Big Apple

The Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide for Doing Business in the Big Apple

Your company can and should be based anywhere, but if you really want to grow, you need to consider opening a satellite office in New York City. The Big Apple can be a bit intimidating — believe me, I’m from the Midwest and am pretty familiar with the transition — but once you realize that all you need to do is think a little larger and work a little faster, you’ll be happy to see your business flourish.
According to Thomson Reuters, having a New York presence is essential to connecting with large enterprises. And if you take a look at New York’s growing startup culture, you’ll realize just how welcoming it is to smaller businesses. Take WeWork, a New York-based company that provides shared office space for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and small businesses. It recently raised $355 million before growing to be worth billions. Or you can look to any of the 11 new companies taking advantage of the state’s new START-UP NY program.
Bottom line: New York has long been considered a city of opportunity, and if your company is going to reach its full potential, you’re going to have to take a bite out of the Big Apple.
Breaking Into the Big Apple
In principle, doing business in New York is like doing it anywhere else — except that it happens a lot faster and on a bigger scale. If you’re already an aggressive entrepreneur, this won’t come as much of a surprise. In fact, you’ll probably relish the challenge.
New York is full of overpromising and underdelivering. As Midwesterners, we naturally do the opposite — we set reasonable expectations and meet or surpass them — which many New York businesses appreciate as a valuable trait. Once we’d gotten beyond the cultural issue, it was just a matter of getting up to speed on New York business trends.
Doing Big City Business the Midwestern Way
While doing business in New York isn’t much different from anywhere else, there are a few tips that will help you to achieve success in the Big Apple:
1. Provide a great customer experience.
Gaining loyal customers in a larger, more fast-paced city can be difficult. Traditional marketing is useful, but nothing beats providing a high-quality customer experience. Get to know your customers personally, and find out why they came to you. Then, provide them with the best possible solutions.
2. Maintain contact as much as possible.
In the hubbub of the big city, it can be easy for your company to fade into the background. Avoid this by continually adding value and staying in front of the customer.
Provide a constant stream of useful and entertaining web content, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, and whatever else it takes to stay top of mind. Good communication goes a long way in New York.
3. Be authentic.
I have some clients in Brooklyn who simply appreciate how we do business. It’s not a secret — it’s simple honesty. We try to provide authenticity, business intelligence, and a good ROI. We inform our clients about what’s going on in a timely manner, and in doing so, we’ve earned their trust.
4. Overcome cultural barriers.
Let’s face it. Almost everyone in New York assumes Midwesterners think slow, talk slow, and move slow. So you have to prove that you can keep up with everything from holding a conversation to participating in the marketplace.
New York provides the opportunity to exponentially grow your business because — let’s face it — the city is one of the most impressive in terms of innovation and finance. While you may think breaking into it is an insurmountable task, it’s actually pretty simple. In the end, it’s all about thinking fast and thinking big.

Image Credit: Flickr/Zoli Juhasz

City in Focus: Top of the World (Trade Center)

One World Observatory invited us to see the Big Apple as stunning as it gets on Friday, May 29. This is hands down, the broadest view of the city you can get, save a bird’s eye view from a blimp perhaps.
Standing 101 or 102 stories high, all that is teeming below suddenly seems distant and unrelated. Walking around the deck, one may gaze afar, spotting not only all the five boroughs, but parts of upstate, New Jersey, and even Long Island. And one of the best parts: the observatory doesn’t close until midnight (except during winter) so you can enjoy all the sunsets and glowing nighttime scenery that time and the $32 admission allows.
Understandably, be ready for a line to stand in and a routine security check, yet also an abundance of helpful staff and a few extras in the form of some slightly hi-tech presentations–which we will not spoil for you.
Just whizz up in one of the sky pods and see for yourself!