It’s Not Just What You Do, Or How You Do It, But Where You Do It
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
There’s a saying in America among realtors: Consider three things when you buy property—location, location, location.
If you plan to do business with Americans, whether you purchase your property or lease it, nothing is more important than its location. The location you choose will determine whether you are able to find skilled workers, make money, have friendly labor relations, and find a personal life style that is pleasant.
Whatyousay.com thinks there are advantages if you locate near one of the “capitals” of America—the world-class centers that are associated with particular businesses and industries.
If you are near or in one of these centers or capitals, you will have easy access to the best people in the world in their respective fields. For example, LA is the movie capital not just of America but of the world. Movie stars and famous directors live in and around LA, but so also do world-class editors, photographers, specialists such as wig-makers, set designers, and the like. Besides these high-level resources, LA has one of the busiest harbors in the world.
New York City is not a capital of government, but it is dominant in publishing, finance, fashion, and the live performing arts.
Boston, with numerous prestigious schools such as Harvard and MIT, is an intellectual and technological powerhouse. Miami is the center for trade with the Caribbean and Latin America. Houston is enormously important in the fields of oil, chemistry, medicine, and aerospace. Other great centers of excellence include Charlotte, N.C—banking; Raleigh/Durham/Research Triangle—technology; Atlanta—transportation, technology. Memphis, because it is the home base of FedEx and is located on the Mississippi River, is a major transportation center; Chicago—conventions, research, transportation; Los Vegas—live entertainment, gaming, and conventions; Denver—transportation and technology; San Francisco/San Jose—transportation, high tech. Seattle—transportation, high-tech.
If you’re in manufacturing, you may not want to be near an urban center but out in the hinterland where labor is cheaper. Many overseas companies have made this choice. If you do, don’t be unrealistic in your expectations. You will have difficulty finding ethnic food or good restaurants in America’s homogeneous heartland. The school systems may not be very good.
There is one rule of American society that has few if any exceptions: places with extremely low taxes offer few amenities. Schools and libraries will be of low quality and parks will be few and ill-kept, and the educational level of the inhabitants—your potential workforce—will be low. Americans have a saying for it. You get what you pay for.
You may have trouble finding skilled workers who can do jobs that require technical sophistication. You will have to invest in upgrading their skills—which is what a lot of foreign companies do when they locate in remote parts of America. What you will find are friendly, hardworking people who will eagerly welcome you to their communities and do their best to help you succeed. If their best is not enough, you may be able to help them improve.
Do be prepared for some major surprises, places that don’t fit the stereotypes. Many inner cities afford some excellent advantages. There is excellent ballet at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, and first-rate opera in Houston. Every town or city of any size in America now has a website that will provide information about cultural attractions, and often much more. A quick way to check out desirable sites is to visit www.TripAdvisor.com and click “attractions.” If there are no attractions, you may not want to go there.
But don’t blame America if the place you chose doesn’t have what you desire. Such places exist someplace in America. You just have to find it.
–Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his services, contact us at 404-256-5927, 404-435-2225, or [email protected] Learn more about Gene Griessman at presidentlincoln.com and atlantaspeakersbureau.com
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