The city is, and always will be, the place where the most economic activity takes place and will be the easiest place to actually make money. This is a universal economic phenomenon that has similarities all over the place. However, it does come with a downside – in the city, you need to try much harder to stand out. The world of ecommerce reflects this trend too. It might be much cheaper and easier to set up an ecommerce site, but suddenly you are one drop in the ocean of the internet, and it becomes a matter of “stand out or go under”.
Swings and roundabouts, grass is always greener. Whichever way you want to phrase it there is always a lot to be said for doing something a little differently. There are always advantages to not taking the normal route, however difficult this might initially be. Setting up business in the city is the usual route, but there is a lot to be said for going rural too, and setting up a business in a rural community, can indeed be a winning move.
Nevertheless, this is certainly a plan that comes with challenges. For one thing, you have a much smaller customer base, and a less diverse one at that. Therefore, stocking the right things is absolutely essential.
Benefits and Challenges of Rural Commerce
Considering what will work and what won’t – what will sell and what will not – in a rural community is a vital consideration before setting up any kind of store. When you make that consideration, there are things about rural communities that make it easier and things that make it harder. But there is one item of advice you should always follow – know your customer base.
In a small community, this is naturally something that is easier to achieve – simply because there aren’t that many people there. Accordingly, you should explore the area and see what is already available and what isn’t before determining what you’re going to bring to the community. If you sell the wrong things, your store will simply be empty as there is very little passing trade to pick up the slack. Sell the right things, and you will have a solid and loyal customer base – because there is so little competition.
Serving the Community
If you’re planning on setting up a rural store, then you will know you’ve hit the jackpot if you provide something that isn’t available yet needed. How do you know what this is? The best way is to see what people travel out of the community for. Are they traveling to the nearest mid-sized town to get their groceries? Is there a clear lack of something which can be considered an essential? These are the things you should sell.
In this way, you will be doing some social good. Serving the community and thereby building real loyalty among your customer base. In fact, this is a loyalty that is pretty much impossible to attain in more urban locations. That you are providing a lifeline is surely overstating the case, but providing essentials is generally what rural stores are all about.
Once you have determined the core produce of your shop, you can start expanding into extra items which can be sold side by side. Olympic Eyewear, a company providing women and men’s wholesale sunglasses, say that products like these (which can be placed attractively next to the counter) make for the best kind of supplementary products for rural stores.
Ultimately, starting a rural store comes with serious challenges, but provide the right things and you’re sure to have a very secure business model.