One of the most important and long-lasting decisions that you’ll make as an entrepreneur is where to locate your business. There are two recent studies about the best places for growing businesses. Jim Hopkins of USA Today reported on which cities are experiencing the fastest business growth. You can catch Jim’s post in his excellent small business blog here. The top six states in business growth were:
I listed six states rather than the more typical five because I wanted to include Utah which was one of the star states in AllBusiness.com’s recent analysis of the best cities for women entrepreneurs. Four Utah cities (and several others in the Rocky Mountain range) made our list. Our approach was a little different than most studies of this kind. Rather than having a popularity contest, we asked people what they valued in a location for their business and then figured out which cities did the best job of matching those wishes. The initial survey work was done by our partners at Frank Magid and Associates. We then turned the data over to an Sperling Best Places,econometric modeling firm, and Brad Edmonston for crunching.
The results were in many cases surprising–at least until you chewed on them for a minute or two.
Top ten metros for women entrepreneurs:
1. Raleigh-Cary, NC
2. Provo-Orem, UT
3. St. George, UT
4. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
5. Logan, UT
6. Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, MD
7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA
8. Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
9. Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, FL
10. Morgantown, WV
You can check out our full list of top cities for women entrepreneurs here. It’s cut by size and other factors.
The top factors that women considered when picking a site for their business were:
Low crime rate
Low property tax rates
High household income
Modest real estate prices
Rapid population growth
We didn’t build a list of best cities for male entrepreneurs but it would probably have been different. On the other hand, this list of factors sure looks solid to me as a guy.
It may be that you don’t have a chance to start with white paper when locating your business. Your spouse’s job, kids schools, or investors preferences drive your selection of a location. On the other hand, if you can consider other locations, these two lists may give you some interesting ideas for new options.