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Old 09-26-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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I do think it depends on if the area is a tourist/seasonal driven area or not. I live in a county that relies heavily on tourism so things like cutesy antique knick knack stores are the norm but with the economy, alot have closed in the past 6 months. However, as a local, I would LOVE a coffee shop (there is one but it caters to visitors/has odd hours, etc) or a good Italian restaurant (as much as I love burgers, being in TX, there are alot of burger joints...too many, same with bbq). The one we have is AWFUL. I think it only stays in business because it is the only Italian joint in town. On the other hand, a Chinese restaurant opened up and it has done very well because they a. are the only local Chinese/Asian restaurant and b. the food is great. I think if you get a nitch that hasn't been filled could be your best bet?
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by txtoal View Post
I think if you get a nitch that hasn't been filled could be your best bet?
I think you're right. That's what I plan to keep my eye out for when we visit these towns. We're leaving tomorrow and spending a few days up there. I won't be selecting a business or opening one up right away. Our visit is to identify which town we'd prefer to live closest.

Even when the answers aren't relevant to my particular area, I love hearing what type of businesses people wish they had. When I asked the question of my metro area, the responses were overwhelmingly about FOOD! LOL
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:51 PM
 
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a sandwich type shop that is open when the bars close usually do well
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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Originally Posted by andyselec View Post
Move first then figure out the community's needs


It's always best/easiest to identify an actual need and figure out how you can fill it, than it is to provide a service and figure out how to create the need for it.

Your community might not need another Ma & Pa shop or restaurant/cafe; but might really need a mobile veterinary tech, or a skilled bonded & insured farm/pet sitter or boarding kennel, or a bookkeeper/CPA/tax consultant, or a supply "shopper" and cargo transport service, or an arborist and mobile sawmill.

Depending on the location, size and skill distribution of your community you may not be able to do one thing all year round... but if you're willing to adapt to fill several seasonal or part-time needs things should work out well enough.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
So, if you live in an area where houses are miles apart and the nearest town is a half a day's drive away, what do you wish that small town or small city had that it doesn't have?
1. Someone responsible and trustworthy to either board my animals or watch them at our place whenever we need go into town for a day or two...

OR

2. Someone responsible and trustworthy to run my errands, do my shopping, and haul back the cargo so that I don't need to go into town myself as often

AND

Be charged reasonable rates for these services (not as much as will bear, but as much as is fair)


Another serious "nice to have" would be someone well versed with government bureaucracy willing and able to be an advisor and advocate as well as the local point of contact for the various agencies... it is a major PITA to drive 4 hours each way just to purchase a permit to extract gravel from the state pit that is a mile away from your property, or to record/renew your various licenses and registrations, or submit paperwork and documents that require discussion or verification in person.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Miborn View Post
a sandwich type shop that is open when the bars close usually do well
That's so true. I'd hate to be the cause of their drunk driving though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Depending on the location, size and skill distribution of your community you may not be able to do one thing all year round... but if you're willing to adapt to fill several seasonal or part-time needs things should work out well enough.
Good point! I'm definitely adaptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Another serious "nice to have" would be someone well versed with government bureaucracy willing and able to be an advisor and advocate as well as the local point of contact for the various agencies... it is a major PITA to drive 4 hours each way just to purchase a permit to extract gravel from the state pit that is a mile away from your property, or to record/renew your various licenses and registrations, or submit paperwork and documents that require discussion or verification in person.
This is interesting. It's sort of like notaries in our state for the moter vehicle department. You can go to any local notary for guidance, paperwork, etc. Some even have a daily messenger service to the state capital. You're taking about something like this but for all types of government departments, not just the motor vehicles. I could see this being a great addition to an existing business (since it wouldn't be a full time gig in a very rural area like where you live). Maybe someone living in an area like that will read this thread and be inspired to start a service like that.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
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Hopes..

All rural areas have the same issues: slow broadband, miles of inconvenience, and a state government that looks the other way. OTOH, generally speaking, the seat of county/parish government is where the courthouse,the best of the all the county services, and more consumer services are located. The exception is this. If there is a much larger dominate city, it will have the most consumer services in the county.

In my area there is zero transit, so it is personal vehicle dependent. This does not serve the older, handicapped, or car - less individual who needs to shop. As someone who is hearing and visually impaired, and living in an isolated community it is a daily challenge. I can see where a small 12 passenger van and a "honey do" handyman shop could do well.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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I can say that anyone who has a larger passenger van, an enclosed trailer or panel van, and/or a large flatbed or dump trailer (and the 1-ton truck or hemi/semi to haul it) and who is willing to make runs from place to place or into town will never be at a loss for work in a smaller remote community as long as they don't price gouge and aren't flakey. People will always need transportation and supplies that are too big or heavy for their vehicle (if they have one) or their physical abilities. Someone will always need large loads of gravel and firewood from around the local area, or larger loads of building supplies/fuel/provisions/freight from in town... always. It might not be a full-time gig, but it would definitely be a reliable one in the repertoire.

One idea that we've had would be coordinating bulk supply ordering and delivery. Sort of like a merchantile, but without the storefront and inventory. You'd be the organizer and transporter... folks in your community would give you orders for the items you "stock", you'd routinely combine everyone's orders to maximize on bulk discounts and reduce special delivery shipping charges, go into town to pick everything up all at once, and then part out the individual orders and distribute them. For instance, cost and shipping charges are MUCH less for pallets of supplies than they are for smaller quantities; but individuals don't often need a whole pallet's worth and don't have a way to get it home. Someone who could coordinate and facilitate this could charge for the service, and your neighbors would still get a "discount" because it would be less than upcharge for smaller quantities, shipping to the store/depot, AND local delivery on top (or the fuel and time to go get it themselves). You'd have to be a good people-person with excellent organizational skills and ultra-reliable... but it could work for the right person.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,736,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miborn View Post
a sandwich type shop that is open when the bars close usually do well
That's so true. I'd hate to be the cause of their drunk driving though.
In smaller, remote communities the bar, restaurant and motel are normally either the same business or really close together. Distance is more of a factor in larger communties.

In either situation, you may be able to arrange with the bar/restaurant owner to leave their establishment open for you to serve sandwiches and breakfast after last-call. Or run a combo after-hours taxi & deli-delivery service to get the tipsy home AND the midnight munchies fed safely.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 26,374,342 times
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I know of a city park district that rents class space to residents to teach a skill or hobby. The teachers set the class size, class meet days and times, number of weeks per class, and cost per student or per couple. It is an area where it is very easy to be rural.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I'm definitely adaptable.
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