Small requires MIGHTINESS.
This is how we do it:

Small towns and small businesses have gotten a bum wrap. Over the years, they’ve watched industry leave for greener pastures, storefronts shutter and their young folks go running toward the bright lights and experiences they haven’t been able to find on Main Street.
Small Nation
What’s left is a shell of a community.

It’s not sure what to do so it looks for industry to bring jobs to bring people to pay taxes to live, spend and eventually die there. Meanwhile, Main Street is still suffering because the people who’ve come for the jobs don’t have the time or the energy (and sometimes not the extra funds) to shop.

It becomes a quick-stop, big-box world. Then the industry leaves again for greener pastures, and the town crumbles just a little bit more. It’s a sucky cycle, and one that isn’t easily fixed with the “typical” processes.

When this happened to our downtown, we got sick of waiting around for help. We decided to Hustle Hard and do it ourselves. Here’s how we did it then and do it now.

We buy and renovate historic buildings.

In 2012, we bought a 10,000-plus square foot historic property called The Canby Building for $1. Yes... You read that right. We bought the property for a buck. Today after investing in renovations only, a run down, empty eyesore on our Main Street has transformed itself into one of the most grand structures in our town. With the square footage to bring us return on our investment within just a few years. That, friends, is smart investment.

We actively recruit tenants.

Investing in the buildings is just the first step though. Once the buildings are ready, we needed tenants. The big stores wont come to small towns (and who really wants them anyway, right?) so we actively recruited smart, talented individuals from our small town who are full of ideas and energy.

We become equity partners.

They had the ideas and the willingness but didn’t always have the funds, so in order to fill storefronts with quality merchants, we filled the gaps the banks left behind by becoming equity partners with our tenants. We invested our own time, money and energy to help get small businesses off the ground.

We provide financing.

For those who we’re interested in an equity partnership, we filled the gaps the banks left behind (small business loans are tricky) by providing financing for startup and operations capital.

We design and promote.

We helped them create strong brands for their businesses, helped design welcoming and engaging business interiors and through our sister company COMSTOR, helped them, market their offerings to the local public with websites and billboards.

We supplied the structure, the education, the design, the financing and the mentoring.
And it’s worked. Because we cared about their success.
And in turn, the small business owners worked their butts off to succeed.

Was it development? Yes. But is was more than real estate.
We helped develop the people and the potential of our Small Town.
Back then we just called it Hustling Hard. Today it’s our motto. And our process.
Read the whole story about the “Hustle Hard” process in Jason’s Forbes article:
“The Number 1 Underrated Business Opportunity Right Now? Your Small Hometown.”

Small B School