… is where you are. Sure, there are exceptions. Maybe you’re young, and have no roots. Or maybe you just want to move to somewhere else. But, barring special cases, look around you. The best place to start you business is where you are.
In my email and on Quora I get a steady stream of questions about moving first to start a business. Today, specifically: “If LA is so expensive, why do people start a business there?”
And also today, what is the best country to start a business...?
To be fair, this may be a flaw in Quora, a question-and-answer site I frequent. They started paying people to ask questions that generate answers.
However, it’s also something that’s been coming up off and on for the four decades I’ve been involved with startups. Should I move to Silicon Valley? What are the best startup hubs? Is New York city a good place?
What bugs me is that — at least in the US — the idea of the best location, or a better location, is so much myth and misunderstanding. You start your business where you are. That’s where you have a home, roots, contacts, vendors, and a sense of local market.
And furthermore, in the US, the Internet is everywhere. Phones, couriers, libraries and airports are everywhere. While there may be more investors in California and Washington than in Idaho and South Dakota, the off-the-hub startups get investment too, when they are good investments. A few years ago I met two young entrepreneurs located in the woods about an hour from Talkeetna, Alaska. They’d go months unable to reach even Talkeetna, which is a very small town, four hours from Anchorage. The two of them were running several websites and making tens of thousands of dollars monthly.
I can think of three general exceptions:
Otherwise, the best place to start a business is where you already are.
Moving is a royal pain in the rear. It’s very hard to find a new place to live, home or apartment, especially from long distance. When you get there, you suddenly have to find a new bank, new restaurants, new stores, new organizations, new people. Nobody knows you. Your social structure is back to zero. Your business contacts, locally, are back to zero. It’s hard.
Starting a new business is also really hard. Doing it in an entirely new place makes it a lot harder.
The best place to start a business is where you already are.