In this two-part article we are discussing the fact that many entrepreneurs do not use a logical process to decide where to locate their new business when arriving in the USA.
In the first act we looked at the importance of: time zones, customers and competition, vendors and transport, incentives and support, and the quality of employees.
Let’s move on to act 2 and discuss the second set of 5 elements in play…
6. Cost of living
Can be very different from area to area, a nice suburb in a metro area with great schools will be much higher than a location 100 miles out in the country side. New York is on average double of Atlanta and Miami alike – play around with different calculators:
Employment laws and the impact of unions differ greatly from the North to the South. Many southern states have so-called ‘at will employment’ laws enabling employers to adjust their workforce quickly to new opportunities or an economic contraction.
The North has winters with truly disruptive snow and ice, if road transport is important to you, it might not be the right location. Florida sees the odd hurricane that can actually close down an entire state, and the South can be very hot and humid in the summer… take your pick with a clear mind.
Doing business in the US means flying. How easy is it to get to the airport? How often are flights delayed? How many direct flights to most (all) of your destinations are available from your airport of choice?
How is the commute to and from work – map it out for your team.
10. Family – schools – education
As it is your decision where to settle, it is your responsibility to think through the impact of the relocation, for you and many more after you. It has been abundantly shown that if the other half of the couple is not happy with the relocation choice – be it employment, the schools, shopping, entertainment, sport, culture, neighborhood, friends, … it will become the venture’s highest hurdle.
Most importantly, know how to weigh, balance and interpret all these elements in play. Do not hesitate to define the unique mix that is important to your venture’s success. Developing a ‘weighted criteria decision matrix’ comparing all the options can be a very helpful tool to remain objective.
Also – do not underestimate the power of the southeast – read Phil’s latest article: