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Business Thoughts: Do You Have To Be Based In A City?

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As a business owner, you are constantly told about the bright lights of the city. In fact, successful business is so synonymous with the idea of a thriving metropolis that cityscapes are featured on logos the world over. It’s inescapable; the city is where any successful business should be.

It doesn’t even matter which city. The capital city is not always the best option; most countries have a “second city” that can be just as profitable. But the core point remains the same; that business is best conducted amongst a vibrant city atmosphere.

Or is it?

Here’s a few other facts about cities, the ones that get lost in the gloss of the cosmopolitan ideal:

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  • Cities are infinitely more expensive than their suburban or rural counterparts. The more people visiting an area, the more money there is to be made from selling those people goods and services. As a businessperson, you should be familiar with the rules of supply and demand – this is it in living color.
  • While cities are bigger, that also causes transport issues. All it takes is one breakdown, and half of your commuting workforce could be stuck outside of the office.
  • Cities are overcrowded. Say you want to open a bakery. In a small rural town, you’ll probably be the only bakery around for miles. When people want their sweet treats, they will have to come to you. In a city, you might not even be the only bakery on your street.

So why not branch out and do something different? This is especially true if you run a small business. Larger companies need access to large areas and a thriving nightlife, especially if they have a tendency to wine and dine their clients. With a smaller scale enterprise, you almost certainly don’t have that happening.

“But what about workforce?”

It’s true that it’s easier to recruit in an urban location, but that doesn’t automatically make it impossible to recruit from elsewhere. FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) workers are commonplace these days, so even if you choose a location without a supporting community, you still have options.

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If you’re worried about how you could manage it, there are options. You can improve employee satisfaction when you provide help to FIFO families by experts in the field, helping them with the transition. People are more like to make the switch to FIFO working if they know their boss is on their side in settling issues.

“But what about not being able to meet clients?”

Just because you don’t wine and dine clients doesn’t mean that you don’t have to meet them. This is something made easier in cities, but all hope is not lost for a more remote location.

Online services that let you talk to people in real time are constantly improving. While it’s not quite the same as being in the room, the business world is marching towards this kind of interaction – so embrace.

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In conclusion, a city is not the only place that your business can reside. Base the choice on what works for you, not what you think you should do.

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