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SURVEY OF RURAL CHALLENGES 2015
WHAT SMALL TOWN PEOPLE SEE AS THEIR BIGGEST CHALLENGES
AND WHAT TOPICS THEY MOST WANT HELP...
When you ask small town people what challenges they want help
with, the responses provide an interesting insight into rura...
RURAL COMMUNITY CHALLENGES
Top five concerns at the community level:
 Losing young people
 Downtown is dead
 No one sho...
SMALL-TOWN BUSINESS OWNER CHALLENGES
Top concerns among business owners:
 Tried opening later hours without
success
 Mar...
TOP CHALLENGES FOR SMALL DOWNTOWNS
Top challenges cited for downtown business areas:
 Creating a lively downtown filled w...
THEMES: LACK OF COOPERATION, NEGATIVITY
Lack of cooperation and negativity
among local leaders appeared in
more than 12% o...
THEMES: LACK OF COOPERATION AMONG
BUSINESSES
Lack of cooperation extends to businesses.
Participants mentioned competitive...
THEME: MARKETING CHALLENGES FOR
BUSINESSES
Competing locally, nationally and online is
challenging.
Several people mention...
THEME: FINDING AND KEEPING VOLUNTEERS
Changes in the way people get
involved in their community are
causing a shortage of ...
THEMES: COMMON BUSINESS WEAKNESSES
Many small town businesses are not
staying open past 5pm, not keeping
up with the times...
SURPRISE! SMALL DOWNTOWNS DON’T NEED
SAVIOR BUSINESSES
Only three respondents mentioned a business gap, or a specific
busi...
SURPRISE! RURAL PEOPLE AREN’T ALL THAT
WORRIED ABOUT POVERTY AND JOBS
Only three people mentioned poverty.
Only two people...
SURPRISE! MORE BUSINESSES NEED A BUILDING
THAN NEED A LOAN
More small-town business people
cited trouble finding a usable
...
MORE ABOUT THE SURVEY
A total of 227 responses were
collected online from subscribers
and visitors to SmallBizSurvival.com...
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Survey of rural challenges 2015

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What small town people see as their biggest challenges
And what topics they most want help with

Published in: News & Politics
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Survey of rural challenges 2015

  1. 1. SURVEY OF RURAL CHALLENGES 2015 WHAT SMALL TOWN PEOPLE SEE AS THEIR BIGGEST CHALLENGES AND WHAT TOPICS THEY MOST WANT HELP WITH
  2. 2. When you ask small town people what challenges they want help with, the responses provide an interesting insight into rural areas today. WHAT CHALLENGES RURAL PEOPLE WANT HELP WITH SmallBizSurvival.com conducted a survey among subscribers and visitors to the site during 2015, receiving over 200 individual responses.
  3. 3. RURAL COMMUNITY CHALLENGES Top five concerns at the community level:  Losing young people  Downtown is dead  No one shops in town  Missing out on tourism opportunities  No businesses in town Respondents often chose these challenges together as a set of interrelated issues.
  4. 4. SMALL-TOWN BUSINESS OWNER CHALLENGES Top concerns among business owners:  Tried opening later hours without success  Marketing isn’t working  People want to pick their brain for free  Need help but cannot hire  Need an idea to start a business
  5. 5. TOP CHALLENGES FOR SMALL DOWNTOWNS Top challenges cited for downtown business areas:  Creating a lively downtown filled with businesses and activities  Effectively marketing small businesses  Building better cooperation among businesses, leaders and community members
  6. 6. THEMES: LACK OF COOPERATION, NEGATIVITY Lack of cooperation and negativity among local leaders appeared in more than 12% of responses. Personal agendas, local organizations that don’t work together and infighting hold communities back. One respondent summed it up, citing “obstinacy and stubborn pessimism.”
  7. 7. THEMES: LACK OF COOPERATION AMONG BUSINESSES Lack of cooperation extends to businesses. Participants mentioned competitiveness, antagonism between unrelated businesses, lack of participation in group promotions, difficulty coordinating marketing, and the need to pool resources.
  8. 8. THEME: MARKETING CHALLENGES FOR BUSINESSES Competing locally, nationally and online is challenging. Several people mentioned the difficulty of keeping up with changes in marketing. Reduced effectiveness of newspaper advertising, the fast rate of change of online marketing, and difficulties in reaching customers today challenge business owners.
  9. 9. THEME: FINDING AND KEEPING VOLUNTEERS Changes in the way people get involved in their community are causing a shortage of unpaid help for traditional organizations.
  10. 10. THEMES: COMMON BUSINESS WEAKNESSES Many small town businesses are not staying open past 5pm, not keeping up with the times, and generally not presenting themselves professionally or competitively.
  11. 11. SURPRISE! SMALL DOWNTOWNS DON’T NEED SAVIOR BUSINESSES Only three respondents mentioned a business gap, or a specific business they felt their community or downtown needed. No one mentioned needing a national chain or franchise business to improve their town.
  12. 12. SURPRISE! RURAL PEOPLE AREN’T ALL THAT WORRIED ABOUT POVERTY AND JOBS Only three people mentioned poverty. Only two people mentioned the lack of jobs as a challenge. No one mentioned recruiting outside businesses to bring in more jobs.
  13. 13. SURPRISE! MORE BUSINESSES NEED A BUILDING THAN NEED A LOAN More small-town business people cited trouble finding a usable building than trouble finding a loan.
  14. 14. MORE ABOUT THE SURVEY A total of 227 responses were collected online from subscribers and visitors to SmallBizSurvival.com during 2015. Participants included 206 from the USA, 11 from Canada, and 10 from other international locations. The online pressroom for this survey data is available at: SmallBizSurvival.com/ruralchallenge A set of action steps designed in response to this survey data is also available at: SmallBizSurvival.com/ruralchalleng e

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