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Starting A New Small Business In The Countryside

It is a familiar story, Bob and Sue sea change to their new regional dream location, they then think about opening a business to sustain their new lifestyle. They open up a new outlet to service the locals and the seasonal visitors who come to town. Soon, they are underwhelmed by the lack of local support for their brilliant new business. It may be a patisserie or something equally fancy that city folk love and cannot get in the country. There are sound economic reasons why these businesses do not already exist in seachange towns. A lack of demand for sophisticated businesses like these in country towns, means they will struggle nine out of ten times.

Starting A New Small Business In The Countryside

Of course, there are, also, plenty of solid new small businesses begun in regional towns, which eventually struggle and run out of oxygen, because downturns in country areas are, always, more severe. If a major primary industry employer goes to the wall, like a mine, farm, fishery or forestry business, then it threatens the whole region economically. Abattoirs and meat packing concerns can similarly affect small towns. The best regionally based small businesses are ones that do not rely on the local market, but are servicing much larger economic communities via the internet and mail order.

Do Your Due Diligence!

These kinds of businesses will require IT support, and that kind of computer service business can, also, work in larger regional zones. Looking for an available business opportunity is best approached with patience and far reaching eyes. Don’t jump into the first thing that comes up on the horizon, take your time and have a good look around. Do your due diligence. Check out the balance sheets, with a sceptical eye for things that are too good to be true.

Social Media is Essential

Getting into a new small business in the countryside is a lot easier than getting out of one, when things start to go belly up. Keeping your customers happy can be challenging in rurally located businesses, which service city folk. Keeping up good communication channels through platforms like social media is essential. Maintaining a sense of community is vital for internet based/mail order type businesses. If you want to live in your slice of ‘out of the way paradise’, be prepared to keep your digital presence very available to your network of clients and infrastructure staff. You can make a success of this business model by following a few of these strategic tips.

The Great Debate: Healthcare In The Countryside

It is one of the great ironies that people who shift from the city to the country to enjoy the quiet and space of fewer people, end up complaining about the lack of services. Lots of services follow large communities around, it is the way the world works. Healthcare is, probably, the hottest button at the moment, for country folk to voice their concerns about. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. All that country living is supposed to keep you healthy: fresh air, good produce, and all those friendly animals. Why do they need doctors as well? Just joking folks, but you cannot expect to have the range of healthcare services as the millions of people who live in the cities.

The Great Debate: Healthcare In The Countryside

Medicine may be socialised to some extent in Australia with Medicare, but doctors, and dentists, especially, in private practice are running businesses. Supply follows demand; its economics 101 folks. You cannot force doctors and dentists to live and work in small country towns. Their businesses have high overheads and they need substantial revenue streams to make them at all sustainable. Health care extras are predicated on the necessary populations driving private enterprise medicine. Dental care is, even more, dependent upon large enough communities to justify the existence of a dental clinic.

Socialise HealthCare

Country people, unfortunately, just have to travel to larger rural centres for many basic healthcare services. The only way to change this economic fact, would be to socialise healthcare all the way down the supply chain in regional areas. Governments would have to get into the doctoring and dentistry businesses in small country towns. Good luck with that. Governments don’t like to be too accountable; and they avoid getting involved in any real businesses on this basis. Profit and loss sheets are for other people.

AMA Plan

The AMA are calling for governments to rebuild public hospitals in rural areas and incentivise the recruitment and retention of country doctors. A good idea would be to build training hospitals in larger regional zones. If Australians want to become doctors and healthcare professionals, then, direct them to these training hospitals for a fixed number of years. These hospitals could then have satellite clinics servicing smaller towns around them. A network of healthcare facilities could be run by state governments around the nation. In a big country, with low density issues in regional areas, government policy must address these challenges.

Which Is Healthier? City or Country Living?

I will have to admit to a current bias, right at the outset of this article. I live in the country and have for the last 15 years; but not in the same part of the country. I have lived in the Blue Mountains, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and, now, on the coast and riverside by the Murray on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  In some ways, this affords me a broad taste of Australian country living, but old timers would probably say, I haven’t yet scratched the surface. Prior to this decade and a half, I lived the same number of years in Sydney, with a couple of stints in Perth and Adelaide. So, my city living is, at least comparable.

Which Is Healthier? City or Country Living?

So, which is healthier? The definition of health itself has changed quite a bit during the past three decades. Health has become a much broader church, encompassing new gospels like wellbeing. It has become more inclusive for things like mental health, as well as heart and body. Our main coastal cities are populous in relation to the nation’s overall population. Sydney and Melbourne are big cities, teeming with people, traffic and urban sprawls. Cities are all about people, lots of diverse communities jammed together under one umbrella. Too many people is, perhaps, not healthy, but, some say, too few people aint good for you either.

Eating Out vs Eating In

Cities are good for eating out, with all those diverse multicultural communities producing an exciting bunch of restaurants and cafes. Country towns, on the other hand, generally, have a paucity of good value dining out options. Eating in, is the way to go here, because many regional areas boast excellent produce for the home cook to take advantage of. In the country, we eat well at home and with friends. We may not be quite so social, as those folks in the city, but we know how to have a good time, when we put on our Sunday best.

Quality vs Quantity of Healthcare

The quality of healthcare is superficially better in the city, with a greater range of available services and better hospitals and clinics. The intimate healthcare, however, may be more profound in the country, once you find yourself a good doctor or healer. Healing is better served by those who can take the time to really be there for you. Busy bees in the city, just, keep on rushing by. Specialty medicine and modalities are more prolific in the big city; and some country folk move on this basis alone, because they are forced to for family reasons.

A Solitary Nature

Solitariness is more commonly found in the country. Aloneness is not loneliness. Some space around you can be a healthy thing. I suppose, you find more folks who are comfortable with their own company in the country; but there are plenty of lonely people in the city. Don’t get me started on fresh air!