What is restraining your small community?

Heritage is usually not well preserved and is unattractive for tourism.

 

Does your community have the breaks on?

Many communities tend to carry on each day as if the same old circumstances are prevailing and then wonder why their community is no longer a great place to live and work.

  • Competitiveness of small town businesses.
  • Poor support from bigger cities for small towns.
  • Small towns having difficulty in becoming part of the world economy.
  • Poor business planning, concern for the future v tyranny of the urgent.
  • Much scope for domination of decision-making, people are too nice.
  • The considerable need for objective external help with management.
  • Limited ability to grow or make big costly
  • Close interpersonal relationships in the workplace causing conflict.
  • Short-term thinking and limited leverage in obtaining capital.
  • Informal communication and information channels.
  • Little interest, or investment in information systems.

 

“No matter how difficult your life becomes in a small community there is always something you can do to improve it”. Peter Sergeant

 

  • Lack of formal control systems, exposed to the potential for errors.
  • The vicious circle of problem continuation.
  • Poor understanding of the big picture and changes taking place.
  • Low management expertise available, with little managerial slack.
  • Very small management teams, committees, limited/unbalanced skills.
  • Relative operating simplicity and informality (Sloppiness).
  • Multi-functional work roles for managers and employees.
  • Associated problems with part-time employees and volunteers.
  • Lack of specialist staff with much job overlapping.
  • Little or no employee training, job analysis or skills planning.
  • Shortage of promotable employees.
  • Limited ability to scan, monitor or influence the environment effectively.
  • Narrow product and service range to meet demands.
  • The small market which can add to increased vulnerability.
  • With sparse backup resources, mistakes can be lethal.

A modern business with the aid of the new technologies can serve a global market and in many cases can be based anywhere, even in a regional, rural or remote area.

The ideal scenario would be to grow local businesses into national or global players with their headquarters in a small regional community.

Today this is certainly not impossible. Indeed many such business owners would prefer to develop their lifestyle is a small regional rural or remote setting.

Naturally, business people will go where the opportunities are best, influenced by their personal preferences and professional circumstances. But in order for this to happen, many small communities need to become much more ‘attractive’.

For far too long regional, rural and remote businesses, non-profits and their communities have been left to their own devices to try to find solutions to the problems and frustrations they face. This is unacceptable, and we must all strive to make sure that these communities are not left behind.

 

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Personal Experience

Do you feel like you could be doing more, would you like to be doing something more fulfilling, or have your dreams and aspirations becoming harder to reach, dulled by the lack of action over the years?

Whatever your dreams are, start acting on them, for every dream precedes the goal. Regional communities are often perceived by outsiders as serene, inclusive, rustic and isolated with a peaceful way of life. This suggests that they are not exposed to many of the problems and frustrations of their city counterparts.

Unfortunately, the governments, at all levels, put a lot of emphasis on start-ups and helping small communities, but their programs are poorly targeted, of short duration and when they are finished you’re on your own.

Why not put a group together and start applying economic gardening principles. You could even establish an entrepreneurial ecosystem, both of which will give your community a big boost?

The truth is that start-ups barely register a blip on the economic radar, they employ small numbers of people, soak up government funding, and for the most part don’t pay tax. However, the reality is that small business are the backbone of small regional communities, but without good entrepreneurial support, they always find it difficult to grow and employ people, no matter what the government try to do.

One of the things to watch out for and take fast action on in a stagnant community is a definite lack of entrepreneurs. It is entrepreneurship that will unlock your community’s potential and move it forward to survive and thrive. It will be the entrepreneurs who will encourage businesses and non-profits to work together for the common good.

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