How to Increase the Customer Base and Revenues for Your Rural Small Business

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

Establishing and growing any small business is a challenge. The challenge is even greater if your small business happens to be located in a less-populated rural area that offers fewer nearby potential customers. However, having your small business headquartered in a rural area doesn’t mean that you can’t grow and expand your customer and revenue base exponentially. It just means that you have to be willing to put some extra time and creative thinking into coming up with ideas for connecting with more potential customers or clients.

Expand to Online Selling

One of the most successful ways for a small business to generate big revenues is to expand by setting up a shop online, potentially reaching customers worldwide, 24 hours a day. You don’t even have to create an online storefront, as you could choose to be a third-party seller through existing mega-market retail operations, such as Amazon or eBay. Expanding your product offerings online](http://quickbooks.intuit.ca/r/starting-growing/4-ways-diversify-business-offerings/) can provide an efficient avenue for realizing a significant increase in sales.Independent professionals marketing services rather than goods can also set up shop online. If you are a business consultant, your potential client market isn’t limited just to nearby businesses. You can communicate with and offer your professional services to clients located far away by providing services online, through video conferencing on internet communication platforms such as Skype.

Sell Yourself

In addition to whatever goods or services your small business sells, as a small business entrepreneur, there are ways to generate additional revenue by selling yourself and your expertise. You might consider writing a book about your industry or specific business. Alternatively, if you have been particularly successful in establishing your small business, you may be able to start a second business as a business consultant to other small businesses. This is another service you can consider providing online or simply do on a part-time basis through occasional trips to nearby metropolitan areas. Paid speaking engagements, holding seminars, or teaching a class at a nearby community college are other possibilities.

Know and Utilize Your Existing Customer Base

Even operating in a rural area with a limited customer base, any business can increase its revenues by making the effort to get to know and utilize its existing customers. Learn everything that you can about the wants and needs of your existing customers. Engage with them, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You may well find that you can substantially increase revenues just by offering one or more complementary products or services related to things you already sell and that your customers desire or need.Don’t neglect to ask for referrals. This practise can be especially key for independent professionals, such as accountants. In rural areas where people tend to know just about everyone else in the community, getting the recommendation of a personal friend may be just the key you need to open the door with some potentially lucrative clients.Don’t allow your business to be limited by your rural location. Expanding your business horizon can be as simple as doing a little more creative thinking about ways to expand your reach to new customers or to establish additional revenue streams.

References & Resources

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