We’re located just a few miles south of downtown Raleigh, which is one of the most tech-forward areas in the country.  But there are plenty of small towns only 20 to 30 miles away – towns that are well within our service area but offer a very different environment than the big city.

Small-Town Technology Constraints

There’s a lot to like about small towns if your business doesn’t have to be in the middle of everything.  You can afford more office space, and a nicer office, and pay less money for it.  The cost of living is much lower, which means you can provide employees with a better living while paying them less money.  Lower expenses mean you can offer customers a more competitive price, and still earn a higher profit margin.

Again, some businesses need to be near the city to serve their customers.  But if you don’t, that move can seem appealing, especially after you pay the rent or mortgage bill.  With all of these benefits, it makes sense for a company to take a look at their city office and wonder “how much better off would I be if I moved a few miles out?”

Generally speaking, technology constraints aren’t going to stop you from moving twenty or thirty miles away from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area.  They can present some surprises, however.  Here are some of the bigger ones to consider.

Cost and Availability of Bandwidth

When Google Fiber announced they were coming to the Triangle, its competitors knew they had to make some big changes to compete – and they did.  The cost of a high-speed internet connection has gone down dramatically in the Triangle, and availability has increased as well.  Most areas in the Triangle are covered by fiber circuits.

That’s not true in the exurbs, however.  Fiber circuits can be extremely expensive, and if there isn’t a business nearby already using one, they can require some major work on the part of your internet provider.  Make sure you know the time and cost required to get the connection you’re going to need for your business to operate smoothly.  And don’t forget to factor in any anticipated growth, as well as the growing bandwidth-per-employee required as businesses use more and more software-as-a-service products.

Availability of Secondary Services

The further from an urban area you are, the more likely it is that you’ll have trouble finding service providers.  That’s not just true for Managed IT Service Providers; it’s also true for other technology providers, such as structured cabling, A/V and security experts.  Because these vendors don’t earn as much recurring revenue, they require a higher density of customers in an area to support their business.  If your managed IT service provider does serve the area you’re moving to, work with them to make sure they can locate the ancillary service providers you’ll need to complete your move-in successfully.

Quality and Reliability of Power

Not all power is equal.  Whether it’s due to the power generation plant, the distribution systems, or the age of the infrastructure inside of your building, some buildings just don’t have reliable power.  Some of this can be fixed before moving in – but some can’t.  Businesses with unreliable power face recurrent, unpredictable disruptions to their business.  Power stabilizers aren’t cheap, but if you need generators to protect against frequent outages, that can easily eat through the savings associated with a suburban or rural office.  Most expensive of all is an office that can go dark at any time, rendering your employees unable to work and unresponsive to customers.

To learn how WingSwept can help your business produce predictable results through better use of technology, call us at 919-779-0954 or email us at Team_WingSwept@WingSwept.com.