A rising tide lifts all boats.
In business it means that everyone can benefit from a strong, growing economy. It also suggests that a start-up can improve its chances for survival and success by being in the right place at the right time.
Locate in a friendly environment and focus on a growing industry or service sector. This is true for high-and low-tech and most service businesses.
Fortunately the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Arizona. According to a study performed by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Center, Arizona had the highest rate of start-ups in the nation in 2011 as measured by the number of new firms started per 100,000 adults. According to the study, published in CNNMoney, the following factors contributed to Arizona's high ranking:
"Business and property taxes are low, as are workers' compensation costs according to the Arizona Commerce Authority. What's more, the labor pool is highly educated, as schools such as Arizona State University and the University of Arizona churn out a steady stream of science and technology grads. The state encourages firms to upgrade employees' skills, giving grants to those that offer in-house job training. Software and semiconductor makers are big here, as are solar, clean-tech and renewable energy technology firms."
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Even if your business is not high-tech, you can still be successful if you focus on solving a problem. Many service businesses grow not because of the content of the service they offer, but because they save people time. Their customers want to use their time to do something else but still need to have the service performed.
The explosion in home care services for the elderly and disabled is a perfect example of the effects of changing demographics and two-worker families. Parents are living longer and families need two incomes. For companies in this sector, the driving forces are in your favor.
Invest the time upfront to evaluate your business idea in this context. Solve a problem in a growing business sector and locate in a pro-business community. Why swim against the tide?
Ralph Hershberger is president of SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit group that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment at several locations. For more information, go to www.southernarizona.score.org, send email to email@example.com or call 505-3636.