What is one pro to keeping my office in a city’s downtown?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Worker Energy
I believe that there is a certain energy found in folks that live and work in the city centers that you just often don’t see in people who would prefer to work in a slower-paced environment. That helps in hiring, networking and just by keeping my company in the midst of a competitive environment.
2. Talented Millennials
Millennials and young professionals are attracted to living in cities, and being inspired by city life and the interesting people they can meet. Young professionals want to live in a city, walk or bike to work, and work with other creative people. Another nice thing about a city office is it keeps that creative energy flowing in your workplace.
Downtown areas are easy to get to, both for clients and employees. Keeping an office downtown means an easier commute, which keeps employees happy and energized. There are also lots of options for lunch and places to take clients out after work.
4. More Connections
When you’re working in the middle of a busy city it’s natural to meet and network with other entrepreneurs more frequently. A dedicated office means you can also host meetings so you get the collaborations without the commute. If you live in a more rural area (as I do), make it a point to frequent a co-working space to stay connected and engaged.
5. Easy Access
Our office has been located in downtown since very early on and it would be hard to convince me to move out of it. Sure, there’s the hassle of traffic, but the access to food, entertainment, other businesses and the overall energy of the area far outweighs that small nuisance. Add in a downtown park as a perfect brainstorming getaway, and you are in startup heaven.
6. Economic Incentives
Many cities have economic development programs that provide incentives to businesses that have an office downtown. Cities vary with their incentives and some requirements apply, but getting tax breaks or receiving capital improvement funds are great reasons to keep an office in a city’s downtown.
7. Built-In Culture
In the busiest areas of town, you often have the most options for bars, nightlife, lunches and other forms of entertainment. It makes building an attractive company culture easy and cheap. Rather than expensive outings that have to be traveled to, you can just walk down the block and take the team somewhere new and exciting.
8. An Easy Commute
We are in downtown San Francisco and we have the BART (subway) and Muni (light rail and buses) right outside. This makes it easy for people to commute from the city, from the East Bay and from the South Bay. You don’t need a car to get here.
9. Brand Recognition
In a city’s downtown, where population is high and concentrated and people of all kinds are present, there is more of a chance for your name, logo, image and brand overall to be recognized and remembered. Even if your exact target consumer doesn’t walk by and peer in, it doesn’t mean their friends won’t see you and remember your name, and then refer your company in the future.
10. Networking Opportunities
There are many more networking opportunities when you are surrounded by numerous potential clients. It is much easier to get in front of your clients in a city, making it easier to develop a professional relationship moving forward. A business can obtain much more exposure from being located in an urban setting.
When you put a number of ambitious visionaries in a confined place, it can either create envy (to be better than those surrounding you) or partnerships (to combine forces to change the world). Either way, innovation happens in the heart of cities. You are surrounded by free thinkers and big new ideas. Who knows? You could find your next big partner on your lunch break.
For our business, being in the heart of Downtown Sacramento puts us in a great place to be a part of something that is bigger than us — we are a part of a community. Sacramento is changing, growing and really turning into an incredible city. Our office enables us and our employees to be a part of that and to take pride in Sacramento.
– Zachary Burkes, Gatekeeper Innovation Inc.
13. More Appeal to Potential Hires
Choosing a location out of the city might cost less at first, but it may cost you more in the long term. Younger potential hires opt for downtown where there are bars, restaurants and good public transport options. There is also a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere in the city center, especially if that center doubles up as a startup hub like Tel Aviv does.
14. Central Location
A downtown office not only allows you to be in the center of business, but it also provides you with amenities that are attractive to talent. City dwellers want to be in the heart of the action, and suburbanites want an easy commute — so being close to public transit is a huge plus. While these factors may seem external, they can increase employees’ excitement about coming to work every day.