When it comes to achieving business success in New York, certain song lyrics come to mind:
“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.”
You’ve taken the Big Apple by storm. So what’s stopping you from expanding into other cities?
The answer, for many, is simple: NYC is its own animal. Other cities are simply not the same. What proves successful in New York often doesn’t work elsewhere.
That might be true, but if there’s one thing New Yorkers like to do, it’s over-estimating the uniqueness of their city. True, NYC is without a doubt a step above other cities. But it’s not the only major metropolis on the map. With this in mind, successfully expanding into another city might not be as far fetched as most New York business owners assume.
While not every city is ideal for business expansion, the following are seven to consider:
The reason why a New York business owner would expand into Boston is simple: proximity. The two cities are fairly close in terms of geography, with driving time hovering under four hours. Business owners should have no problem recalibrating their supply chain to incorporate an additional location in Boston. The two cities may share a fierce sports rivalry, but that’s hardly a reason to avoid setting up shop in Beantown.
If the close proximity of Boston to New York warrants business expansion, the same can be said for Philadelphia. These one-time capitals of the United States are less than two hours apart when traveling by road. The demographics are also very similar, with large immigration populations living side-by-side with an equally significant number of “native” residents. Both populations, generally speaking, place a premium on authenticity and integrity and dislike any notion of fakeness, making most New York-based businesses primed for a possible expansion into the City of Brotherly Love.
Miami is a bit outside the Northeast megalopolis dominated by New York. But with so many New Yorkers owning winter homes in South Florida and others relocating after retirement, expanding your business into Miami could be the best decision you’ve ever made. While investment in outdoor advertising in Miami might be necessary to spread the word, word-of-mouth will take it from there. Before long, the selling point for moving from New York to Miami could be the knowledge they can come to your business for a small reminder of home.
We can’t pin it down, but there seems to be some kind of special relationship between Houston and New York, similar to the relationship shared by the United States and Great Britain. Perhaps it’s because Houstonians get a kick out of the way New Yorkers pronounce their city like they do the street (HOW-ston) or how New Yorkers relate to the loud and proud presence projected by the Lone Star State. Whatever the reason, business owners in NYC should consider Houston as a potential target for expansion. As the largest metropolitan area in Texas, Houston will feel closer to home than you might think.
The largest metropolis of the American Midwest, Chicago is a massive city sharing many attributes with New York. With this in mind, the Windy City might be the perfect place for a New York-based business to open a second location. The cosmopolitan atmosphere and economic influence are what make Chicago the most New Yorkish of all American cities west. Congested intersections overshadowed by towering skyscrapers will feel like home!
If Chicago is the megacity of the Midwest, Denver is the de facto capital of the Rockies. You won’t find another major city for hundreds of miles. As a result, successful New York businesses might achieve similar success in the Mile High City. With so much distance separating Denver from the cultural hotspots of both coasts, Denverites will be eager to experience what your New York-based business has to offer.
It goes without saying that Los Angeles is the west coast equivalent of New York. It’s not a perfect comparison – NYC is a large city crammed into a small area, forced to grow upwards into the sky, while LA is a sprawling metropolis expanding outward into the hills and desert – but both serve as the economic dynamo, cultural epicenter, and tourism hotspot for their respective region. With this in mind, NYC business owners should seriously consider opening a new location on the west coast, situated in or near Los Angeles. While San Francisco is also worthy of consideration, constraints on space and uncertainty about their political future make the Bay Area riskier. Meanwhile, LA isn’t changing anytime soon (just like NYC!)
Achieving business success in New York City is a significant achievement. It suggests your business has the potential to thrive in other cities too. Assuming your expansion starts with a single city, the key is choosing wisely! Fortunately, there are many great cities to choose from, all of which will be fertile ground for your business to thrive.
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, finance, and travel.