In the age of virtual businesses and remote workplaces, it’s increasingly rare for a startup to consider the geographical location of their company. However, if you’re intending on creating a sustainable brand that’s able to quickly grow, you need to think about location. While your current location may be adequate, you can open yourself up to tremendous opportunities by being geographically flexible. Choosing one of the following three cities is ideal in 2015.
Location #1: Atlanta, Georgia
When you think big city, your mind probably lands on places like New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angles, or Chicago. And while all of these cities are certainly in the upper echelon of American cities, did you know that Atlanta boasts the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country? With more than 5.5 million residents, businesses are discovering they have access to just about any level of talent they need to grow.
In addition to accessible human capital, Atlanta is able to offer something hardly any other big cities can: low cost of living. The average home price is a low $245,000, compared to $1.34 million in New York City and $823,000 in San Francisco. Apartment rent averages somewhere around $962 per month, compared to $2,000-$3,000 for cities like D.C., San Francisco, and New York City. Even things like groceries and monthly parking are cheaper.
Other advantages of starting a business in Atlanta include being located near the world’s most connected airport and having access to major corporations like CNN, AT&T, and Coca-Cola.
Location #2: Shreveport, Louisiana
Another southern city comes in at number two on the list. In fact, according to a recent report, Shreveport is ranked number one in the country. But just how did Shreveport – a relatively small city – become a hub for business activity?
“We’re large enough to have opportunities and amenities but small enough so that every business matters,” claims Liz Swaine, the Downtown Development Authority Director. It’s this easygoing nature and closely knit community factor that draws businesses in. “If they try at all to get involved, small and new businesses will find a large safety net of entities and organizations that want them to succeed and will work and assist them,” Swaine reiterates.
From a practical perspective, Shreveport offers low cost of living and a strong entrepreneurial environment. While many businesses here are locally launched, other noteworthy organizations have moved their headquarters to the area in recent years.
Location #3: Boulder, Colorado
Also making this list is Boulder, Colorado. In addition to being one of the most beautiful locations in the country, Forbes has proclaimed Boulder to be the “best place in the U.S. for starting a business in 2015.”
“It’s known as a mellow, artsy destination at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, boasting sweeping views, a thriving tech scene, and a vibrant artisan food culture, but Boulder, Colorado is also a great place to launch a business,” the Forbes report reads.
The reasoning for this is that Boulder businesses produce an average annual revenue of $721,489, while the city boasts 14.1 businesses per 100 people. This flourishing entrepreneurial culture has brought many “out of towners” in to mix and mingle with promising professionals.
Other factors that make Boulder so attractive are the fact that there’s virtually no traffic and there’s always something to do outside of work. The population size is also a major plus, as it’s large enough to give businesses access to top-level talent, but small enough to remain a close-knit community.
Learn to be Geographically Flexible
As a business owner, you should learn to be as geographically flexible as possible. In doing so, you’ll open your business up to a world of new opportunities. In the coming months, give Atlanta, Shreveport, and Boulder a fair shake.