Thursday, October 27, 2011

Small Town Business

     Business is a tad different in a small town.  Of course, business is geared to suit the needs of a certain area.  I begin with this picture because I love the quirky, old fashioned feel of it.  It is an age old "sign", most likely has been there for years and they just paint around it once in awhile.  By the way, it is a car dealership.  If you were to walk inside it probably still has the old counter top.  Maybe a few modern conveniences have been added, but it still has that "Mayberry" feel to it.
     Even in everyday business operations, things tend to be different in a rural area.  Most stores will keep a running account for you that you pay off each month.  You really do hear people say "Just put it on my tab".  Because you know everyone, you also know who you can trust-- or whom you can't!  Many stores have a large hand written list, place prominently somewhere in the store giving names of people who have written bad checks. Several stores even have names of people posted out front who are not even allowed in!!  In contract type work, your word is as good as gold.  Even a simple handshake is as binding as a signed contract.

Local gas station and liquor store.
         Often small businesses have to diversify.  Two or more separate operations can be run under the same name.  In the big city you can get by with specializing in one certain area, for instance:  counter tops, tires or carpet.  I've even seen stores that only sell candles, ball caps or flags.  One wonders how they make it, but they have a much larger population to deal with.  In a rural area, you sometimes have to combine techniques and abilities in order to make your business work.  My husband installs seamless gutters, yet also has a mowing and snow removal business.  Besides the gutters, he will also do construction, tile, plumbing, electrical and tree removal just to keep the business going!  Talk about diversify!!
     I have seen some humorous business linked together.  While driving through a small town in Illinois, I saw a sign that stated: "Miller's Car Repair and Cafe". Hmmm.  'Hope the mechanic doesn't do the cooking too!
     Not long ago I saw this advertisement locally:
    By the looks of the play toys in the fenced in yard, she must run a daycare as well.
     When times are rough, we rural people still do things the old fashioned way.  Services can be exchanged for services.  Sometimes business is given in the form of a gift when a family is struggling.  We all know each other, and we all know each other's needs.  So, it's just part of everyday life to help someone out if you have the ability to do so.  Sometimes a genuine "Thank you" and a handshake are the best pay you can ever get.  But, you'll get that in a small town....

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