Starting a Business in Tacoma? Don't Make These Mistakes.
If you haven't read the “movetotacoma” blog we highly recommend giving it a look around. We saw a particularly interesting post on the “mistakes one should avoid if thinking of moving to the area, written by Tacoma Real Estate agent and blogger Marguerite Martin. Many of these points also translated to small businesses thinking about getting a start here as well, so we thought we’d discuss a few of the specifics that hit home for us.
Don’t ignore your impact on the community.
"Be conscious about gentrification and displacement. It’s possible you’re moving to Tacoma because you’re being displaced yourself, but as you search and find your place in the city of destiny be intentional about doing your part to advocate for the policies that promote sustainability and affordably for future generations of Tacomans.” - says Marguerite.
If you plan to move here to open up shop, it might be a good idea to check resources in the area for how you can learn more about the effects gentrification has on the community and what you might be able to contribute whether it's raising awareness or being present in community meetings and events, even if they are still mostly held online at this point.
There are some infomative links on Margaurite's blog you can refer to as well, regarding increasing property values and affordable housing shortages, and of course poke around our blog, like the Hilltop Buisness Crawl post from last week for example. As we always say, development without dispacement is key.
Don’t let a neighborhood’s reputation online dictate where you choose to start a business.
As Marguerite mentions, a lot of information out there on the internet bring up questionable opinions regarding Tacoma, don’t let that be the deciding factor as to where you land. Ideally, getting out there and seeing each neighborhood for yourself would be a great place to start. Shop the shops, eat the food, talk to the people. You just might find an area you never thought of would make an ideal place to set down your roots. Tacoma has some truly amazing storefronts just waiting for the right owner to take over and make it into something wonderful.
Don't be afraid to get involved.
"One of the best parts about Tacoma is that everyone who wants to, can engage and make a difference, whatever that looks like for you."
If Tacoma calls you here, say from Seattle, and you're looking for affordable retail space, it's a good idea to work together with other shop owners around town. Share their pages on social media, support each other, help each other's business grow. You can even volunteer in the community to show support and it's a great way to meet your peers while doing some good.
Help local non-profits that relate to your brand. Often times, ways to help a non-profit is simply to share their information to help get the word out there. Tweet their handle, find them on Instagram, share their events, and show up when they have something going on.
Small efforts can have the highest impact.
Thanks to Margaurite for letting us share her post. It's always refreshing to see those who live here and work here have such passion about their city. We also think Tacoma is quite special.
You can read more in their blog post here