I met Becky McCray online. I’m sure happy I did! Becky owns a cattle ranch and a liquor store and www.smallbizsurvival.com She sat down for an interview, and it’s my pleasure to share it with you now.
HI Becky. There’s a whole lot you do – why not start out and tell us what a normal day looks like for you.
Okay – we are Rural America here in Franklin County Iowa. What can Small Biz Survival do for us?
Your an owner of a liquor store and cattle ranch. That sounds like an interesting juxtaposition! What four most valuable lessons have you learned from running those two businesses?
The cattle ranch is all about working with nature. You can try fighting against nature, but that’s a losing game. So the lesson is to pay attention to what works naturally, and use that to your advantage.
How can we get our kids to come back to the community after college? What do we need to be doing to help develop our community for them too?
Several other free sources will email you grant leads. C. Lyn Larson with HUD in Oklahoma does an email list. You join by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Miami Dade County also issues a weekly grants email, and you can sign up at their website: http://www.miamidade.gov/grants/forms/gmail_page.asp. You can also sign up for updates fromGrants.gov. They have a regular newsletter, a blog, and a service that will email opportunities to you based on your keywords.
Successful grant writing combines careful research, detailed planning and budgeting, creative writing, and attention to detail. If you don’t have all of these skills and qualities yourself, start putting together a team who can work with you. That’s how I do it; I work with a team.
What is this collaboration with US News and World Report? Tell us more please!
One last thing, agritourism – what advice do you give towns looking to promote agritourism?
Promoting online is an absolute requirement, and for bonus points, use audio and video in addition to your text and pictures. For example, create audio tours; shoot short video clips of attractions, or interview interesting locals. Share that slice of life online. I did a whole workshop on this at the Red Carpet Country tourism association annual meeting, and I think it opened people’s eyes to the potential that’s out there. It’s all about telling a story about your country life to people who want to share in that story.