I have a lot of business conversations. Every time I leave town the questions often revolve around Ithaca. How does it work, being so far away? How can anyone find you? How will you ever find a capitol investor in Ithaca? Etc etc. The truth is, there are some downsides to operating a business in a place that is at least 30 minutes from a major highway. First one is shipping and receiving. We have to pay a local distribution company to deliver our orders to our distributors. If we were in New York City, for example, the distributor would simply pick it up from us for free. We also miss out on certain marketing/promotion opportunities. It is often a big “to-do” to pack up the car and attend events in larger cities. Same goes for packing up an event set-up to send somewhere and paying someone to do it. We still do it sometimes, but it could be easier. Yea sure, there are a lot of perks for running a business in a major city, but what are the values that are important to you that will help you and your business run well?
We attended two meetings yesterday that confirmed with me that we are running our business in the most perfect place for our business. First, we attended the final class of an Ithaca College Public Relations graduate level course. They took our company on as a “client” for the semester to create a Public Relations plan that would work for our business within the very tight budget that we have currently. The presentation was amazing. There were about 12 students working on the project. They all spoke eloquently and created a beautiful projected presentation. They also created a proposal booklet that illustrated their ideas and included sample press releases, survey results and media contacts. Their ideas were so great, I am sure you will be seeing us take many of them on in the next few months.
After Ithaca College, we attended a small group meeting of small manufacturers based in Ithaca. This was an informal dinner at a local restaurant where we met for the first time. We all went around and shared about our companies along with some of the challenges and successes we have had. There is so much wisdom to be shared among us, I am looking forward to the ideas that we will exchange and what I will learn from this group!
Last night re-affirmed to me that there are some things here that you just cant get in other places. There is such an abundance of resources here with mentors, free services, affordable rent, universities, expertise and more! What it boils down to is what your goals are. Ian and I are truly enjoying the ride. We are learning something every day and honestly we discover a new reason why its great to be in Ithaca just as often.