bit dull and boring, but every successful business should keep detailed records.
By doing this you will know where your business stands financially and what potential challenges you may face in times ahead.
Simply being aware of the potential challenges you may face can give you time to create strategies in order to overcome these challenges and face them.
You will know that a problem is going to arise before it does and thus, you are prepared for it.
Keep An Eye On Your Competition
Competition is a good thing, it forces us to do our best.
One of the biggest challenges of the business world is facing your competitors with open arms.
Competition often breeds the best results.
In order to be successful, you cannot be afraid to study and learn from competitors.
You may discover things that you did not think about, they might be doing something right that you never considered.
And, you can then take this information and use it in your own business to bring in more success yourself.
Competitors are not just about one company vs another, it is also about learning from one another to optimize the market as a whole.
Take Well Calculated Risks
Nothing great comes without a risk.
When you are running your own business you will have to take risks, but when you take risks the risks can result in reward and failure.
You must calculate the risks and rewards of any action you take in the name of your company.
Being able to do this will help your business grow, and a good question to ask if ‘what is the downside of me doing this?’’
If you can answer this question, then you have already assessed what the worst-case scenario is.
This knowledge will then allow you to take the find of risks that are more likely to generate rewards.
Understanding the pros and cons of any decision like this also means being smart about the timing of your business.
If you wanted to open up a business for candy, you would want to start up around the holiday seasons, or just before.
If you wanted to start up a business where your focus was home renovation, you would want to look at when this is the most popular, and be sure to avoid your start-up during winter months when weather is not suitable for construction projects, and so on.
‘Bee’ Consistent In Running A Rural Business
Consistency is what turns average into excellence.
Consistency is the fabric of any success. It is the foundation of good relationships, and it is the foundation of a successful business too.
In running a rural business, consistency means sticking to your guns and ensuring that you keep doing whatever is necessary in order to be successful day in and day out.
Consistency is also healthy for you, too.
You develop a routine and it results in long-term positive habits that will assist in helping you keep the cash flowing steadily in the future, too.
Your uniqueness is your greatest strength.
Being unique means also boosting your creativity.
There is absolutely no point in starting and running a rural business that looks like the identical twin of another.
You need uniqueness, creativity, and a way to stand out from the crowd.
Recognize that you do not know everything, be open to new ideas, and new approaches.
Take constructive criticism and turn it into a building block to add to the foundation of your company.
Creativity and uniqueness will help you gain more from your business.
We all love to find unique ideas and companies who do things a little different to everyone else.
If a high street was covered in shops all in gray, people would be drawn to the bright pink building.
This is a premise that always works in running a rural business.
Being unique and standing out from the crowd with something individual will bring in curiosity from the market.
‘Bee’ Patient In Running A Rural Business
Good things come to those who wait in running a rural business.
This is not just a popular phrase, but it is a sentence that speaks the truth.
A man in a rush will make mistakes and have many oversights, they will often trip over.
A man who is patient see’s what stands before him and analyzes the situation.
Patience is a virtue, and one that pays off in running a rural business.
You must remember that nothing will happen straight away, and that when you build a company from the ground up, you have to be patient in its growth.
Deciding to start a business and running a rural business is a long journey.
And, diving in head first and just running with things as they come is not a wise move.
This is why business modelling requires planning and watching the market prior to starting.
Patience is key to success, therefore not rushing the start-up, or rushing the building process of the business is vastly important.
If you rush, you may forget important stages, and the more that gets forgotten and left behind, the less chance of success you will have.
Always remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Provide The Best Customer Service You Can
Customers may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
There are plenty of businesses out there that forget the importance of great customer service.
Customer service is a building block of any successful business, and providing it means doing all you can to make your customers feel loved, valued, and included.
If another business is not providing the outstanding customer service that you are, then customers will be more eager to come to you next time, rather than go to your competition.
Great customer service can wow customers into feeling connected to the company.
People remember how you made them feel more than what is said, and so making your customers feel happy will win over their favor.
Think of the last pleasant customer service experience you had, and then compare it to a mediocre one, and you will feel the difference that your customers will feel when they visit your business.
This difference can matter greatly, as a positive experience will always leave a bigger market than a mediocre one, and certainly more of a productive outcome than a negative experience.
