New York City. They say if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. But what they never tell you is exactly how to go about making it there. Being one of the handfuls of cities with more than a million people, doing business in NYC carries some challenges associated with such a large number.
Two years ago, the Washington Post listed the 10 cities in the US with a million or more people. That number shifts a bit depending on how you count a population. There are the people in the city limits. Then there are the people in the surrounding areas that are sometimes considered in that number.
It is important to remember that there is nothing magical about the one million number. You will find similar challenges in any sufficiently big city. What might be an advantage in a smaller city might prove to be a liability in a large one. Here are a few of the bigger challenges you will face doing business in a city like NYC, and tips on how to overcome them.
The first thing you should realize is that all of the challenges of doing business in NYC have already been overcome by countless successful businesses. But if you are new to the area, some things might catch you off guard. Bandwidth and internet speed will likely be one of them.
If you are coming from a smaller city, you might be used to blazing fast speeds for very little money. When it comes to bandwidth, some places are easier to serve than others. Regardless of where you are, your business will require lots of bandwidth and plenty of speed. That might be harder to find in NYC than you think.
With so many people fighting to watch their Netflix at the same time, things can slow down on the internet super highway in the say way they can slow down on the freeways. The key is to know the best internet providers NYC offers for business and consumer needs. It pays to check the providers in your area. You may not be limited to only one like so many others.
So do a little research to find out which providers are the best. Once you have made your decision, locate your business where you can take advantage of that bandwidth. Your business has to be located near the resources you need. And fast internet is one of the more important resources depending on the business you want to open.
In a small town, everyone knows you are there even if there are other competitors. You just have to convince them to try your offerings. But in a city of over 8 million people, no one knows you are even there. And it is a challenge just to grab attention even when people are walking right past your shop.
You are never going to win the battle of the neon signs. You have to be more creative than your competitor. And you have to out hustle them. Rather than trying to depend on foot traffic, try putting your marketing dollars into local SEO. People in NYC aren’t looking at neon lights. They are looking at their smartphones. So find techniques to optimize your ecommerce presence. If you get their attention on their mobile device, they will walk past competitor shops that they won’t even see while making their way to yours.
NYC is an extremely fast-paced city. No one has time to just brows. Everyone is in a hurry. In other cities, lazy browsing is an advantage. But don’t worry. You don’t have to lose that business. Give customers the resources to brows your store online. They can look through the virtual shelves on the subway to your store. When they arrive, you can have their order ready.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the city. The fundamentals are the same. Get up earlier, be friendlier, work harder and always make the customer feel special. As it turns out, the winning formula is the same everywhere in every city, regardless of size.