How to Have a Successful Business in Small Town - Quincy, WA
Updated: Jan 19
Living in a rural town with a population of around 8,500 really limits the market size of your target audience & increases the chances of your business not generating enough clientele to justify opening, or even keeping your doors open. However, some businesses can thrive in small towns -- and there are several steps that can be taken to ensure success.
The following are some steps that can be taken to ensure a successful business in town:
1) BY FAR THIS STEP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP - DO YOUR RESEARCH. In this case, perform a thorough research of the business you intend to open. Research for your business includes: your target audience, marketing strategies, barriers to entry that exist, competitors in town, licensing requirements, location of business, traffic analysis of the location, demographics of your target audience, scalability, cost to open, setting up an exit plan, and much more. Out of the list included, I would suggest focusing the most efforts on your target audience. Does Quincy have enough people that would want services, or products from your business? Are they the right target? For example, since we all know that Quincy's population is largely low-income, then it would not necessarily make sense to open up an exotic car shop, or even a luxury clothing shop. In this case, the target audience does not justify the business. If you are unsure about whether or not Quincy has a market for your business idea, then I would strongly recommend you send a survey out to some of the locals that asks about whether or not they would be interested in your services, or products, and whether they would even afford it, or consider spending on it. Conduct a survey that eliminates as many variables as possible. Basically, this step simply prompts you to create a business plan.
2) Licensing. This step is often the first step one should be taking after doing all their research. Be compliant and get the proper licensing. Not only will obtaining licenses really incentivize you to build up your business, it will also keep you at peace knowing you are complying by the laws and regulations set by the state and local governments. Every industry and entity type has different licensing requirements, so make sure you check with all the state and local agencies to make sure you are compliant. Usually, your accountant, or attorney (if you choose to hire one) will be able to guide you with the process. There are also other third-party agents that can help you obtain all the proper licensing.
As far as a recommended local accountant, I would go with J Kramer and Associates based in Wenatchee.
As far as a great attorney for business formation, I would suggest Dano Law Firm from Quincy and Moses Lake.
3) Get INSURANCE. So many businesses often avoid getting insurance. Someone who is just getting started does not want to spend a couple hundred, or even thousands for their insurance policy on their new business because they do not deem it necessary and would rather allocate their funds to another capital expenditure. This is backwards. I would strongly recommend you do not open up a business until you can budget in your commercial insurance. It is in fact necessary. In the business world, you are far more susceptible to lawsuits, liability claims, and other risks, so the only way you can protect yourself from that is by insuring yourself with a commercial insurance. Most of the time, when you are just getting started, insurance tends to be more affordable since your sales, or income generally is less the first few years. At the same time, however, if you are inexperienced, the insurance underwriter can deem you as a larger risk, and therefore assess a larger premium in return. Either way, get insured. You will be far more at peace. There is also an increased chance that a client will work with you if you are insured -- as opposed to someone who is not insured. This is particularly more applicable to contractors. If you are looking for the best insurance agency in Quincy, WA -- I would highly recommend Columbia Basin Insurance.
4) Marketing. Marketing. Marketing. There are so many businesses out there in our town that have absolutely no marketing. It does not matter which industry you are a part of, marketing is still essential -- even if your business is already successful. Oftentimes, businesses wonder why they are not attracting more customers, but at the same time those businesses have no strategy that puts their brand out. I like to break marketing down into two categories: advertising and branding. Advertising is what you do to attract customers and bring them to your business. Effective advertising strategies include digital / social media marketing either through organic methods, such as sharing your social media business page with your friends and family and posting content consistently on it, or by paid methods, such as: Facebook ads, paying an influencer to share your business, Instagram ads, YouTube ads, Google Ads, and more. There are other traditional strategies, such as: sending postcards, putting your business on newspaper, radio, or TV Ads, and flyers. As far as the branding of your business, that will fall into place as you start marketing your business across all different avenues. Branding is simply the image of your business. You will see that on shirts, on billboards, on hats, and on items that display logos. Branding your image should be the last thing that you should worry about as far as marketing is concerned. Branding brings the least amount of return on your investment. Typically, you would want to start branding once your advertising is paying off and your business is consistently bringing in revenue.
IMPORTANT in this step: If you run a services company, set up your Google My Business and ask for reviews from your clients. Being ranked highly on Google will be the biggest blessing for your business.
5) Outsourcing the tasks that you are not a "professional"' at will help your business grow in the right direction. You cannot always be the business owner taking on every role in the business. Eventually, you have to let go of the duties that you are not the most skilled at, or have the expertise in. At the beginning stage of your business, it is understandable that you are taking on all the roles – as your budget is limited – but once you are consistently cash flowing, then you should take a step back and delegate those tasks that you are not an expert on to someone else who is a professional at it. One of the tasks that many business owners try to take on and that should be the first one delegated is your accounting. As far as filing your tax returns, you should always leave that up to your accountant. The accountant will set you up with the best tax saving strategies and ensure that you file your quarterly and annual taxes properly. Some business owners choose to take bookkeeping on themselves, and if you choose to do so, I recommend you get it checked by your accountant at least once a year towards the end of the year. There are other tasks that can be delegated, or automated so that you are not always doing it all. If you have to always clean your office and are spending at least 1 hour a week on that, pay someone else to do it for less than what you earn an hour and focus your efforts on work that can generate more money than the money you would have saved if you chose not to hire. Always look for ways to pass on the work that is not bringing you money onto others that are professionals at it, and while they are doing that for you, you can bring in money that is 2x what you paid them. Time is very expensive in the business world!
6) Get involved with the community. Being involved with the community is not only good PR, but also a great source for business. In addition, your heart will forever thank you. Every business should align themselves with the community to show the appreciation for their supporters. Go out and do some good.