Our neighbours down the road in San Francisco have long been lauded as the place to be if you’re a startup tech company. Silicon Valley has an almost mythical stature among tech startups and for good reason.
However, there are some advantages to choosing Diego over Francisco as your San for starting a tech business. Here are six advantages of picking up and moving your tech company down the road.
- San Francisco’s cost of living is absurd
An average two-bedroom apartment runs about $4,200 per month in San Francisco, making it difficult to live there unless you’re pulling in a six-figure salary. When comparing it to San Diego, you would only need around $5,000 to maintain the same standard of living that would require $8,100 in San Francisco.
This lower cost of living means your employees will enjoy a substantially better standard of living in San Diego for the same wages as they were making in San Francisco. It’s essentially like giving them a raise.
You’ll be a big fish in a small pond
Recruiting in San Francisco is a battle with the big names. Google, Uber, Twitter, Zenefits, Apple and a bunch of other tech behemoths snap up talent left and right, leaving tech startups scrambling to try and entice people to join them without the luxury of name recognition.
On the other hand, in San Diego, you suddenly become a big fish in a small pond. Tech talent has relatively few places to shine here, so they will flock to one of the only places they can display their skills.
And, unlike in San Francisco, people don’t get hung up on whether you’re backed by any major venture capitalists.
- Location doesn’t matter anymore, anyway
Once upon a time, saying your headquarters were in Silicon Valley really meant something for a tech company. But, with the internet making companies truly global, the location of your headquarters matters less and less each year.
Whatever benefits you think you’re getting from being located in Silicon Valley will quickly be eroded by the expense of being based there. Profits get eaten quickly by the outrageous expenses and employees who are making decent money still struggle to make ends meet.
Silicon Valley just isn’t as important as it used to be
San Francisco has already started bleeding tech startups as the environment has changed and venture capitalists aren’t throwing money around like they used to. This has created new tech startup scenes elsewhere around the country.
San Diego is one of the places that tech startups are flocking to so they can grow instead of merely treading water trying to stay above the surface. If you are ahead of the curve and move before everyone else does, you’ll be in a better position than everyone else who eventually catches on that Silicon Valley isn’t the place to be anymore.
(Although, obviously, a visit to the wonderful city of San Francisco is always in order.)
5. Your benefits won’t pale in comparison to the big guys
Aside from slides, a lot of tech giants in San Francisco offer stellar benefits packages. Just check out the benefits of working at Dropbox according to this Quora response:
- Free breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from our famed Tuck Shop, plus tons of snacks and beverages
- Really flexible hours
- Eighteen days of paid vacation and eleven paid holidays, all the sick time you need, and generous parental leave policies
- In-office gym with laundry service and fitness classes, plus reimbursement for other gym and health programs
- Office located just steps from the 4th and King Caltrain. Use a free Caltrain Go Pass, transit benefits, or our very own free Dropbox shuttle service within San Francisco
- 401(k), with company matching
- 100% of health insurance premiums paid for employees
- Benefits to help you save time, like on-site haircuts, subsidized massages, and free credit for cleaning services
- Join the band. Complete music studio equipped with drums, piano, amplifiers, etc.
- Weekly company happy hour
- Board Game nights, ping pong, console gaming rooms, DDR (yep, a real machine), StarCraft, pool, and more
That’s a tough act to follow (assuming that this list is truthful).
But, if you’re in a smaller market, you can offer less for benefits and still be seen as a highly desireable place to work. You will be able to create a work environment that stands out without having to offer everything under the sun.
- Moving away from San Francisco gives you a lasting competitive advantage
Lower costs, less competition for talent and a higher profile all add up to a lasting competitive advantage. While others are struggling to make rent, you can concentrate on growth.
Every business move comes with risks. Moving down the road to San Diego will likely cost you some employees and the pool of candidates to choose from for hiring will likely be smaller, but the potential benefits of moving to San Diego significantly outweigh the risks.[Main photo courtesy of mehmet canli on Flickr]