7 Tips for Launching a Startup in a Mountain Town
Entrepreneurs can take advantage of the natural assets throughout the state
Launching a startup in one of Colorado’s beautiful mountain towns has never been easier. With today’s offering of online communication and collaboration tools, statewide entrepreneurs are more likely to thrive outside big cities than ever before. Sure there are some drawbacks, but for most, the benefits of living in Colorado’s scenic Rocky Mountains outweigh the disadvantages.
Here’s a roadmap for those wanting to escape the big city to launch a business in Colorado’s High Country.
1. PICK THE TOWN
Do a bit of research before you decide which town you might want to call home and launch your startup in. Colorado’s many mountain towns range from vibrant and accessible to sleepy and secluded. Any town with skiing and other recreational opportunities nearby is sure to have more going on in the community and economically than those in the middle of nowhere.
2. GAIN EXPERTISE
Make sure you have the skills you need to start a business. If you do, great. If you don’t, spend time working for an expert in the industry you are passionate about. Even better if you can acquire general business skills while becoming a expert in a specific field, so look for positions that might allow you to do both. Finding employment in a mountain town is achieved the same way as in the major metropolitan area, but word of mouth often plays a larger role when looking for new career paths in the mountains.
3. GET CONNECTED
Mountain towns are small by nature and the overlap of business networks and social circles means that word of mouth travels quickly. This often makes finding the necessary partners, funding, employers and employees much easier. The better connected you are in a mountain town, the easier things typically are.
4. IDENTIFY THE NEED
Once you have some expertise and a network, figure out where there are gaps in that market and how you can create a unique solution to fill those gaps. Whether starting a business focused on serving a local audience or one with national or global reach, make sure there is a market for the solution you plan on creating.
5. FIND THE RIGHT PARTNER
If you don’t want to go it on your own, find a partner that compliments your skill set and shares similar values. The great thing about looking for a partner in a mountain town is there is often a self selection bias that exists. This means it will likely be easier to find someone with the same values and work ethic.
6. BUILD A SOLUTION
When it comes to building your product or service, finding the right contractors and partners is often made easy by tapping into your community. If you can’t find them locally, there are endless resources online that can match you with people who have the skills you need. Proximity to the big city is no longer necessary. Once you’ve built your solution, make sure you take exceptional care of the valuable customers that use it.
7. MAKE TIME TO PLAY
Once you have launched your startup, make sure you take time to step back and enjoy the place you live. Burnout is a very real threat to any founder of a new business and combatting it in a scenic mountain town is often far easier than fighting it in the city.
Lindsay Halsey and Lori Calcott are partners at the search marketing firm webShine in Basalt. They are also co-founders of WP SEO Hub, a WordPress SEO platform that takes SEO plugins to the next level by combining SEO tools, a step by step optimization process, monthly reporting, personalized coaching, and local search. When not operating their businesses, they spend their time playing outside with their families in the Elk Mountains outside Aspen. Contact them at www.WPSEOHub.com.