For Franchise Partners like Peter Coulter, retirement doesn’t mean slowing down.

Peter operates a Nurse Next Door franchise in Comox, British Columbia (population 13,627). He sees the small population as an opportunity rather than a limitation. “Small-town mentality can pay in dividends,” says Peter. He credits his familiarity with the needs of his community as one of the keys to his success.

It’s not always easy, but with creative thinking and research, small-town business owners can thrive while doing rewarding work.

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Hire great people

Peter says that in a small community, your best resources are human. People talk. “It’s easier to reach everyone. We provide the best service we possibly can, and that’s repaid back to us tenfold.”

Business owners can save on advertising dollars with word-of-mouth promotion and a strong referral network. But ads also typically cost less in small towns, and fewer media channels can mean reaching a bigger percentage of the local population.

Though Peter acknowledges the challenges of a small population when hiring, he says choosing your team carefully can make a world of difference. “When there’s a good management team in place, there’s a good work-life balance,” he says. Peter insists that taking the time to build a supportive workplace culture is worth the effort. “Take time to nurture trust and loyalty,” he adds, in order to hold on to your best employees when you’re working with a small talent pool.

Get support from the Nurse Next Door community

Thanks to Nurse Next Door, Peter’s community extends beyond Comox. For him, support and leadership from head office strengthens the work he can do in his small-town community. “I don’t need to reinvent the wheel to run my franchise. I know that a team of great minds are working on my behalf to better my business.”

Citing the systems in place–like a 24-hour call center and robust marketing team–Peter says this support has helped him grow his business and set himself apart from mom-and-pop competitors. “Our reputation depends on more than just our franchise,” he adds. “I believe our local health authority feels comfortable subcontracting to us not only because of our strong local reputation, but because of Nurse Next Door as a company.”

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Considering a franchise in a small town? Here’s Peter’s advice

“Do your homework! It’s important with any business, but it’s vital in smaller communities.” Peter believes that knowing your community and supplying for demand can be the catalyst for success. If you’re in the home care industry, set up shop in a town with lots of retirees and talk to people about their needs and expectations.

As a business owner, understanding your community’s demographic needs will help ensure your success. But the best way to learn about your community is to get involved. For example, Peter runs fundraising programs that benefit the local hospice society, as well as the Heart & Stroke Foundation. He’s giving back while getting to know other volunteers and participants.

“Running a 24/7 business is not for everyone,” he says, “but if you really want to make a difference in people’s lives, a Nurse Next Door franchise is a company with heart.”

To learn more about how we set up new Franchise Partners for success, download our free home care franchise report.