After meeting someone new and the initial “what do you do?” question, there typically comes some kind of location question, “Where are you from?” or “Where is your business located?” Recently, we have started to ask the question, “How did you pick (your city)?” Or “Why (location)?” Our business-radar is always up, considering why people and families land where they do in such a mobile and global marketplace.
There are many conflicting opinions out there about the best states and cities to start a small business. Some praise Indiana’s low cost of living and favorable tax environment. Others bemoan the lower percentage of skilled labor. But as a small business who started in Indiana and has grown year on year, we think we live in a great place to do business. Let us tell you why. . .
One reason we love operating in Indiana is because we see so many existing opportunities and opportunities for long term growth. In the past 15 years, we have seen the technology and science industries grow exponentially and locally. Aviation, a field close to our hearts, has had a presence here for many years but has really started to expand in the past 5 years. It’s an exciting time right now in technology, the sciences, and aviation and Indiana is positioned to take advantage of the growth in these industries: multiple universities with excellent engineering, science, and aviation programs, combined with a number of large employers are a great place to start. We see a generation of students (future employees) who want more from a job than a 9-5 commitment and a 401k. We see adults who want to be passionate about what they are doing and have some flexibility while they work. Small businesses are a great environment to foster the creativity, passion, and excitement coming out of this generation of graduates.
Let’s face it: Indiana is a pretty affordable place to do business. The cost of living is roughly 6% below the national average. That includes housing, utilities, transportation and even health. While it may not be the first thing on a fresh college graduate’s mind, an apples to apples comparison of a comparable starting salary shows that a modest starting salary would stretch much farther in this startup-friendly city. Starting and operating a business is less expensive here too, with lower capital business costs (3.8% below average for those who like statistics.) And the tax laws in Indiana are favorable for starting a new business, a huge consideration for any entrepreneur.
In addition to the monetary cost, IN is a convenient place to do business. You say, “Fly over state.” We say, “Close to everything!” Centrally located in the country with one of the nation’s best international airports, it’s easy to be anywhere within a few hours. Streamline Designs is located about 30 minutes from IND, which is important for us when our clients are located all over the country and the world. It is becoming more and more common for businesses to have customers, employees, suppliers, and colleagues all over the country and the world. Being able to get to those people easily is a big plus.
We work hard at Streamline Designs and it is nice to know that when it comes time to play there are plenty of options. Indianapolis is best known for its sports teams and of course the Indy 500; however, if sports aren’t your thing, the food and art scene is alive and growing. Affordable rural property, river cities with old-timey charm, and hip neighborhoods all coexist beautifully in IN, where it’s a great place to raise a family and a business.
Do you love the city you are working in? Tweet us here @sportplane.