Running a Rural Business: Pros & Cons

The countryside holds great appeal for anyone looking to take their business into another location. Find out why rural businesses are thriving.

Pros and cons of running a rural business

Running a business in the country has its benefits and drawbacks, but if you’re prepared to handle certain key issues, it can be a rewarding experience. Rural areas tend to have fewer companies competing for consumers’ pounds, so there’s room for growth. The population may not necessarily be big enough to support a wide range of products and services, but this can actually work in your favour: by focusing on one or two specific categories, you can stand out from the competition and gain an advantage over businesses.

What are the drawbacks of setting up shop?

If you’re going to be setting up shop in the countryside, you need to be aware of the drawbacks. High on the list of said drawbacks would essentially be technological infrastructure and the availability of manpower.  If you’ve got a business that’s heavily reliant on IT and broadband speed, then overseeing a small town business can be problematic. However, the UK government is aware of such challenges and is in the process of implementing a broadband scheme, of which the only criticism is that it’s not necessarily happening quick enough. The awareness of this project has however raised awareness around the notion of investing in small business shares of companies that facilitate the kind of infrastructure necessary to provide efficient online connectivity. Another issue to be aware of is transport infrastructure, which might not cater to HGV’s (Heavy Goods Vehicles) and in the process might deter the ability to get employees to work on time. If you are looking to establish a rural business, it would definitely bode well to check with the local authority and ascertain if there are any road works in the up and coming future. Transport is an imperative part of any person and employees’ life. Thus, if you’ve elected to take your business into a rural location, you would need to consider those potential stumbling blocks. Some workers aren’t averse to the idea of packing it up and moving somewhere else, but this isn’t a blanket consideration. The other thing to consider is recruitment; talent might not be immediately available and getting your hands on the type of work force that will cater to your rural ambitions can prove challenging.  Finally, there are general amenities to be aware of such as access to post offices, shops and stores, and even banks, all of which could be in short supply.

What are the benefits of setting up shop?

Just because you’ve decided to set up shop in a rural location, doesn’t mean you have to trek out into a faraway green landscape. These days there are plenty of nearby farms that have converted their superfluous barns into small business centres. Dispersed throughout the entire UK are numerous tiny towns which harbour industrial estates on their peripheries. This means that if you elect to set up shop on one of these estates, you could benefit from better transport services, possibly a more reliable IT service, and thanks to not venturing too far into the green landscape,  forging relationships with nearby businesses. In addition, in electing to venture into the countryside means that there are incentives, namely cost-effective business rates, and the ability to procure business support grants catering specifically to businesses that establish themselves in the countryside. Then there’s the appeal of working out in the countryside, which has become a much more appealing prospect due to the proliferation of housing estates in such areas. This in turn feeds into the notion of not having to endure lengthy commutes. Finally, there are the crime elements to consider, which statistically are lower than those of the urban areas. Having said that, if you are intent on setting up shop in a rural area, it can’t hurt to inquire with the local law enforcement with regards to any schemes that target businesses. At the end of the day, one will be beset by challenges when setting up a rural business, but it can certainly be worth your while.