What are the five best places to start your small business?

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Well that title is a bit of a trick question, as the point of this post is that small businesses are starting up anywhere and everywhere!


A lot of articles have come out recently saying a certain city, school or neighborhood is the “best” place to start a business. These are all valid suggestions, but while reviewing all of these take a look at the five “places” below for the great news about small businesses starting anywhere and everywhere.

Which one is the best location for you?

  1. eBay – There are lots of sites like eBay where things can be sold, but let’s use it as an example.  eBay lists over 128 million users! While some maybe selling only a few used items, plenty of small businesses  (and not so small ones) are utilizing this and other similar selling platforms to open up for business, and to supplement their “bricks & mortar” store fronts.

  3. Etsy – Check this site out! It really focuses on Arts & Crafts type small businesses. The numbers listed on the site of over 1 million stores and 30 million buyers cannot be ignored! Here you also have small firms operating from anywhere, many independent of location or in addition to a traditional place of business.

  5. Kickstarter – Stories of large firms starting via this fundraising method are big in the press today; Pebble smart watches or Oculus recently purchased by Facebook are just two of the examples. Kickstarter indicates almost 60,000 projects funded for $885 million dollars! This non-traditional form of funding allows startup businesses and companies to create a prototype and develop a product line, project or entire business.

  7. KIVA – Wait you say, this is a non-profit making micro loans overseas. Yes $548 million in loans to 1.2 million small businesses — quite literally everywhere in the world! With the recent roll-out of “KIVA zip” this includes to small businesses in the USA too. This allows a whole new segment of the population to consider starting a business, often from their own homes or garage!

  9. Everywhere – Small town USA or Big City! This is not a selling or crowd funding website, it’s a point! There are a lot of posts about the best place to locate you small business for a great reason. Communities all over America and the world are realizing the power of small business and start-ups as an engine for economic development. Resources, tools and support groups are now providing a robust eco-system for small businesses and those looking to start one — anywhere.

What we find out from this is that there are two big location trends for small business;

One is the ability to start and operate from anywhere taking advantage of many different on-line platforms and communities.  The statistics from these sites is staggering.

The second is the recognition by cities, counties and states that start-ups matter and the creation of an entire eco-system to help support this. While there are no doubt some communities better than others to start or operate a business the great news is based on the statistics above people are doing it everywhere.

mikeward_200EQlist contributor Mike Ward  has over 26 years of banking experience and oversees U.S. Bank’s business banking group in southeast Wisconsin and Dane County. Based in Milwaukee, he leads a team of bankers who work with business owners to improve their company’s cash flow, operate more efficiently and grow using U.S. Bank’s comprehensive collection of products and services. Mike blogs at USBankConnect  and is @wardm111 on twitter.

Image credit: nyul / 123RF Stock Photo
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