Opportunities In A Small Town

IMG_9914Showing investment properties around Shelburne yesterday was an eye opener.  Real Estate agents really need to look for opportunities (and help our clients find the good deals.  Understanding their business is just one of the ways we can help. Shelburne is what Orangeville use to look like  a number of years ago.  It’s cheap and there are lots of opportunities available.

IMG_0334Shelburne is growing, there are over 800 new homes that will be built over the new few years and we will see the population grow to 17,000 people by 2030 (currently it’s 5,000) and these new residents (adults and their teenagers) are going to need places to work.

IMG_9909If you take Shelburne as an example and walk around town like I did, you will count 14 places for LEASE and all of them have good visibility and traffic flow. Opportunities knock but only if you know what your doing.  I find most new business close after only 2-3 years and some don’t even make it to ONE.  How sad is that really, did the residents of the town not support the business or was the new owner crazy to think a second brew your own wine store in visible sight of your competitor was going to win?

Shelburne 2012Small towns can provide a better quality of life and less congestion than the big city. For a budding entrepreneur, they can also offer a variety of potential business opportunities. In large part, a great business idea for your small town will depend on the needs of the citizens and how receptive they are to new ideas, so it pays to get to know your town well before launching your idea.

Main Street Shelburne 2012Life in a small town is not for everyone but for those looking for a sense of community it can offer high quality of life and a strong sense of the worth of every resident in the community, but a place with a small population has a hard time supporting a broad range of goods and services (like the brew your own wine).  Economic challenges are magnified in a small town (we have less people so issues are more visible), where even a few of Power of Sales (foreclosures) and business failures will affect nearly everyone.

Before you open up a business and learn the ropes , most people think anyone can start a business and it’s going to be sunshine and rainbows.  HA, do your homework and know what your getting yourself and your family into.

Here are 10 things to help you on your way.

buisness keyPotential
Although your customer base may be less in a small town, that doesn’t necessarily mean your profits will be low. If you’re able to carve out a niche (cup cake only store) in a small town, you can corner the market by being the only one in the area who offers your products or services. For example, a small-town diner with no competition from large chains can be a highly profitable venture.

buisness AproachApproach
A good approach to take when searching for a small-town business idea is to look for a need that your business can fill, according to the Entrepreneur website, a If you’re new to the area, talk to local residents and municipal government officials to get some ideas. You may have more success by starting a service-oriented business that caters to a specific need as opposed to trying to establish a new retail operation.

buisness diceConsiderations
No matter what type of business you choose, it can be difficult to win over the residents, especially if the town has a deeply entrenched way of life. A town where residents have been going to the local diner or coffee shop for decades may not be receptive to a new gourmet coffee shop. Even if you are providing a needed service, you still may need to work hard to gain the trust of the locals.

Unlike starting a business in a large city where you may need to market heavily just to get noticed, you can take a more low-key approach to marketing in a small town. According to Gaebler.com, a personal touch can go a long way. Make an effort to network with other citizens by attending social functions and getting involved with local charitable endeavors.

Possible types of businesses that may have yet to arrive in your small town can include candy store, cup cake store or grocery delivery services. If your town has a large number of two-income families, there may be a need for housecleaning or day care businesses. A mobile car wash may also be a fit if the only alternative is an automatic or self-service car wash.

Categories: Real Estate

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