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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions

Dec 08
2016

Location, Lifestyle and a Franchise

Posted by: Steve Marr

Tagged in: Untagged 

I grew up in Detroit and never gave a lot of thought to moving for a number of years. I had a good corporate position, shopped at the same meat market my grandmother did and was the fifth-generation living in the Detroit area. I don’t think I would have moved except that my wife had severe allergies and her doctor told us we needed to move to a climate like Arizona. For that reason I resigned my corporate position and made the move.

 

Most of us get stuck in one location and tend to resist moving. We may dream of relocating for a better lifestyle, but few of us take the plunge. Remember when the Lord told Abram to move? “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.’” (Genesis 12:1, NIV) The key is that Abram moved because the Lord told him to.
 
If you are considering a lifestyle move, a franchise may help you accomplish that goal.  However, my advice to anybody thinking of relocating is to think through three key factors first.  
1.  Lifestyle
How much are you willing to pay for the lifestyle you want?
 
For example, if you want to relocate from Detroit to resort locations in northern Michigan, it will cost 50% of your income from most professions. Is this a good trade-off?
 
Write down the elements of the lifestyle that you want. How many places could you live and enjoy this lifestyle? Research them. Make a plan and execute that plan. Spend your summer vacation in that location. Travel there several times a year in different seasons to get a real feel for the place. A great lakefront home may be wonderful in the summer but isn’t as good in the winter when the restaurants close. Subscribe to the local newspaper or at least read an online version of it to get a better feel for the community.
 
For a while I lived part-time in Durango, Colorado. The old downtown was wonderful with quaint shops and excellent restaurants. However, this wasn’t where I spent the majority of my time. When I shopped I went to Walmart, Home Depot or other national stores most of the time. We find those stores almost anywhere unless we are in an isolated location. In other words, the shopping experience is pretty much the same everywhere around the country.
 
2. Work
How will your location help you in your work?
 
I have worked out of my house for over 20 years. I need two things from my location: a quiet place to focus and an airport within reasonable driving distance. Unless I relocated in an isolated location, many wonderful places fit this requirement.
 
Since not everyone can move and take their work with them, many need to carefully determine whether they would be able to earn a good living in a different location. Check out “Help Wanted” ads through craigslist and other venues. In general, an area with a growing population and commercial base will present better opportunities than more stagnant areas.  Generally, resort locations do not provide the best work opportunities.  Flagstaff, Arizona was a wonderful town two hours north of Phoenix in the mountains. However many residents described Flagstaff as “poverty with a view.” Good paying jobs were very scarce.
 
Arizona is still experiencing solid growth because air-conditioning has made the heat tolerable in the summer and water from the Colorado River is meeting the needs of residents.
 
3.  Cost of Living
Can you afford to live there?
 
I might think that a beach home at Malibu might be a dream; however, the $5 million price tag is way over my budget. Aspen, Colorado may be a nice place to visit; but the cost of living again is out of reach for most. When you consider the higher cost of living in places like southern California, New York and Chicago; you must earn a significantly higher wage to live in these areas.  If you relocate to many parts of Texas or other states, you could enjoy a better lifestyle with less income. These are all important considerations.
 
When considering a move to the location of your dreams, a business franchise may help you create a solid business and an income stream in a new location. Even in a resort area with limited work possibilities, a business franchise focusing on rental property management or handyman services for part-time residents may create tremendous income opportunities.
 
Another possible business is a medical billing company where the franchisee takes over the billing for a physician.  You can operate this business in larger geographic areas without living there. You can meet face to face or by phone with a doctor who is two hours away. When you land the business, you will be able to transfer most of the information electronically so you don’t need to be that close to the doctor’s office.
 
 Not every franchise will be successful in every location around the country. That’s where I can help you evaluate your background, skills and interests to look for franchise ideas that not only fit you but will also will be successful in the area where you choose to move.  
I also understand that family and friendship ties are important and may weight a decision against moving for these considerations.  These are personal choices. If you are thinking about relocating to achieve a different lifestyle, work through this process carefully and count the cost. If you believe a move is the right step, do the research and take action.

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