Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
While many businesses are moving online, there are many others that thrive by being location-based. Those in the culture space especially — businesses centered around media, food, music, fashion, art and more — can benefit from planting roots in a particular environment or local hot spot, whether it’s to plug in to the existing culture or to gain a certain customer base.
Below, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council discuss where they would get their start if they were opening new culture-based businesses today and why they recommend others consider these ideal locations too.
Near a College Campus
Place your business around a college campus. Students need to eat, meet and create outside of the classroom in a fun, safe environment. Imagine your space there and that it can morph almost instantly by moving walls and adjusting levels of sound, lighting and space. – Susan Johnston, New Media Film Festival®
Somewhere With a Solid Foundation
Put yourself in a location that allows for your business to be engaged in community involvement and leadership, opening doors for your company’s awareness. Be where the action is, whether it’s downtown or within a speciality district of your city that your target audience already participates in and looks for “the next big thing” to emerge from. Build your brand where there’s already a solid foundation. – Jonathan Martin, FilmQuest
In an Up-and-Coming Mid-Size City
Do the research and discover that budding destination to launch your new venture. The pandemic forced us to look at where we work and live, with larger cities across the U.S. seeing population declines while mid-size cities increased. Launching in these newer destinations positions you as a cultural change agent for the community and allows you to efficiently test and refine your concept. – Michael Klein, Trees Corporation
In a Metropolitan Area With High Foot Traffic
People and culture go together like peanut butter and jelly. To thrive in today’s society, place your business in a growing metropolitan area with high foot traffic that shapes the culture. These places include diverse and influential cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Chicago and Washington, D.C. because they’re populated with the young working-class consumers who play an essential part in modern life. – David Castain, David Castain & Associates
Wherever You Currently Live
While large cities may sound great, they’ll have higher costs too. I would start where you currently live as that’s your comfort zone for sectors like media, food, music, fashion, art, etc. These sectors can literally be anywhere if you have product-market fit and the execution is flawless. – Jenny Ta, GalaxE by HODL Assets, Inc.
At a Tourist Hub
The cannabis industry is location-based by nature, given that it is a smattering of separate state markets. Emerging retail dispensary locations include tourist hubs in recently legalized markets, such as Atlantic City, NJ or New York City. Regardless of the location you choose in these emerging markets, local SEO services will be imperative to help consumers find your business in such a competitive space. – Evan Nison, NisonCo
On the Internet
Culture is local and global at the same time. If I have to build a culture business in 2022, I will choose to locate it on the internet and go global. The pandemic has redefined the way of the world, and even brick-and-mortar businesses have found an audience online. With all the newer SaaS products coming in, a virtual culture shop connected worldwide sounds fascinating to me. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day