6 Tips For Setting Up Shop in a New City

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setting up shop in a new city

Starting a new business can be a long and stressful process that you hope once everything is all done and dusted will only lead to greater success. But the chances are that your small town doesn’t have the opportunities available to you to push forward and unleash your industry-disrupting business on the world.

For many in this sort of situation, the only option is to up sticks and head into the big city. Any big city. Here, you will find opportunities abound, new experiences, and new people. It is the perfect place to kickstart your new business and evolve into the great entrepreneur you have always dreamt of being.

But, this is easier said than done. Moving to a new city is exciting, but there are also aspects that must be considered if you are hoping to be successful.

WHERE?

Before packing all your possessions up into boxes and hauling them out of town, you need to know where it is that you are going first. Choosing your ideal city location requires research.

Before even pulling out a map and plotting your route, first consider what your company does. Does your business focus on Artificial Intelligence? Does it focus on Online Marketing? Or eCommerce? There are a lot of tech hubs throughout the world, and some of them lean closer to some types of business than others.

By researching what types of businesses are booming in certain cities, you will be able to get a thorough and clear idea of whether or not your business will be in demand. As an example, consider Cleveland, Ohio, which has a burgeoning biomedical scene. If your business is something along those lines, then surrounding yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs could make the transition to a new city all the more simple.

OFFICE

Once your location has been selected, it is time to start thinking about where in the city you want to operate out of. For fledgling businesses, there is no need to search far and wide for offices if you’re going to be the only one who is going to show up every day.

To start, search houses for rent online before moving away. This will give you somewhere to sleep, of course. But it will also allow you to work from home as you begin building your business from the ground up.

Over time, you will be able to adapt your home office to suit your business. If you’re lucky enough to be renting by yourself, this is easily done by dedicating a single room in the house to act as your company HQ. If you’re living in shared accommodation, any spare room will suffice – so long as it is large enough and doesn’t intrude on your housemates.

Of course, as time goes on and your company grows you will have the opportunity to expand. This can involve moving out of your home office and into a separate office elsewhere in the city. A lot of startups use coworking spaces, shared with other startups that can give your company a more legitimate aura for potential customers, until finally finding an office all for yourself. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

NETWORKING

After going through the rigorous process of researching your destination and setting up your home office, it is time to start making some contacts. Some entrepreneurs may have already begun doing this before moving in, but if you’re one of those who likes to make sure that everything is nice and neat and organised, before showing off your business to the rest of the world, then the next step in your businesses growth is finding the right connections.

There is a whole host of ways to achieve this. Social media platforms such as Facebook will have city-specific groups available to join where you can interact with and arrange meetings with like-minded entrepreneurs in your area.

Furthermore, professional focused websites such as LinkedIn are perhaps the best opportunity of connecting not just potential customers but potential investors, also. Having a LinkedIn account is an easy and simple way to start building a portfolio of your experience and connect with others who share your interests. It is essentially Facebook for professionals.

And, while it seems more convenient to carry out all you’re networking online, there is only so much trust a profile picture can create. Search your new city for entrepreneurial events, or any sorts of events in general, to connect directly with people and spread the word about your business. Even if you don’t make any business connections, you might still make some friends.

GET ONLINE

In the digital age, it is essential that your company creates and maintains an online presence. For potential customers, how your business is presented online will be their first point of contact with your company. For this reason, it is vital to build an attractive, easy to use platform for them to browse and learn more about you and what it is you do.

Finding talented website builders is one of the most essential things for any new startup. You want people to visit your website, but you also want them to stay. Collaborating with professionals and being completely transparent with them will make the whole process much easier.

It is advised to avoid the recent trend of simply filling your website with a load of industry jargon. Many companies have been guilty of this, and for many consumers, it just puts them off. While you may understand what your website says, doesn’t mean that the Average Joe, who could be a potential investor, will do. There is no quicker way of driving people away than filling your website with specialist vocabulary. Ensure to find a more straightforward way to explain what it is you do and how you can help your customers.

Once the website is complete, you’re going to need to start building a social media presence. This is a way for customers to communicate directly with you, as opposed to sending faceless emails to the company inbox.

Companies have been taking advantage of the social media hype for years, with both positive and negative effects. Opening accounts on as many social media platforms as possible greatly increases the possibility of getting seen by the general public. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn all have their own individual benefits, whereby acting as a platform for your customers to reach you anytime, anywhere. Keeping a company blog, also, is a surefire way to demonstrate to outsiders that you know what you’re doing, and could give them more of an idea about what direction the company is going.

FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE

It can be difficult to thoroughly check every potential job candidate for your business. While a lot of them may appear with good intentions, the realities of working at a startup are often rife with struggle, particularly in the early months where you’re just getting off the ground.

This is where your networking exercises come in. Having already built up connections throughout the city, and perhaps beyond, you should already have a decent idea of the type of person your business attracts. From here, you can connect with their connections and discover people looking for new opportunities.

The first hires that you make will set the tone for your business going forward. It is of particular importance that these early hires can demonstrate ambition and drive to build a business from nothing to something. Establishing a specific culture in your office – home or coworking – in the beginning will allow you to see what is working and what is not. It will also give you a chance to analyze how you’re new employees work in a different environment.

You will hope that these employees will be with you for a long time. While some problems may arise along the way, showing support and remaining focused on your mission will give everyone at the office the drive to continue mining towards success.

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED

There will undoubtedly be hiccups that you encounter along the way. The city is new and unfamiliar; you will start off either knowing no one, or have a small circle of acquaintances. If you are serious about succeeding and too stubborn to admit defeat, keeping your head up and retaining a positive attitude will rub off on those around you, and set the tone for greater success in the future.

When the going gets tough, there will always be other businesses around you that should be willing to lend a hand with things such as promotion. Try striking deals with local businesses that offer customers perks that can benefit both you, other businesses, and most importantly, the customer as well. This will inspire brand loyalty, and generate useful publicity that is soon to spread around town.

With all things considered, there has never been a better time to start realising your dreams of running your own company. Be being adequately prepared before you even find your first customer; you will manage to avoid a lot of the problems that many new entrepreneurs experience when first starting a business.

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