Can Your Start-Up Idea Survive in a Rural Location?

July 27, 2015

It’s the age of the start-up and if you don’t have an idea for your own, you’re simply not thinking hard enough. That being said, start up ideas are a dime a dozen meaning not all of them are worth serious consideration. However, if yours is one of the few with actual potential to grow legs to stand on, it may be time for you to create a realistic plan to make it happen! One of the most significant areas to consider here is often logistics.


As a new start-up, chances are you won’t have the funding to move and set up shop in a big city that offers all the amenities an office could ask for (ex: a full talent pool, connectivity, easy access, etc.). However, with the right tools, you could potentially pull it off without making a big move. So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge? If so, read on for some guidance! 


Production


First thing’s first, you need to figure out how you will actually produce the product/service you plan to sell. Will you be outsourcing? If so, from where? Are they repeatable? If you plan to produce on your own, how much could you potentially handle? Once you’re ready to deliver your product/service, how will it be done? Will it be electronically transferred, or will you need to implement a solid shipping strategy to make it happen? Entrepreneur offers up an excellent article to help start-ups figure out their production equation for success.


Getting the Word Out


Building a site and paying for an ad or two is a great start, but how will you really get the word out about your new product/service from your rural office? You’ll still be relying heavily on digital marketing, but there’s so much more to try within the online marketing realm!


Do your research and expand the bounds of your marketing mind to get creative and find effective ways to get the word out in the digital market place. Eventually, you may have the funds to pay a firm, but for now your promotional guidance and inspiration will need to come from industry experts who offer it up on small biz marketing blogs like the one you’re reading now!


A great place to start learning is the Business 2 Community sales and marketing blog. Additional resources might include blogs for Moz and Kissmetrics once you’ve established a basic understanding of how online marketing works.


Consumer Access


Now that you’ve generated some consumer interest, it’s time to figure out how exactly you’re going to provide your product or service to customers from afar. How will you keep in contact with your clients? Will all the information your consumers need be readily available on your site? If not, will online meeting software and/or consultation calls be sufficient, or will you need to travel to meet with them?


Take the time to understand how your customers will get everything they need from you to make an informed purchasing decision.  As you consider all of this, you may run into the sticky situation of establishing reliable connectivity at your rural location. This is where satellite internet may have to come in to save the day. Although its speeds aren’t as fast as those you’d find in the city with a standard high speed internet connection, all major satellite providers actually offer a truly realistic broadband experience, nominally defined as 5mbps download and 1mbps upload. You won’t have the fastest connection, but that’s pretty decent considering your rural location!


Maintenance and IT


You may be the brains behind your start-up operation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re computer savvy. When something goes down or you have questions regarding regular electronic maintenance, you’ll need to go to the experts for help. On the down side, you may or may not have access to a quality for-hire IT service that can come to your office and help out. On the up side, quality assistance is available online from providers like Geek Squad and Support.com. You can do a little research on your own or check out review and comparison sites like TopTenReviews to find the best option for your area.


Staffing


If your business proves successful, you’ll eventually need assistance from professionals in marketing, production, clerical work, and more! The issue rural start-ups face is finding qualified talent who are willingly and able to either work remotely or move. What will you do if your candidates are unwilling to move to your office space? How will you ensure quality work from remote staff? The process won’t be easy, but it’s certainly doable if you hire a quality team and implement effective management practices. Inc. has a fantastic resource with tools to help mangers of remote teams keep track of the productivity and effectiveness of their employees.


Drive


Last but certainly not least, your rural start-up will rely on your drive to maintain forward progression.


90% of start-ups fail. How will you get yours into the 10% that don’t? Are you willing to put in constant hard work to make your business successful? Are you able to stay motivated for months, maybe years before it starts getting profitable? If so, your start-up idea may have what it takes to make it to the big leagues despite its rural upbringing!

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