Business happens on social media, and not just retail businesses like ours reaching customers. For instance, our first green coffee supplier relationship, a direct relationship with Gold Mountain Coffee Growers in Nicaragua, started on Instagram.
And within the last week, we noticed a new follow notification from an awesome new resource for rural entrepreneurs: The Rustic Entrepreneur, "an online authority and community of entrepreneurs, business owners, students, and academics who work in or were raised in rural/suburban America and have a passion for entrepreneurship."
The site organizer, Grady Connolly, reached out to me and asked if I'd help contribute some of the first content to their blog and I happily agreed. So check out the results of that here:
At the end of the piece, I offer a few points of advice for entrepreneurs thinking of starting businesses in rural areas:
- If you're considering retail: Be realistic about the state of local brick & mortar retail in rural areas (Hint: It ain't pretty)
- Leverage the internet as much as possible, to get you the largest possible customer base
- Be active and engaging on social media, particularly Facebook
- Network with entrepreneur communities in your nearest city (I've participated in the 1 Million Cups communities in Cedar Rapids & Des Moines, and that's a nationwide network)
- Hire a bookkeeper/accountant sooner rather than later (I learned this the hard way)
- Set measurable & realistic goals and hold yourself accountable to them somehow (I have investor-partners, so accountability is necessary for me).
Anything else you'd recommend or correct me on?