Having worked with small businesses for nearly 25 years, I often advised owners that the key to success is location, location, location, and referral. The concept of location, however, has changed with the advent of the Internet cloud, social media and smartphones. Profits are no longer the primary result of traffic count, direct mail, or even spam and per-click ads, but of outstanding Net presence and executing clearly defined value propositions. And if profits are no longer solely dependent upon a physical space, will entrepreneurs evolve their business model to further enrich employees and increase the value of their businesses?
Today, entrepreneurs have leveraged technology so much that location has taken on a much broader meaning. This has opened the door for proactive businesses and institutions to cyber-locate commuting employees. Employees burdened with an ever-increasing congestive commute, if allowed to work near their bedroom communities, can not only reduce the number of debit card swipes at their local convenience fueling depot, but attend their child’s school event or soccer game on time.
Instead of contemplating elevated highways, wouldn’t a great idea be to simply send commuters in the opposite direction? New Port Richey is only 20 minutes from the Suncoast Parkway and even closer to Trinity. Downtown New Port Richey is an opportunity if you are looking to reduce overhead cost, boost business value and retain employees.
Economists call this the Law of Comparative Advantages. If a commute from West Pasco to metro Tampa Bay is reduced by 30 minutes one way, each employee will save $9,000 a year in vehicle expenses.
And for a business that lowers its rent by $5 per square foot, its business value will increase by $22 per square foot. A well-kept office in New Port Richey rents for $8 a square foot. There’s plenty of free parking, great places to eat, a $14 million recreational facility, and an incredible connection with nature along the Cotee River with easy access to the Gulf and an 80-acre wildlife preserve.
If you are an innovative employer with frustrated, southbound staff, consider the comparables.
The writer is economic development director for the city of New Port Richey.