Can your business boom in a small town?
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Can your business boom in a small town?

Most people consider the best location for a business to be in city centres or in developed areas, but a business based in a small town or rural area can be just as successful.

Wooden sign board hanging on door istock
Wooden sign board hanging on door / iStock

Ithala Development Finance Corporation is recognising the need to create more jobs and cater to a rising business presence in small towns and rural areas. Over the next five years, Ithala will be revamping its retail, and light and large industrial portfolio over two phases in Mbazwana, Jozini, Makhathini, Nongoma, Eshowe, Tugela Ferry and Ulundi, Madadeni, Estcourt, Manguzi, Sundumbili, Umlazi, Wilsons’s Wharf, and KwaMashu.

Ithala, as the KwaZulu-Natal provincial development agency, is championing the development of shopping centres and industrial estates in rural areas, and is focused on accelerating regional economic growth and promoting job creation.

Starting and building a business in a small town can be more lucrative than you might realise. So, before you pack your bags to start a business in a city centre or a more developed area, consider the advantages of owning a business based in a small town and how you can contribute to an increasing economy and infrastructure.

Here are three reasons why you should consider it:

Staff retention and reliability

A smaller town or area can provide you with the staff you need to fulfil your requirements, and there is also a lower risk of high staff turnover. If your staff are settled with families in this town, chances are quite small that they’ll be poached by a larger business. A smaller town also brings other factors like an easy commute, little traffic, and a more relaxed atmosphere – making it more attractive to prospective employees. These are all factors that contribute to staff happiness which increases reliability. 

Less competition

A smaller town means less competition for your business. When your business is based in a big city or town, there are often plenty of competitors doing or selling exactly what you do. The threat of cost undercutting is real and business practices are more cut-throat. A smaller town provides you with a chance to offer your service or product, and focus on providing excellent service as well, while enjoying a reliable customer base.

Reduced costs

Running a business in a small town is considerably cheaper than running one in the city. Factors like property, rent, services, transport, and products are generally cheaper in more rural areas. It’s important to note though that if you are bringing your goods in from a city far away or if your town is far from major highways for deliveries, your costs could quickly escalate. Keep this in mind when deciding what kind of business you want to start and what the challenges could be.

Ithala Development Finance Corporation has a portfolio of properties in various KZN locations, from rural to developed areas, to suit your needs and meet all your requirements. 

For more information on Ithala, visit www.ithala.co.za, call 031 907 8911, or visit their blog for inspirational stories: www.myithalastory.com.

Also read: 6 things to look for when renting an industrial property

Main image courtesy of iStock/nathaphat

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