Relocation isn’t the first option that springs to mind when you’re looking for ways to cut costs or spur business growth. But with small business owners feeling more upbeat about the economy (so says a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business), it might be a good time to consider the reasons why relocating can be good move for your company’s bottom line.
In an article on Small Business Computing, Joe Taylor outlines the SBA’s main reasons that small business owners and entrepreneurs may want to consider, and profit from, a change of address.
It’s not just the Feds that favor businesses with tax breaks to drive new business. Cities and states—hungry for companies that can create new jobs—offer tax credits, fee waivers and other incentives to companies that can deliver. For example, Pennsylvania‘s Keystone Opportunity Zones have helped revitalize underutilized neighborhoods. Businesses that relocated there were soon followed by restaurants and retail stores to support workers at subsidized offices.
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If you want to innovate, locate your business where you have good access to the latest technologies, such as 3D printers, complex processing equipment or high-tech tools specific to your industry. Cities where Google is testing its high-speed Internet project, Google Fiber—like Kansas City, Kansas—have seen an increase of entrepreneurs ready to build and expand their businesses over that network.
If you’re in ecommerce or direct marketing, then you probably know that Memphis, Louisville, Indianapolis, Fort Worth, and Oakland house major shipping hubs for FedEx and UPS. What you may not know is that the businesses in such a city receive expedited distribution and save money on discounted shipping rates.
Do you have major clients based in other locations? As convenient as the Internet is, relocating to be closer to your key clients saves money on travel. Closer physical proximity also means you can develop closer ties to your client and perhaps more billable hours. Plus, your clients may have neighbors who could benefit from your services, too.
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If you’re building a startup, consider the kinds of support you may want nearby: mentorship, incubation funding. You’ll find startup accelerators in small towns such as West Plains, Missouri. It may not be glamorous, but it can put you in direct contact with regional bankers, investors, and suppliers who are truly invested in helping a small-town startup succeed.
Of course, it’s never wise to make any kind of business move—literal or figurative—without conducting your due diligence. Be sure to check for hidden costs as recommended by the SBA. For example, a warehouse in an enterprise zone may save on rent, but could require a larger budget for overnight security.
Play it smart and consult your attorney, and contact the business development officials in the new locations you’re considering. They can help you determine the benefits and the potential pitfalls of relocating your business.
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of Small Business Computing. Follow Lauren on Twitter.