When searching for business ideas for small towns, it was totally unexpected.
Actually, my wife suggested I call my sister-in-law Becky and ask her how she searched for good small business ideas to start in her small town of 6,400 people. She opened a retail store there four years ago.
Becky obliged. What follows is a shorter version of our two-hour phone call.
Becky had no idea that she would meet and marry a guy who lives and works in a small town. Of course, she was determined to contribute to the family’s income. She told me, “I have a brain too, you know.”
And, away we went just chatting away.
She narrowed her search to deciding what type of retail store to open.
The All Important Steps: What are the retail needs of this community?
After gathering all this info, she determined that starting a Bakery would be the best choice.
In the city, we call this market research. She gathered opinions about what the town needed, how she could get people to support her and determined that the missing ingredient was a Bakery
She started her bakery by leasing a small 437 sq. ft. space by the drug store. She bought nearly $2,800 in used equipment including two baking ovens.
She decided to start small, very small. Her opening baked goods inventory included:
9-dozen each of 5-kinds of cookies
56-chocolate éclairs and 50-large individual brownies
5-kinds of muffins, 2-dozen each
328-other assorted pastries
She opened on a Saturday morning at 8:00 AM. She was sold out by 11:06 AM.
She was both frustrated that she hadn’t better anticipated needed opening day product and happy that people knew she had opened and were glad to see a bakery in town.
Today, Becky told me that she has hired two full time bakers and eight part time wait staff.
Oh, three years ago she moved down the street into a 2,300 sq. ft. space, added coffee, soups, chips, sandwiches and deserts to her menu and does a significant lunch business 6-days a week. She has also incorporated about 80 sq. ft. for consignment crafts, which are selling like hot cakes!
I wish you well too.
Thank you for visiting Business Ideas for Small Towns.