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Connection and Collaboration – The Cornerstone of Rural Business


Written By
Jan Johnson
Co-Founder of Trailblazher Co.

If there is anything we’ve learned in the past two years, it’s that we need each other. Rural entrepreneurs, being the resilient and gutsy bunch that we are, are often loners, pushing our products, services and offerings out into the world, pivoting and changing as we go. We’ve now come face to face with the realization that we cannot do things alone. Partnering and collaborating with other rural businesses has now become a real part of our business journey through this changing economy. All signs indicate that this idea, this mindset, is here to stay – and it’s changing how we think about our businesses, hopefully positioning us to look for ways to help each other and rise together, rather than protect and compete. 

The truth is – we are stronger together. When rural businesses work together to get their ideas and products out into the world they multiply their resources, their marketing impact, their customer reach and ultimately their sales. Our customers and communities benefit by having more exciting options when businesses join forces. And brilliantly, new product or service ideas tend to spring up when we take ourselves into new territory and get in front of people who didn’t know we existed. Things can get exciting quickly when the buying public begins to ask for things they want and need, becoming loyal customers in the process.

We’ve been keeping our attention on some of the ways that businesses are partnering and collaborating right now.  There is no limit to the unique or creative pairings that could be developed. 

Here are a few enterprising ideas we’ve noted. Businesses are:

  • Starting podcasts and interviewing other nearby or complementary businesses 
  • Co-creating unique charity and ticketed events, both online and in person
  • Starting farm stores and bringing in products from surrounding farms & businesses
  • Developing mobile pop-up markets and boutiques
  • Selling subscription boxes showcasing beautiful hand-made goods
  • Delivering weekly food boxes filled with home grown food and recipes
  • Creating agri-tourism opportunities with farm tours and day trips to give families, couples and individuals new experiences

We are seeing a growing crop of new opportunities emerging now. Reaching out to others to connect and explore ideas is how good ideas become great collaborative enterprises and revenue streams for those involved. Is it time for you to look around and see some new possibilities for your rural business? This could become your best year to cultivate new income for your business.

Jan Johnson

Featured image of Tara Klager, Alanna Manybears & Krista White
Photography by: Morgan Storch of Ranahan Photo

February 1, 2022

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