“What business advice would you give to other rural entrepreneurs trying to start a new business or expand on existing business?”
In property, there are three things that matter most: location, location, location. This is paraphrasing a British real estate tycoon’s advice for success in real estate. As rural entrepreneurs, we can relate to that advice. Because we cannot (and frankly don’t want to) change our location, we have learned that what matters most is: visibility, visibility, visibility.
Being in the relatively new industry of Senior Move Management, we knew that in order to obtain business, our potential customers first needed to know what we do, and how we could help them. That is why we entered our local Chamber’s Business Plan Competition. It was the perfect opportunity to introduce this concept to our rural market and gain VISIBILITY within the business community. It not only yielded us start-up capital, but tremendous exposure in local media for our business and the introduction of Senior Move Management as an industry.
Beyond our local market, we knew that Rural America could benefit from the service we provide to those who are facing the difficult task of leaving their farm – their roots – and moving (literally) into a new phase of their lives. The Farm Bureau’s Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative Challenge gave us the opportunity to provide VISIBILITY in the rural market for what had been primarily an urban-based service. And, as a finalist in the REI Challenge, we again received media coverage for ourselves and the Senior Move Management industry.
As a result of being a top four finalist in the challenge, our prize money has now afforded us another level of VISIBILITY in the area we serve. By purchasing a company vehicle – and wrapping it with our logo – we have now achieved a higher level of recognition in our local market. While working with a client in a senior living community, our logo is visible and present. Our referral sources in those facilities, in estate planning and trust departments, and in healthcare settings are reminded whenever they see the van that we are here to serve their residents, clients, and patients.