New York City can be an unforgiving place to do business, yet it attracts entrepreneurs from every part of the globe. What’s the secret to succeeding in one of the most competitive cities in the world?
To find out, we asked several members of the Forbes New York Business Council to share their biggest challenges and how they’ve overcome them. Their answers could help prepare new entrepreneurs for the pitfalls — and benefits — of doing business in New York City.
- Right-Fit HiringCompetition for talent is fierce. Finding, hiring and retaining people who represent your business well is a critical success factor, but also something that is hard to make time for. Establish strong relationships with select recruiters so they not only understand your requirements but they also “get” your personality and your company’s culture, which can allow them to help you find the right fit much more effectively. — Alan Goeman, eSlide, LLC
- Expensive Real EstateNew York City real estate can be fairly expensive, so I see a lot of early-stage teams working from coffee shops and apartments. I would suggest that these people set up specific times to meet their teams in person, as well as networking with others in their field. Isolation can be extremely lonely. Push your team and yourself to get out there and find people to share ideas and feedback with, so you stay invested in your work and keep up with trends in your industry. — Ludovic Huraux, Shapr
- Competition One of the biggest challenges for any New York City business is going to be the wide array of competition. In a city of eight million plus, there is going to be competition around every corner. While that can be a challenge, it also breeds a great spirit of innovation. Some of the most innovative businesses in the world get to call New York City home and a lot of the credit goes to the necessity of evolution. — Yana Zaidiner, token payments, Inc.
- HustleNew York City is fueled by hustle. This is a gift and a curse. Networking in other cities can yield meaningful one-on-one time. Here, key contacts are usually swamped and nobody really listens to the 98th elevator pitch. To get around this, think smaller, more targeted events and identify your top five contacts before. Do background research that can help kick off or keep conversations alive. — Evan Rose, Rose Digital
- FocusIn New York, the pace of everything is fast: cars, lifestyles, business. Taking time to meditate and slow it down each day helps me to be in the right frame of mind to be able to make good decisions and not be reactive. — Morris Levy, The Yard
- SaturationThe New York City market has become overly saturated in almost every single industry from doctor practices to restaurants. Businesses now have to go beyond just serving their customers and focus on marketing and reputation in order to improve customer acquisition and grow their businesses. The focus has to go beyond just word of mouth to include online reputation and review generation. With many consumers reading online reviews, businesses must push on marketing to survive in this competitive landscape. — Yasir Ali, Rivews
When I started this business I had no idea how much time I’d spend on garbage. And I don’t mean “garbage” like nonsense, I mean actual refuse. Logistics are tough in New York City. Whether it’s finding someone to haul trash, having truck drivers tell me that they can’t get their trailers down our narrow streets, or spending hours in traffic, it’s a tough town for a business that deals in physical goods. — Noah Chaimberg, HEATONIST