Starting a business in a small city can be a rewarding and exciting opportunity. The close-knit community and supportive atmosphere can make it easier to build a loyal customer base and establish a positive reputation. Small cities can provide a great environment for entrepreneurs to grow and succeed. In this article we will cover what we think are the 10 best perks to starting a small business in a small city.
Lower Operating Costs
Rent and labor costs are often lower in smaller cities, which can help keep overhead expenses down and increase profit margins.
The average cost of rent for a small business can vary widely. It is very much dependent on factors such as the square footage, its location, and the type of business. In general, the average cost of rent for a commercial space per year is between $10 and $20 per square foot. Depending on what size your business needs, you may be able to get away with a great lease.
This means that for a 1,000 square foot space, the average cost of rent would be between $10,000 and $20,000 per year. This is just a rough estimate and the actual cost of rent for a specific location and business will depend on many factors. It’s always a good idea to do some research and compare prices before signing a lease.
Tech-based small businesses, like ours, do not need much more than somewhere quiet to work and internet access. In these cases, you might opt for shared office spaces that can provide the that. These may be more scarce in smaller cities though.
Smaller cities often have a high concentration of skilled workers who may be looking for job opportunities, making it easier to find talented employees.
One of the best ways to find talented workers in a small town is to tap into local networks, such as community organizations, schools, and community Facebook groups and pages. Many times you will find someone with a diverse skill set in your city. You just need to convince them to work for you now!
Strong Small Business Support from Locals
Smaller cities tend to be tight-knit communities where local businesses are valued and supported. You will often find a unique pride in the locals for specific local small businesses in their town. For example, The Fresh Palate here in Alpena, MI has a very unique revolving menu. They also host downtown concerts in their alley for everyone to enjoy. Doing these awesome things for a community, definitely helps locals pick favorites.
In a smaller city, there is likely to be fewer businesses operating in the same industry, which can make it easier to stand out and gain market share.
Standing out from the competition
This is why investing in your online presence, even in a small town, is so important nowadays. Having a strong online presence can help you dominate in your specific business sector. Obviously, this means your business should have a professional marketing company produce you a set of brand guidelines.
5 Branding Essentials include:
- Select a Color Scheme.
- Have a professional logo designed.
- Produce branded stationary like business cards.
- Match the look across social media platforms.
- Get the perfect domain name for online matters.
Government Incentivize Small Businesses
Many smaller cities offer incentives to businesses that locate or expand in the area, such as tax breaks or grants. In addition, speaking with your city representatives and attending the city hall meetings can help put you in contact with the right people.
The City Wants You to Succeed
Having a local business expand has positive impact on the surrounding community. This means growth in the local economy through putting people to work.
Opportunities For Small Business Growth
Smaller cities can provide a a great foundation for businesses to grow and expand. Additionally, as the city itself grows and develops, so does the small businesses within it. The two very much play of each others success. More people attracted to the city means more potential clients for small businesses and more taxes for the city.
Strong transportation and logistics infrastructure
Smaller cities often have well-developed transportation network, making it easier to transport goods to and from the area. To add to that, smaller cities typically have ways to get around being provided by other small businesses or the city itself. Obviously, this is important to any brick and mortar shop that relies on foot traffic.
If you think about Alpena, MI in this aspect, we really do have a lot of ways to get around. Whether it be the electric scooter rentals that get tourists and locals around downtown or the Thunder Bay Transporation Authority shuttle, there are many different ways of getting around.
Access to a Diverse Customer Base
Smaller cities can be diverse and dynamic, providing opportunities to tap into various different customer segments. This means your books may contain accounts of all different sizes versus in a small town you may only have a few regular clients.
A High Quality of Life
Smaller cities often offer a high quality of life. This is done through having a lower cost of living, a strong sense of community, and access to outdoor recreation.
Small Businesses can Make a Positive Impact
Briefly mentioned before, starting a business in a smaller city, can help stimulate the local economy. Through both creating jobs and contribute into the overall development of the community. Lastly, being able to support others in the city through employment, projects, or volunteering, is a facet to being a successful business.