If you live in the Queen City and are looking to launch your own business, I have good news for you. Charlotte was just ranked as one of America’s top cities to start a small business. So pop the champagne, Charlotte (early on Sunday if you want).
Financial website WalletHub recently released a study which ranks the ‘Best Large Cities to Start a Business‘. Analysts at WalletHub used 18 metrics, including five-year survival rate, office-space affordability, educational attainment of the local labor force, availability of human capital, and overall small business growth rate. They then analyzed 150 of the biggest American cities and compared them across three areas:
- business environment (50 total points): i.e., average length of the workweek, start-ups per capita
- access to resources (25 total points): ease of obtaining a loan, number of college educated people working in the area
- costs (25 total points): living expenses, office-space affordability
Charlotte did very well, coming in at the #3 best city in America to start a business. We beat out some stiff southern competition, too: Austin, Raleigh, Houston, and Atlanta, just to name a few.
Here’s what WalletHub had to say about Charlotte:
“The Queen City is growing at a healthy clip, with all age groups contributing to its population. In fact, the city is expected to double in size by 2030. A host of corporate headquarters (Bank of America, Duke Energy, among them) make Charlotte a great place to start a new business. Housing is affordable, and the cost of living is 1.2 percent below the national average. The city also offers a good quality of life, making it easier to attract and keep workers. Aside from being home to the NFL's Panthers and the NBA's Hornets, Charlotte also boasts the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”
Pretty flattering stuff. Charlotte is indeed an excellent place to start a small business. I love living and working here, and supporting my clients who choose to do the same. Charlotte is a great city.
But what does this mean for your city, the one that didn’t make the “best” list? Is your small business there doomed? Should you even try to start a business in a place that’s not on the “best” list? Of course you should, and here’s why.
Studies like this emerge all the time. And the cities that made the list this time likely won’t make it next time. The metrics will change, the news organization will want to keep content fresh, and it may come up with a whole new list of fabulous places to launch your business. More importantly, studies like this never take into account all the right things YOU are doing in YOUR spot -- developing personal relationships and referrals, being a service leader in your community, and developing niche products and services that are right for your particular clients. In other words, studies like this paint a good general picture of business climate, but the right place to start your business is often right where you are.
Charlotte is doing a lot of things right to support small business and get national attention. But so are you -- in your “best” place. Keep moving forward with your small business plan. Regardless of where you are, we’re here to help.
Tell us about your life and business in Charlotte or elsewhere. Do you agree with WalletHub's findings? Comment below!