Everyone faces challenges when thinking about going into business. Being based in a rural area adds some special challenges. You may not have immediate access to anyone who can sit down with you in person. You can’t just drop in on a small business support center, because there probably isn’t one for 50 miles or more.
To help, I’ve picked what I think are the top two resources for rural people who want to go into business.
1. SBA.gov – U.S. Small Business Administration
The SBA offers a huge collection of articles, training and guides. Look for “Starting a Business” in the menu. This is a great place to go when you have a specific question to get answered as well as a great place to poke around and learn almost anything about being in business.
Started by a successful entrepreneur who saw the potential for business ownership to be a positive force in the community, My Own Business has grown into a free, comprehensive and graded online course on starting a business. It’s been teaching potential business owners for two decades now. This is a great place to go when you’re ready to take a course and learn in an organized way.
The course is also available in a Spanish language version.
I like this course as a potential tool for organizing your own entrepreneur training in rural areas. Groups of potential business owners could work on the lessons together.
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Tracy Brown says
SCORE might also be a resource for some. I could have sworn that they have some online mentoring options available, but I didn’t see any when I took a quick glance just now. Still, these links might be useful to some of your readers: https://www.score.org/mentors/find and https://www.score.org/chapters-map
Even if a SCORE chapter isn’t located in or close to a rural town, it might be worth the drive to meet with a mentor at different points in establishing and building a business. I would have driven a few hours for the 4-hour one-on-one (no cost!) meeting we had with our mentor when we were putting together the financials portion of our business plan. The time spent was so worth it!
Have a great day!
Becky McCray says
Thanks for sharing your experience with SCORE, Tracy. Very helpful for others. For rural areas, it pays to ask if SCORE can come to you. Many SBA-associated resources are willing to travel.