Now that we have moved from the big city of LA to a small Southern Georgia town, I’ve had to get a new business license and begin the start-up phase all over again: change of address, change of phone number, considering alternative marketing methods to target the people in this community.
Since I’ve known the things that I would have to do for a while now, I’ve gotten them done fairly quickly. And while doing so, I realized the wonderful perks of opening a company in a small town.
People here are nice. Now, they were nice in Los Angeles, but here they are super-nice.
They invite you in. Offer you coffee. Want to chat about their grandaughter, who was a premie but who now is four and doing just fine.
They want to tell you about the meaning behind, “I’m fixin’ to,” and they want to warn you about the weather, alligators and potential frost and freezing.
They invite you to dinner, and they offer to bring dinner to you since you are not yet settled.
Starting a company in a small town has been a relatively stress-free, if not enjoyable, experience.
Unlike Los Angeles, I have not had to travel all over town-or a big sprawling city traversing six major highways-to get to the courthouse.
No, the courthouse is right where it should be-downtown with the rest of the city’s three buildings (none of which are over two stories tall).
Not only that, but everything I need is contained within one building: business license, driver’s license, tags for cars.
In addition, I’ve saved a ton of money doing business in this small town. In LA I paid quite a bit more for the licensing process for just one company; here I started two companies, totally unrelated, in one home for one business license.
DBA? Nope, don’t need to publish that in the local paper-a savings of another hundred dollars.
Not only is starting a business in a small town different from one in a big town, but dealing with local companies is quite a change as well.
We had to rent a pack and play for my youngest daughter, so we stopped at a Rent All business. My husband handed the guy his license and credit card, but the owner handed the credit card back and said, “You’re in the South now. We work on the honor system.”
You might think this is just a fluke, but when we had our hardwood floors repaired the owner of that company also waved away cash up front-even a deposit-and said that we would pay when the floor was finished to our likin’.
Some things may be worse than others, of course.
I got my haircut today. I liked the woman that did the cut. She is also the owner of the shop.
The problem? I had stopped by the other day to make an appointment since the shop is down the street from my house, and then I went back today and both days saw the same thing: Already-cut-hair still on the floor.