Keep An Eye On The Market For New Trends And Adjust Accordingly
Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.
It is important to keep up to date on the market for the latest trends and to keep in time with them.
You do not want to fall behind in the market, so staying up to date with the latest trends is important in keeping ahead.
Business magazines, and subscriptions can keep you up to date as well as newsletters, and having a keen eye on investment markets and Wall Street.
Sometimes something as simple as popping online to check what other companies in your market are doing can be the easiest way to check for new market trends.
This doesn’t just apply to data either, this also applies to marketing strategies too.
Keeping an eye on things such as new marketing strategies, new products, new services, and what new ideas seem to be accumulating in the market.
You do not need to mirror the actions of your market competitors, but keeping an eye on what is happening and using what you learn to your advantage is vital.
Don’t Forget The Importance Of Correct Marketing Strategies
Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”
When you are marketing, you must remember that you are trying to appeal to your target demographic.
This is when you need to think of that demographic, ask what they want, try to get into the mindset of that demographic and create your marketing strategy around that.
Good marketing creates a relationship with your target audience, as well as brands and other marketers.
You need to make the audience feel like you care.
Once you give off the impression that you care, they will be more attracted to your business and feel more of a pull to your product and services.
Simply, everyone wants to feel cared about and considered, even when they are buying the simplest product.
A great marketing strategy needs to feel caring and understanding.
Using the correct marketing strategy can be a pillar toward success for any business.
Make Sure You Price Your Goods Correctly
Pricing is about customer value, price is what you pay, value is what you get.
Underpricing your goods can leave you losing out on money, but overpricing them can deter your customers.
It is wise to find a comfortable middle ground.
A good way to do this is to look at your competitors and see how much they charge for their products and services, and use this as a guideline.
Similarly, there are also plenty of websites and services that can assist you in pricing.
If your business is freelance, you should charge based on materials and time.
For example, a freelance artist will charge based on the time taken as well as the materials they use for their services.
There are plenty of online guidelines for this type of pricing.
But do not forget to look at competitors as well.
As a startup company, you may be tempted to put your prices higher to get the ball rolling.
This would be a mistake, while this may seem like a good idea for a source of income to make up for the expenses of starting and running a rural business, you can easily end up deterring customers this way.
Instead, it is best to lower your prices to match your competitors, or if at all possible, go just below their price point to attract your first few customers.
Once you have made your mark, it is possible to raise your prices.
However, it would be unwise to reach higher than your competitors, as you may as well just be giving them to your customers.
Take Advantage Of Digital
Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business and not telling anyone.
The internet opens up so many more opportunities for us to reach more customers and broaden our horizons.
We cannot deny social media platforms either, Facebook is notorious for being flooded with adverts and opening up opportunities to businesses.
Twitter is also a very useful platform for this if you use it correctly, and many businesses will use Twitter more than any other social media platform.
Depending on the kind of business you offer, Instagram and YouTube, as well as podcasting, are all useful tools to help you reach a wider audience.
Social media and the internet offer us plenty more opportunities to broaden our horizons and reach more customers than we would without it.
Nowadays, a website is not enough on its own, we have to stretch out our feelers and put our name out there on social media, with so many millions of people being active in the digital world, these platforms are perfect breeding grounds for advertising and promotions.
You should take advantage of what the digital world has to offer.
This should be one of the first things that you consider doing once you have the company up and running.
Choose Your Future Employees Carefully
A happy employee relates their happiness to customers, and vice versa.
When you are building a business, you do not just build a team, you build a family.
As budget and demand allow, you should surround yourself with people who are experts in things that you are not.
Give and receive feedback, be open to what your employees have to say and ask them to be open to what you have to say also.
Involve your employees in decisions that will impact them and the company directly.
Do not get mistaken by the hierarchy of manager and employee, a business team is a family and all should work together to make the company successful.
An employee may notice something that you have not, and therefore listening to their ideas and points is vital and building the company up.
You should also incorporate a clear onboarding strategy for employees and a system for measuring results.
If you put systems like such in place, then they will assist you in scaling the business, especially in cases where you may be expanding at fast speeds.
Doing so can also assist you in keeping the workload under control without overworking employees, and hiring when you need to.
Customer Feedback Matters
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
In business, they always say the customer is always right, however businesses know that this is not always the case.
