Social media helps challenges faced by rural workers and farmers


A survey by Sussex company Konzepts has highlighted the fact that a lack of local jobs is the main barrier to those living in rural Britain gaining employment.

Out of the 433 people who responded to the Twitter poll 56% of respondents said there was a lack of local jobs while 23% said the lack of public transport was a barrier to rural employment. The survey also revealed that more than one-fifth of respondents struggle with travel costs.

Facing similar challenges herself, living in rural East Sussex, Konzepts founder and social media expert Sue Harbottle-Sear struck upon the idea of franchising her thriving digital marketing business and giving other rural people the opportunity to run their own business.

Sue explains: “Farmers are increasingly diversifying by adding a ‘second’ string to their businesses and others are now selling direct from the farm gate in order to increase profits and keep their farms viable. My franchise operation is a win-win for the rural community and I believe that, however Brexit goes, farmers need to harness the benefits of social media in order to survive.”

From Christmas tree farms to dairy producers and rural businesses, Sue discovered thatre increasingly wanting to use social media to reach out to and carefully target consumers in a way that hasn’t been possible until recently.

Sue added: “Consumers are benefiting too because they know exactly where produce has come from and when it was shipped – so it will be as fresh as possible.

“There has been a 13 per cent global increase in social media usage since January 2017 and now even the smallest businesses can harness the marketing benefits of social media. It’s a very exciting time and means small business can cut out the middle-men and keep more of their hard-earned income.”

Rurally based people who have a keen interest in the digital world and running their own business are an ideal fit for Konzepts’ digital marketing franchise.

Sue’s business model was endorsed last year when she reached the regional finals of the Rural Business Awards in two categories. She is a member of the Rural Business Group and last year was part of a delegation that visited 10 Downing to attend a roundtable discussion. The meeting focused on the challenges currently being faced by rural businesses.

The Konzepts franchise is a ready made business offering affordable social media management and web design services to the rural business community. Franchisees have the opportunity to earn round £3,000 per month by the end of year one. They can work from home and can fit their lifestyle around their work. Two people can even share a franchise to fit work around childcare – or someone who is struggling to make ends meet on a small holding may find the franchise is just what they are looking for.

Konzepts is currently looking for franchisees in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. Applicants will have to meet certain criteria and have an ethos that fits with Konzepts’ own ethos of uncompromising quality, personal service and social responsibility.

Anyone interested should get in touch with the franchise recruitment team via

Rural business owners who need help with marketing should email [email protected]

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