When the economy was booming business startups and small businesses reached the break even level much faster than in current times. When faced with a smaller customer base, small businesses must be more aggressive in reaching and selling their customers.
Small town businesses do not have a large margin of error. People in small towns know each other and will spread the word if you are not 100% honest and ethical in the way you conduct your business. If you alienate the wrong customer you are going to have a tough job reestablishing trust in the community again. And in this economy that could lead to a going out of business sale.
As you might imagine, networking in small towns is crucial to success. You are going to have to use word-of-mouth in a small town much more than you would in a city. A referral from a small town resident will carry much more weight with a customer than the same referral will in a big city.
Involving yourself in local community events will also go a long way in building your credibility in a small town. Sponsoring little league, donating products or services to charity, sponsoring school events, joining the chamber of commerce, and supporting local teams are often a good way to get your company name out in a positive light.
Don't bring your previous residence to your new home. You are the one that has to change and adapt to your new home - Not the current residents. Learn the positive things about your new home and embrace them. If there are negatives, either ignore them or at least learn to live with and tolerate them.
Unlike big cities, where people shop, but don't live where they work, you will get entire families shopping at your business. So every customer means 2-3 more possible customers. In a big city, the business owner may never see any other family members unless they too work nearby.
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