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About 80% of Russia’s population lives outside the capital and regional centers. Rumors that it is impossible to create a profitable business on the periphery are greatly exaggerated. The article provides five examples of a quite successful business, and highlights the characteristic features of provincial cities.

The answer to the question of which business to open in a small city cannot be unambiguous. In addition to the common features inherent in small administrative centers, each of them has its own unique features. Counting on the success of the enterprise, it is necessary to take into account both groups of influencing factors as fully as possible. As life shows, the advantages in this regard are on the side of local residents. In contrast to the “newcomer Varangians,” who master a new territory by trial and error.

Pros and cons of a small town

Two professors of the Higher School of Economics: Simon Kordonsky and Yuri Plyusnin, in 2011-2014 made 30 field expeditions, studying the provincial cities of the Russian hinterland. The results of the study were announced in June this year as part of the round table “Russian Society Outside Big Cities”.

The general specifics of small cities, less often two city-forming enterprises — low-rise buildings, low population density — low incomes and paying capacity of residents — high level of administrative “press”.

At first glance, all of the above limits the choice of a business idea. But on the other hand, these same factors provide some advantages: low initial investment, the absence of high advertising costs and a relatively low level of competition.

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