However, what is right is accepting customer feedback and being open to suggestions.
An unhappy customer can open your eyes to flaws in the business that you may have otherwise not noticed.
While you are running a rural business you only see it from the inside, a customer sees it from the outside and gets the result of your hard work.
No one and nothing is perfect, and therefore, accepting feedback from customers is the greatest source of information for the areas of your business you do not see.
In every walk of life, things are always different when you are on the outside looking in, and the best source of acquiring this perspective is your customers.
Why wait until you receive negative feedback to change, ask customers to leave feedback, make suggestions, and speak to your customers as an involved manager to gain ideas and insights.
The customer can tell you what your market needs, and what they want, better than any statistics and online information can.
The best way to gain information on how to better your business is to ask at the source.
‘Bee’ Prepared To Fail And Learn From Your Mistakes
One may falter, but the only way to fail at your dreams is to abandon them.
It is important not to take a failure or mistake too hard.
Failure is just how we learn about running a rural business.
It is important to make mistakes, so we discover how not to do things.
In every walk of life, we must learn by making mistakes, if we never did, we wouldn’t learn anything.
As you create your business, you must prepare yourself for the eventuality that you will make mistakes, and there will be failures.
If you are anxious about this, it is wise to prepare for that in your budgeting when you are making a business plan, keep it there as a contingency fund in case of any hiccups to protect yourself and the funding of your business.
Always Keep Learning And Adjusting Accordingly
Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.
Remember, even if you were to reach the top of your game, and become a highly successful business owner and; even if you ended up with your business becoming a multi-million dollar enterprise, you will still always be learning, and you will always have to adapt to the lessons learned.
Experts in every field are always learning, and there is always something new to know.
No person to have lived on the planet can possibly learn everything, and with technology, and humanity evolving at the rapid rate we are.
There will always be something new to learn and discover.
So, be prepared to continually learn new things, and be open to it.
Remember that with every lesson learned one must adapt and adjust to it, be it only the human aspect of the company, but sometimes the company as a whole must adapt as well.
This is simply part of the evolution of business, society, and humanity.
How Certain Apps And Technology Can Help Business?
When you are starting a business, the amount you will have to manage can be overwhelming, luckily technology already has your back.
There are hundreds of thousands of apps out there to help you.
There are apps to help organization and communication among work teams, such as Slack. There are apps to assist in organization, such as Trello.
There are apps that help in running projects and collaborate with team members such as Podio as well.
Don’t forget the ever useful Microsoft Office to help with budgeting, scheduling and more.
There are other apps and programs like ‘ProofHub’ which is a business management software to help you streamline processes, store, and share files, and share feedback too.
There are apps to help schedule staff and inform staff of events and so on, such as ‘smartsheet’.
The internet and apps are a widespread world of assistance to new businesses and helping businesses run smoother in the non-stop climate of modern entrepreneurship.
Starting a new business is both exciting and stressful all at once, you should prepare yourself for the many milestones, stresses, failures, mistakes, and successes that will come your way.
What you do in the days before you start up your business can make all the difference, and careful planning and financing can give your company the boost it needs right from the start.
Do not forget to be accepting of feedback, constructive criticism, and be open to new ideas and the rapid changing of industry.
Make use of modern technology, apps, social media, and the digital world.
Staying up to date with market trends, digital marketing, and new ways to reach out to customers and running a rural business will help reach your goals.
It is a hard road that can be the most rewarding, and remember that a mistake is not a failure, the only true failure is to give up entirely, and giving up is never an option because success is right around the corner.
Bonus Tip – Work Hard And Prepare To Make Sacrifices
Great achievements are usually born of great sacrifices.
Any lead up to running a rural business will be hard work, but once you have opened your doors, your work has only just begun.
In a majority of cases, you will have to put in more time than you would if you were working for someone else, which can mean spending less time with family and friends to be successful.
Remember that this phase does not last forever, and it is just part of the building blocks of making a successful business venture.
However, if you are not ready to make these sacrifices, then you must ask yourself if this is a career path that you want to pursue.
You will have to make sacrifices running a rural business, but you will get there in the end.
By John Elder, TheBusinessBlocks.com (Edited By RuralMoney.com)
Related: SUCCESSFUL ONLINE BUSINESS: HOW TO RUN ONE FROM ANYWHERE
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