Most start up entrepreneurs choose to start their businesses where they are currently living. It just seems to make the most sense (and is definitely the easiest way to go). If you want to give your business a real shot at success, however, you need to find a place to set it up that is conducive to your goals. You need to find someplace that is affordable and that has a pool of talent from which you can draw when you need help.
College towns are a great place to start up your company. Even if your own town doesn’t have a college or university there is probably a town nearby that does. College towns are cheaper to live in, usually have lower tax rates and there is a plethora of students who are all vying for first “real” jobs and internships. Interns are great for startups—you get to work with talented and creative people and pay out in school credit and small stipends. Thanks to the help of your interns, you might even be able to build your business enough to afford to hire them full time after they graduate.
Even if you are a died in the wool “city person” setting your business up in a suburb can help you save a ton of money. Business space is cheaper in the suburbs than it is within a big city and the commute from one to the other is usually fairly manageable. For example, you could choose to set your business up in Arlington, Texas instead of in Dallas or Ft. Worth. Sure the spaces that are available might be smaller, but local storage in Texas is incredibly affordable and readily available to those who need it. This strategy worked for both Intel and Nike (setting up in Beaverton instead of in Portland, Oregon) so you have every reason to believe it will work for you.
Up and Coming Cities (or Small Cities)
If you really want to make sure you have the most talented pool of business contacts and partners possible, you should choose one of the cities that is known for being “up and coming“. Portland, Oregon for example is being branded as the “new New York.” Austin, Texas has been making a name for itself with its annual SXSW conference and is the third fastest growing city in the US. Boulder, Colorado has also been making headlines recently. These are the cities that young people flock to because they want to live in an urban environment but either can’t afford or don’t want to be one of the masses who flock to already major cities like New York, LA or Seattle.
These are just three ways to ensure that you have the best chance of finding the most talented people possible to work with as you put together your startup company. Other things you need to consider include tax rates, level of competition for your type of business and cost of living. You never know: maybe where you are now is the best place for you! If not, use these criteria to help you figure out where you need to be.