Tips on how to build your Rural Business
10. Big signs never hurt
It can be hard to for people to find you, even when you feel like your hard to miss. In Pullman there is a spot right downtown that has had three businesses. Most people did’t even know the restaurants had existed.
Its not a problem of the location though. Everyone knew the place when it was Leo’s shoe shop. The reason for it was that there was a giant boot sign outside of it. All the businesses afterwards have not put up a sign and hardly anyone exists.
Dont make the same mistake! Make sure we can see you!
9. Be unique
Portland is unique, but not quite my favorite place in the world, but it definitely has a sense of uniqueness. That being said, one of my favorite examples of being unique is there. An ice-cream shop called Salt and Straw. They specialize in weird ice-cream flavors mixing sweet and salty flavors.
Thankfully its not in downtown Portland, but that is just the thing, everyone knows about it and its not in downtown Portland. Being unique can make up for a multitude location issues.
8. Have an awesome business culture
Is your business known for being awesome to your employees? Do your employees tell everyone that your business is awesome?
Having a good company culture that fosters positivity can make a huge difference in how you are seen in the community. Your employees tell people about how they like the company and the job. Treating and training your employees right can be a huge PR win.
7. Make it fun for customers
A must see place on Oahu is a shaved ice store in a rural town called Ewa (pronounced ‘Ev-a’). Amazingly enough its world-renown.
Now of course this is in Hawaii so that helps it a bit, however its a two hour drive away from Honolulu/Waikiki.
People, myself included, are willing to drive two hours and then stand in line for 30-45 minutes just for shaved ice. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
Because your with family, your with other people, its a fun place to be, the product is outstanding and its apart of the culture. It isn’t just tourists who go there, all the locals do too so you know its amazing. For a rural business, they do awesome, just visit their website and see.
6. Build a solid website
Rural businesses are find to find and attract customers, and it can be even harder when your rural business does not have a solid website. Bad designs and old graphics can make your business seem old and even closed.
5. Get found by Local Search
Even though you might have your rural business in the phone book, people new to the town or just visiting will be unable to find it unless your listed online. There are many factors to this and it can pretty easy to remedy.
Feel free to give me a call at 509-230-2512 or email me Adam@PullmanMarketing and we can fix it quickly and inexpensively.
4. Don’t use social media if you don’t have the time for it
Sometimes with social media you can actually look worse for having a created account but never using it. After a certain time of inactivity, even Facebook will show your business as closed.
If you don’t have time for social media, don’t sweat it! Word of mouth will typically be a better lead generator anyways.
3. Make connections with other businesses
In a rural area, its a good idea to work with other businesses to encourage others to buy. Partnering with other businesses to cross-promote will actively increase business and help the customer.
A great example of this is in Pullman. The Fireside Grille, at time of writing, allows a $40 date night dinner and movie that allows you two entrees and two movie tickets to the only theater in town. A late night ticket is $9.50/ea and so two entrees plus two movie tickets is easily worth more than $40.
Why does this work?
Because as much as I love movies, I can easily spend $30+ at the theaters and its not quite a value. I can easily spend $30+ for dinner. Because of that, I’m not inclined to do either. But for $40 I can take my wife out and not break the bank, absolutely I will patron both businesses.
2. Be apart of the community
With a rural business in a rural community, you can’t not afford to be apart of the community. The more you contribute to building the community, the more the community has people and resources to buy from you.
Its an obvious thing but sometimes businesses don’t think they have the time or money, but honestly you cant afford to not be engaged with the community. You need them just as much as they need you.
Even in our area, it can really help out to sponsor student groups because those student groups will continue to be loyal to you.
1. Look for opportunities in the city for work
What I mean is, there are some government grants for businesses. Federal, State, and Local grants can get you more work and also make you look awesome in the community and city government.
Comments, questions and concerns, feel free to list them below.