How Does Business Differ in a Small Community vs Large Metro Areas?
Through my years in the advertising and marketing sector, I have met a lot of business owners – some that have been in business in Southern Utah for a very long time and others who are just starting their new ventures. There have been many occasions where I have had frustration voiced to me from new business owners (who are also new to the area as well) that struggle to feel like they can make connections or make their business work because they may feel a disconnect here.
Southern Utah, while not my original home, has become my home for the past 13 years. It is a different town. It’s way different from the South where I was born and raised (can we say Georgia Peach!). The whole state is different in many ways in that regard.
As I started out in entrepreneurship here in Utah’s Dixie, I was able to learn how this business community likes to do business. It’s a lot about relationships. There are pros and cons to that type of behavior; however, for all the networking and relationships I’ve built, it is only positive.
Business is done (sometimes) a little slower here. If you need to pause the transaction, get to know the client, really find out their challenges, needs, etc – you really are to help them that much more and create a solid, trusting business relationship.
For those who are coming or plan to come — or may already be here — and are new in business and trying to find out how to fit into the mix, here’s a few of my suggestions:
1. Don’t be the person who waits to have people approach you first. Be the one to make the first move. Be open to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and get to know other business owners in the community.
2. Attend local chamber and networking events. In a town built on relationships – this is the best place to start to make and create lasting business connections.
3. Find ways to be a part of the community by volunteering on local charity boards or organizations or just being a volunteer. There are many worthwhile causes and you’re sure to find one that allows you to be involved without having to spend hours and hours… after-all, you’ve got a business to run!
Just remember, there are probably other business owners feeling just like you.
As Mahatma Ghandi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”