5 Reasons Small Towns Offer A Big Advantage To Entrepreneurs
Updated: Jan 31
Take being an entrepreneur to the next level with small town living!
Jan 30, 2020 · 4 min read
The following is an excerpt from an interview between Tim Ferriss and Chris Sacca on the Tim Ferriss Podcast, you can check out the full transcript here: https://tim.blog/chris-sacca-pt-2-on-the-tim-ferriss-show-transcript/
“There I was the aspiring venture investor moving away from the epicenter of Silicon Valley to a rural region, up in the woods, in the mountains. I did that though because as I referenced earlier, I was going on offense. I was sick of doing coffee after coffee, after coffee of just routine meetings in San Francisco and instead I wanted to go on offense. I wanted to have the time to focus, to learn the things I wanted to learn, build what I wanted to build and really invest in a relationship that I wanted to grow rather than just doing a day of coffee after coffee, after coffee. I moved up to Lake Tahoe. Again, on paper, it didn’t make any sense at all.”
Many entrepreneurs think it’s necessary to be located in a major city to launch a new company. After all, that’s normally where you find top talent, key relationships and venture capital. This might have been true a decade ago but today location shouldn’t stop anyone, done correctly in fact it could supercharge your entrepreneurial path. Here’s why:
1. Slow down the pace for quicker results.
Small town living offers a slower pace than the hustle of city life. By slowing the right variables down you can speed up your results exponentially. Slowing things down permits you to refine and curate what’s important. Instead of consistently dealing with the incoming, it allows you to focus on the important leverage points, Chris Sacca called this going on offense. That offense led him to become a Billionaire early stage investor in Twitter, Uber, Instagram, Twilio, and Kickstarter.
2. Create a longer runway by lowering your cost of living.
Another advantage is the lower cost of living. Instead of paying an average of $2,350 for a Studio apartment in Brooklyn, you can go a couple hours north and get a 2,000sq ft., 5-bedroom 2-bathroom house for a mortgage of just over $700/month. These savings means your burn rate has the potential to be much lower, giving you a longer runway to accomplish whatever you’re working on. In addition to that, this lower cost of living means you can take your savings and invest in a side cashflow business.
3. Fund your growth with side businesses that already have a community.
A lot of companies won’t do business in a small town because the risk is not worth the reward. This means that most small towns have a couple of gaps in their marketplace, and where there are gaps there is opportunity! An awesome way to learn about these opportunities is to get in touch with the local Chamber of Commerce for that town and ask “what could your town really use?” You might find that the small town could use a gym, a craft brewery or if you’re more tech oriented the town could probably use a small-town graphic designer, web designer, programmer or IT Manager. A huge benefit to starting a business in a small town is that the community is already there! If you deliver a good product or service word of mouth will spread quick and like wildfire! This means instead of putting money and other resources into building a community, you can take those resources and put them towards funding your next big idea.
“There’s a lot more business out there in small town America than I ever dreamed of.” -Sam Walton
4. Grow faster personally and professionally by taking on more responsibility easily.
Another major upside to small town living is the opportunity to take on more responsibility at a much quicker rate. In a major city there will always be a lot of individuals to fill positions, this is not the case in a small town. In a small town, there probably will be a couple of positions that need to be filled. If you come in with the right work ethic, this is a major opportunity. You might find that in a short period of time you’ll be asked to be on a Board of Directors for a local organization or perhaps you might be asked to spearhead a committee. All of these will provide valuable experience and serve you going forward.
5. Get more energy by removing paradox of choice and analysis paralysis.
This idea piggybacks off of the slower pace bullet point. You save a lot of energy when there is only so much to do in town. For example, if you’re in New York City you could spend a lifetime trying to decide where to go eat. That’s not the case in a small town, in a small town it goes: “Do you want to go eat at McDonalds, the local Italian restaurant, the local bar or the local diner?” If you don’t want to go, that’s it, you no longer have to expel anymore energy deciding, you can now apply that energy towards your entrepreneurial aspirations.
Just because you’re not in the city does not mean you lose those resources. Most small towns will have some sort of direct transit connection to a major city! This means you can take a train or a bus to the city and be there in a matter of hours. So, if you are working on creating a groundbreaking project and need to be there in person for that major presentation or networking event you can be, and you will even be able to get work done on the ride there.
Don’t underestimate the power that comes with removing yourself from the crowd.