Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, there's been a lot of interest nationwide in getting back to basics--spending more time with family, appreciating the smaller things, learning to live in the moment. We've all been reminded that there's no telling what tomorrow may bring--as such, we don't want to waste time doing anything meaningless.
In so many ways, this back-to-basics phenomenon is validation for entrepreneurship. The whole premise behind owning your own business is to do something you really want to do, on your terms, rather than answer to someone else. Some entrepreneurs choose to take things a step further, starting a business in a small town in order to get away from the big-city life. Yet even with this desire to get back to basics, there's a perception in certain camps that entrepreneurs who start their businesses in "losing" towns won't succeed--that starting a business is hard enough as it is without the added difficulty of starting up in a town that could be set in its ways and unwilling to try new things (namely, your business).
But as you'll see in Winning in a Losing Town, it's possible not only to start up in a small town, but to prosper far beyond anyone's expectations, perhaps doing even better than someone located in a big city. The same rules of start-up apply when you start your business in a place unheard of by anyone but those who live there--you just have to factor in the unique added twists that accompany starting up in a small town, and you'll be well on your way to success.
I'm not saying every entrepreneur needs to start their businesses in a remote location. If they did, those locations would become big cities themselves. It's just that we need entrepreneurs everywhere, from Anytown USA to New York City. Where there are people, there are opportunities. And it's entrepreneurs who find those opportunities and seize them.
Karen E. Spaeder is a freelance business writer in Southern California.