Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Downside of Rural Entrepreneurship

The environment for rural entrepreneurs is different from our city cousins.

We can think positive, dream big, and arrange crystals to attract abundance from the universe. But environment still matters. It is not completely negative, but it cannot be ignored. 

Here are some concerns for rural entrepreneurship:

- We need to be geography agnostic. We can't think of a market as a location. 

- Hypothesis testing/ Concept testing is more challenging. The best way to start a business is to test out the Concept of the Business as soon as possible, preferably before money has been sunk into the idea. But customers are spread out. You can't stand on a street corner and talk to people or set up a temporary shop downtown to test the business plan's hypothesis. It takes longer. Or you may need to rely on traditional survey market research, something the Nauvoo Commuter dislikes. 

- Feedback is sparse. Cities breed creativity and exchange of ideas. They are full of quick people who provide quick feedback on a concept or on your customer service. Not so out here, on the edge of the prairie.

- Funding sources are remote. Or rather, the entrepreneur is remote from funding sources. If you're hoping one your neighbors can introduce you to a venture capitalist with appetite, you're waiting to win a lottery without buying a ticket. Unfortunately the best way to access investors is through personal introduction, and you don't know anyone who knows them. (We do have other money sources here at home, but that is a topic for another day.)

No comments: