We don’t all want a big city life, but we all need to eat. Is it possible to make a go of things with a business in more regional areas? Can we find a balance between life and work? Of course. Many of Australia’s businesses are not just surviving out in the regions – they’re thriving.
So what can you do to ensure that your business rises to the top by the beach or in the bush? It’s easier than you might think. You just need a plan for these five business problems and then you’re ready to tackle anything:
The world is much smaller when we’re online than in the “real world”. You can hold meetings in China and Russia simultaneously. Minutes later, you can be in New York or Sydney. You just have to harness technology to bring people to you. Tools can make a huge difference, including:
If you’re moving to a small town, you’re leaving your old network behind. That can feel scary but it doesn’t mean that you’re losing something. In fact, you’re gaining the chance to make a big impression locally without any baggage from your past life following you. Take a little time to eye up the lay of the land but don’t hang around. Get in front of people and make every interaction count.
The core component of every successful business – no matter where it is – is the same; it’s hard work. 99 per cent perspiration to 1 per cent inspiration. It’s that simple. You’re going to have a lot to learn when you move out of your comfort zone but that shouldn’t stop you from doing things. The more you do, the easier it is to come out on top.
Small towns don’t tend to have as many potential clients as big cities. The trick is to understand where your skills fit and ensure that there are enough clients for you. Fewer clients mean thinking about how you will serve them better and focusing your efforts keenly on their needs. Then wait for them to tell you what else they need – grow with them.
Australians hate tall poppies, am I right? The trouble is that if you fear becoming a tall poppy – you can’t succeed. You need to be seen in small towns or you’re nowhere at all. So, the trick is to manage your interactions carefully.
You want to draw attention to your business but not to you as the centre of it. Be known for being discrete and acting with integrity every time you do business. Nobody minds when a “good bloke” (or good woman, for that matter) succeeds – they just mind when it’s an arrogant galah.
So, don’t be one. Make your business part of the community that you serve. Show them that you can be a valued part of town life and that you understand what that community values. Then stand tall and proud. You’re on your way to becoming a very Australian success story.
Chrissy Leontios, Principal, CLEON Legal and Mediation Services