I live an hour north of the cities in Minnesota. I like to think of it as the suburbs of the suburbs. Or as my friends call it – South Canada!
And in “South Canada”, I’m starting to notice industrial buildings such as Fedex distribution centers built in the middle of nowhere! This is in between the antique shops that seem to litter every other block around here. It makes me wonder… how do businesses decide “If we build it, will they come?”
There are pros and cons in building in the middle of nowhere. This concept applies whether you’re building a Fedex distribution center, a new Mary Kay home party type business, a mom & pop shop, or anything in between! There are some things to consider if you want to innovate, start something, and work for yourself.
Here are some that I can think of:
- You are the first (good job, Mr. or Ms. Innovator!)
- It’s probably cheaper so you get more profit (think outside of real estate and employees – marketing ads, etc)
- You can most likely influence the environment around you (what gets built, what products sell best, etc)
- You are providing an unmet demand for employment
- You are providing an unmet demand for the industry you’re in (think customer base)
- You may be able to charge more – since customers don’t have to drive to a certain location, they may be willing to pay a premium
- You’re on your own, at least for a while
- You may get passed up on when it comes to affiliate marketing, bulk promotions, etc (at least until you make a name for yourself)
- You never know who’s going to build next to you (can you predict if people would prefer big box distribution centers or high-end shops specifically for alpaca fur?)
- Harder to get more visibility for good employees (think about it – who will want to go all the way there?)
- Harder to get more visibility for more customers (you only have so many aunts and uncles to try and persuade to join in)
- If others see you start making a profit and decide to open the same type of business, you will be competing for the same market in a fairly small share (your “pros” are now diminishing…)
As you can see, it’s a risky business and not something you want to get into without a lot of planning and preparation.
If the list I have provided scares you, you may want to wait a little longer and hold on to that day job.
Work at the Fedex factory for a while, learn what you can.
Join a home party business for a while, learn what you can.
Volunteer or hang around the mom & pop shop a while, learn what you can (and I’m sure they’ll appreciate the extra help – sometimes making connections is better than monetary benefits afterall).