Whether you have launched your startup or you are planning to launch, you might want to put into consideration the location of your business. Why? Because you will have better chances to succeed in a location that is suitable for your online venture.
Since you may have launched your startup before moving to another city, it is critical to consider choosing a city that will provide your business better chances of succeeding. There are a few factors to consider when deciding in what city to create and build your startup business.
Here are top 5 factors to consider:
You should find out where your potential customers/clients are located. Who is your target market? Who will your product/service appeal to? Of course, your startup business is online, but you also have business to do offline. If your potential customers or target audience are mostly located in a particular city or area it seems natural to get an office space in that particular area.
You may not have the money to set up an office now, especially as your startup business is self-funded and the chances of getting VC-backing are slim. Besides, the cost of office spaces in a choice area could be very high, not to talk of the utility bills, transport costs, and other overheads. Don’t be heart broken, friend.
You can still run your startup from your living apartment, University hostel or a decent Internet cafe. If, however, your startup will eventually require an office space in the nearest future, it could make a lot of sense to move to a smaller city where real estate is cheaper.
You will need people who are skilled in software/web development to join your team. Although you can hook up with any of these people online, but what happens if they must meet at a physical location such as an office space? Will they be willing to move to that city?
If you want to build a team around your startup, then you need to make sure the city where you live have the right combination of software developers, graphics designers and other highly specialized skills. You might want to consider moving to a larger city or a city with a nearby local university where you can find your team.
Perhaps you don’t live in the Silicon Valley-like city that offers special programs and assistance for startups. In the United States, most cities have special programs and assistance for startup companies. In fact, large technology companies such as Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and others have special startup competitions for startup companies.
There are also angel investors, incubators such as Y Combinator as well as Venture Capital firms that provide assistance to early stage startups. Sadly, Africa doesn’t have a stable support system for startups via funding, infrastructure or technical/training support.
But who says your startup can’t thrive without a startup hub?
You should consider travel when you are choosing your startup city. If you will be having a lot of customers coming for meetings, then you should be located in a city that is easy to get to via major airlines. That means that the city should be accessible from other cities within the country. If your customers will be coming from abroad, then you must be located in a city (or nearby city) that has access to an international airport.
Again, your startup business should be located in an area that can be easily assessed via the available transport systems. You should locate your startup in an ideal area where your customers would not experience huge traffic issues.
What are your thoughts about choosing a city for your startup business? Are you planning to move? What are your challenges?
Photo Via Flickr by Benajose
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