What Small Businesses Moving and Relocating to Austin Need to Know

Austin is seeing an influx of upwards of 200 new residents relocating here each day. When it comes to living in Austin, there are some basic things that newcomers—especially startups and small business owners—need to know. It’s crucial to understand what lies beyond the perks and amenities Austin offers and assess the best space for your company’s relocation.

Why Relocate to Austin?

According to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Austin area gets top marks for its quality of life. We’re the country’s 11th largest city with all the positive attributes of a smaller town: quality healthcare, low crime rates, affordable housing, outstanding schools, and a low cost of living. Austin hosts a highly educated, bilingual, multi-tiered workforce and a passion for success. Our population offers skill sets that range from high-end technology design, development and marketing to back-office operations that help customers with everything from banking services to video game advice.

For a lot of companies, Texas is a business-friendly destination. There’s no personal state income tax and wages are competitive. In Austin you’ll find a thriving business base that includes enterprises in technology, digital media, clean energy and life sciences, advanced manufacturing and data centers. It’s a dynamic business ecosystem that has provided consistent growth for some of the world’s most successful companies, including Dell, Whole Foods Market, eBay, Facebook, 3M, General Motors, Samsung, and more.

Six Things to Consider When Relocating to Austin

Everyone living in Austin will give you a reason why they love it—and another reason why they hate it. In some areas, rent has doubled over the past 10 years. There are others that are very affordable for employees and small businesses alike. There are talented employees who are just waiting for the right company, but companies should know that it’s very easy to get “out-perked” by competitors, especially when it comes to perks like remote working because the traffic is so bad in some areas of town. Below is a list of areas to consider when you’re moving your startup or small business to Austin, Texas.

#1 – How the city of Austin, TX, is divided up.

Downtown has its appeal, but it’s becoming harder and harder to recruit employees to work in-office and the cost of office space can be prohibitive. There are areas adjacent to downtown, slightly south or north of central, that are hidden gems for small business. The east side of Austin is charming, the northwest side has its appeal as well. Coworking spaces are booming in our tech-centric city and you can get a sense of what location might be right for your company by taking a look at where they’re located. See our coworking map for guidance.

#2 – Commuting and surrounding areas, including public transportation.

This is a city where traveling can be a challenge. If you’re not familiar with I-35 or Mopac traffic, when you’re conducting due diligence and touring possible locations, travel by car during morning or afternoon traffic. Then consider how difficult it might be to recruit employees willing to make that commute, or how adaptable your company is to offer remote working opportunities.

#3 – Cost of living in Austin.

As we mentioned earlier, in some areas of Austin, commercial office space rents have doubled in the past 10 years. If you’re set on having a centrally located office, you’ll need to consider the costs beyond rent, such as parking costs. You’ll want to compare the cost of living to areas outside of the downtown area. See item #5 on parking.

#4 – Recruiting talent.

The largest pockets of qualified workers are relocating to Austin in more affordable suburban areas like Round Rock, Georgetown, and Buda. With traffic, if you’re located in the heart of downtown, even a 20-mile commute can be challenging and prohibitive. You’ll want to consider the cost of hiring in Austin, what you can afford to offer in order to be competitive in this talent market, and how you can maximize your appeal to potential candidates.

#5 – It’s not just affordable housing that is a challenge.

Parking in areas of Austin is expensive and companies who are relocating here need to think about the additional expenses employees will incur including parking and really think about if they want to offer a parking stipend to employees who are commuting.

#6 – Considering a two-location Austin model.

Because Austin is so spread out, many companies have multiple offices or coworking and shared office spaces as officing options, making it easier for clients and employees to select an office that is located in the area that is best for them.

Welcome to Austin, Texas!

Finally, welcome to Austin! Duo Works has amazing coworking office space available for lease, and we did our homework before we selected a location with an easy commute and plentiful free parking. If you need a temporary space to work from while you’re checking out office space for your relocation, check out our available leases.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, is the co-owner of Duo Works. She's recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is the founder of Workology. Follow her on Twitter, @jmillermerrell.

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