Launching a startup takes a lot of planning.
By the time your business opens its doors, you’ve likely written and rewritten your business plan several times, made plans for a wide range of contingencies and done everything in your power to make the launch go off without a hitch. Is there anything else that you can do to help make sure that your small business succeeds? Maybe.
As it turns out, some cities are friendlier toward small businesses than others. This obviously isn’t an issue if you’re launching your startup as a local business in your hometown, of course. If you’re shopping around for the best place to establish yourself, however, then it’s worth taking the time to find your absolute best option.
With that in mind, here are some of the best cities to open up in if you want to give your small business startup an advantage from Day One:
- Grand Rapids, MI: Though you might not think of Michigan when you think of cities where small businesses can thrive, Grand Rapids has proven itself to be very startup friendly. A survey by online loan marketplace LendingTree found that over 85% of small business loan applicants turned a profit with their businesses.
Average annual business revenues came in at a little under $300,000 as well, showing that small companies can do big business in the city. In fact, another study found that Grand Rapids ranked #1 in average annual growth when it comes to the number of small businesses operating within the city.
- Oklahoma City, OK: In a survey of the 150 most populated cities in the United States, WalletHub ranked the startup friendliness of the cities based on 18 different metrics. The site considered overall business environment, five-year business survival rate, cost of office space, education levels of the workforce and more.
When all of these metrics combined, Oklahoma City was the city that came out on top. Boasting one of the best small business environments in the country, the city beat out larger cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York by considerable margins.
- Denver, CO: Also doing well in LendingTree’s survey, Denver saw small businesses earning an average of nearly $312,000 per year. Unfortunately, not as many small business loan applicants were successful in turning a profit as what was found in Grand Rapids; only 82% of small businesses were successful in the city.
That’s still an impressive success rate, however, especially when coupled with a higher average annual income. The deal gets even sweeter when you factor in the possibilities that come with Denver’s tourism rates, bringing your business potential customers from across the country and around the world.
- Holland, MI: A smaller city than some of the others on this list, Holland claimed the #1 spot on WalletHub’s listing of the most business-friendly small cities in America. With lower overall business costs and a smaller community size than larger cities, Holland offers entrepreneurs a chance to stand out from the competition without having to break the bank.
- Sacramento, CA: Coming in #1 in LendingTree’s survey, Sacramento sees over 84% of its small business loan applicants succeeding and boasts an average business revenue of over $315,000 per year. It’s one of three California cities in the top 10 (with Los Angeles and Fresno being the other two), though it was by far the lowest ranking of the three when viewed with WalletHub’s 18-metric analysis.
- Austin, TX: Austin is one of two Texas cities (the other being Amarillo) in the top 10 of WalletHub’s list of startup-friendly large cities, and one of an impressive eight Texas cities in the top 25.
With a unique local culture, a business environment ranking that’s higher than Oklahoma City’s and a number of city-sponsored small business classes and programs, the city actively encourages small business growth to help it stay as unique as those who live there.
As you can see, there are a number of options when it comes to choosing a city that’s friendly to small business startups. While each of these cities has its own benefits, these options are just the tip of the iceberg. If none of these options meet the needs of your business dreams, there may be other business-friendly cities out there that are a perfect match.