Opportunities may abound further afield, but starting a business in a new city can come with its challenges. Whether you are seeking to launch a completely new endeavor or open a branch of your existing business, here are some ways to build a foundation for success.
Do Your Due Diligence
Whether you plan to move to another country, a new state, or just the town next door, remember that their laws may be different from where you are now. Put in the time to check that you can legally provide and market your product or service there.
Hiring a corporate lawyer in the area to take care of business registration, local regulation compliance, and tax requirements can save you a lot of headaches. If you are changing countries, ensure that you register your intellectual property and brand trademarks there as early as possible.
It is also worth contacting local government offices to inquire about possible entrepreneur programs or state grants that may help you to establish your business. Most local governments will be able to provide leads to business, investor, and community partnerships as well.
Organizations such as Enterprise Florida, Inc., small business development centers (SBDCs), and the local chamber of commerce can provide additional support and set you up with useful resources and connections. This can enable your new business to become profitable over a much shorter timeline.
Never Forget to Network
Should you get the chance, start to network in your target city a few months before your move. Visit key local government officials such as the mayor, congressional members, city council representatives, city planners, and the city clerk (who wields more power than you think).
Talk to these people to learn about the long-term economic and social goals of the community. This information can help you to figure out how your business fits in. Tell these officials how your business will be good for the community and they may render additional support where possible.
Make sure that you also make contacts with other professionals. Join the local chapter of a non-profit or professional society such as Toastmasters International to meet active community members. Go online to LinkedIn or Facebook groups to seek out other entrepreneurs and small business owners for your network.
Lastly, connect with the people on the ground. Scout out the places that suit your target audience and introduce yourself to the people there. Some of these people may become customers or refer friends to you. This is also a great way to meet potential members of your new team.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Company culture is a vital aspect of your business. Whether you are looking to establish a specific culture with a new business or carry over your current company culture, it is important to keep your key team members connected to your shared vision and values.
That is not to say that you have to micromanage them all the time. Trusting team leaders to oversee certain operations during your transition can help you to settle down quickly and swing into action. They may also appreciate the opportunity to grow and step up to the challenge.
Having regular social gatherings or casual video conferences between office locations can foster a culture of support and collaboration. Send your team members to community events that they are interested in, or make it a group activity, so that the team can expand their network together.
If you have multiple locations, consider arranging a company get-together once a year. It does not have to be fancy, although you will probably have to cover travel costs. Bringing your team members together will help them to bond and feel more invested in their team and the company.
Know When to Hire Help
Most entrepreneurs have the habit of trying to do everything themselves. This can be beneficial in many situations, but not in this one. Hiring the right professionals such as accountants, real estate agents, or moving companies will leave you to focus on essential business tasks.
Should you have the budget to do so, purchasing an ongoing concern is a fantastic way to hit the ground running. Hiring a reliable business broker will enable you to find the right business and location, as well as bypass the tedious stages of renovation, hiring, and marketing a new brand.
A good business broker can also help you to secure loans or small business financing for the purchase. If you are moving to the United States from overseas, purchasing an existing business can qualify you for the E2 or L1 visa that allows you to legally live and work in the country.
Starting a business in a new city is exciting. With a new location comes fresh prospects and added potential. However, poor planning can quickly lead to stress and failure. By doing your research, networking, and hiring a good team of helpers, you can increase your odds of success.