Starting a Business in a New City? 7 Things You Need to Know
If you’re thinking about starting a business, it may be in your best interest to move to a new city. However, there are some downsides to this approach to consider as well. Before you start packing up for your trip to the big city, you’ll need to think carefully about the pros and cons, and be prepared to make the process smoother.
The Advantages of Switching Cities
These are some of the biggest advantages of moving to a new city to start your business:
- New contacts. Moving to a new city gives you a chance to start a brand-new social and professional network. Those new contacts can help you fit into a new community, and give you more insights and help than your previous contacts could.
- More resources. Depending on where you move, you might have access to more resources than before, including entrepreneurial networks and city-sponsored incentives for business owners. For example, some of the best cities in the United States to start a business are currently Austin, Miami, and San Francisco.
- A fresh start. Moving to a new location is also a fresh start. It can give you the sense that you’re starting a new chapter in your life, and motivate you to work harder in pursuit of your goals.
If you want the move to go smoothly, you’ll need to use strategies that allow you to maximize these advantages, while minimizing the disadvantages of costing money, taking an excessive amount of time, and leaving behind your existing network of contacts.
Tips and Tricks
Use these strategies to improve the effectiveness of your business-driven move:
- Explore the city first. Before you move to a city because of how attractive it looks to entrepreneurs, spend some time exploring it and question whether it’s a good fit for your personal needs. If you don’t feel at home in the city, it could be a sign that things aren’t going to work out. You might be spending most of your time working on your startup, but your personal life and happiness matter as well.
- Calculate the costs going in. Make sure you run a thorough estimate of the costs of moving, including any cost of living changes that might affect your monthly budget. California might be a hotbed of cities that welcome innovative entrepreneurs, but those cities are also some of the most expensive places to live in the United States.
- Start with a few contacts in your new city. Before you finalize the move to a new city, try to establish a handful of contacts so it’s easier to gain momentum. For example, you might reach out to people in your new city on social media, or spend some time at a networking event in the city before deciding to move there. Your new contacts will be able to point you in the direction of new opportunities and help you feel more at home when you move.
- Raise extra capital to finance the move. Even if you’re in a good place financially, it helps to raise some extra capital to make the move easier to bear. You can kill two birds with one stone by using this as an opportunity to declutter. For example, you can sell your Baltimore junk cars before you move for some extra cash, or hold a garage sale to clear out your possessions that are merely taking up space.
- Start marketing early (if you can). If you have a solid idea for your business and/or the funding to get things rolling, start some early marketing strategies before you complete the move. You might be able to build buzz on social media or start making connections for the brand. That way, you won’t have to build momentum from a dead halt when you get to your new city.
- Look up local laws, permits, and regulations. Depending on what type of business you plan to start, you might be restricted by local laws and regulations—or you might need a permit or license to get things started. Do your research far in advance of the move.
- Discover entrepreneurial incentive programs. Venture out to entrepreneurial networking events in your new city so you can discover the incentive programs available to small business owners. You might be surprised at what grants and tax advantages might be available.
If you play to your strengths, moving to a new city can be a massive momentum booster for your business. Once you’ve become acquainted with your new surroundings, you can invest more time in getting your startup up and running, and become an active part of the entrepreneurial community in your new area.
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