RealZips business owner Fred Widarsson enjoys a walk through the SouthWood neighborhood in Tallahassee, FL on his lunch break. The community is filled with beautiful live oaks and other foliage, making it the perfect place to take a moment and relax during a busy work day. PC: Fred Widarsson
My name is Fredrik Widarsson and I run a cloud-based business from Tallahassee, Florida. My business is deeply rooted in the Salesforce ecosystem, making it accessible from nearly any location. Even though RealZips can operate from anywhere in the world, I picked Tallahassee for four important reasons: quality of life, access to brilliant people, a laid back lifestyle, and a below-average cost of living.
A Challenge to Find the Right City
As an entrepreneur, finding the right city to live in and ultimately grow my business was high on my list of “to-do’s”. To help me narrow down my options, these were a few of the questions I asked myself:
- Are there networking resources? Having a network of like-minded people is critical. Knowing that there are people to get help from when things get tough or when you’re feeling overwhelmed is crucial. It’s important to be able to find mentors, be part of a community, and have access to resources as needed.
- How difficult is it to start a business? Depending on the state and local government, the difficulty in creating and running a business can differ. I wanted a city where the mindset was centered around supporting new businesses, which is what I found in Tallahassee, Florida.
- How is the local economy doing? Checking the local economy expansion estimates can also help you find the city that best fits you.
- What are the key demographics that drive your business? Using a competitive eye when searching for a location can help you figure out the best cities. You can find where your competitors are located, combined with where you will find access to people to join your company as you grow.
- Do you like the area, the weather, the environment? While this doesn’t have to do with business, you should consider your surroundings. You are most likely to find success in an environment in which you can be happy and productive!
After asking myself these questions, I narrowed down my options to somewhere in Florida… but then I had to decide where. After all, Florida is a huge and incredibly diverse state!
One of the first things I had to consider was location. Expectations from potential investors to scale a company in the old tech hotspots like Austin, Silicon Valley and Seattle have faded, so there’s no real need to run a company in a city with a high cost of living and even higher taxes.
Additionally, the concept of running a business entirely in ‘Work Anywhere’ mode is now a true competitive advantage. Hands down, this makes Tallahassee even more attractive to entrepreneurs and employees. The low cost of living paired with a high quality of life makes this city particularly advantageous.
As for Tallahassee’s benefits, there are many; some of the best ones are the people. Moreover, Tallahassee is the state capital and a college town, so between the art scene and the food scene, there are great things to do in and around Tallahassee all year round… especially since there are no harsh winters here.
Entrepreneurial Benefits of Tallahassee
Because of the new Covid reality, I believe choosing Tallahassee, Florida as our business headquarters and new home town turned out better than expected.
I’m very excited to live and run RealZips in a place that has a small-town vibe. At the same time, there’s a tremendous network of potential investors, college-educated people, like-minded individuals, and other entrepreneurs. Tallahassee, FL is also an excellent place for tax breaks.
Therefore, relocating to this area was the best move for my company and family. I can’t wait to welcome other like-minded people to Tallahassee!
Founder & CEO