Contributed by Sunny Ackerman
From enthusiastic start-ups to established multinationals, businesses from all over the world have chosen to make Denver their home away from home. It’s no secret that Colorado’s tech sector is blazing the trail in terms of sustained growth, and that Denver really stands out thanks to its strong reputation for attracting (and retaining) the best talent in the tech industry. The city’s popularity with young professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs alike is undoubtedly linked to its high standard of living, robust commercial ecosystem and continuous governmental support and investment.
Frank Recruitment Group recently opened its 12th global base in this vibrant city as part of its international growth strategy. The office officially opened on September 17th, and currently services two of our biggest brands; Jefferson Frank, specializing in AWS recruitment, and Mason Frank, focusing exclusively on Salesforce staffing projects.
Now that the doors are open and we’re off to a flying start in our new home, I’ve had some time to reflect a little on our expansion into the city. Here are some of the most important points to consider if you’re thinking about bringing your business to Denver.
1. Richness of the talent pool
Denver has a long-standing reputation for attracting—and perhaps more importantly, retaining—some of the best talent the country has to offer; with employment in the sector shooting up by 74% over the last eight years alone, the city is now home to the third-highest concentration of tech professionals in the U.S. This point alone made the city a clear front-runner for Frank Recruitment Group; as niche technology specialists, having access to highly skilled, motivated professionals across a range of experience levels was a must.
The impressive concentration of tech workers in the Mile High is worth bearing in mind, no matter what industry you work in. We’re living in the digital age and operating in a city bursting with experienced tech specialists is a great way to ensure that your company has the IT infrastructure, talent and vision to work smart and stay ahead of the game.
2. Employment rates
A modern metropolis, Denver is famous for its high standard of living, supportive commercial ecosystem and, quite significantly, its low unemployment rate across all industries.
Translation: people looking to build a career want to put down roots here, and low unemployment rates means more support and stimulus for the local economy.
3. Quality of life
We’ve already mentioned the low unemployment rates, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Denver boasts low commute times and average annual rainfall, as well as breathtaking scenery everywhere you look, complete with views of the majestic Rocky Mountains. All of these factors, along with the city’s extensive entertainment and cultural attractions, make it a huge draw for those looking for a great work-life balance.
4. Competitor analysis
In 2017, an astounding 117,648 new businesses were registered in the state of Colorado, marking an increase of 7% against the previous year. While Denver is ripe with opportunities for businesses and professionals alike, its popularity and flourishing business landscape mean that your competitor analysis needs to be an even greater priority than usual.
Check out your competition and learn what you can about the faces behind the brand; look into customer reviews and read up on how they’ve performed over the last financial year and quarter. Use the internet to your advantage, and be sure to check public filings for information about company aims, strategies and tech. Attend industry conferences and any other events that give you a chance to get to know your competition and build your knowledge of the industry as a whole.
Every piece of information you collect about your competition will help you understand how to position yourself in the city, and help you to establish whether or not it’ll be feasible and profitable for your company to operate here. Get lazy with your research, and you could end up like the 20% of companies that fail in their first year, or the 50% forced to close in their fifth year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
5. The legal side of expansion
When it comes to major milestones in your company’s lifecycle, expansion has to be one of the most exciting and significant. One surefire way of ruining that sense of enthusiasm is by neglecting to look into the legal aspect of expanding into a new country or territory.
If you’re looking to operate overseas, the red tape involved can be a bureaucratic nightmare, and you’ll need a legal team you can trust to lead the way through it all. Take the time to brief your legal team on the project, ensure that you have the right people in place for the job, and give them the time they need to check every nook and cranny for potential pitfalls, loopholes, and potential risk points.
Naturally, expanding to another city in the same country is not as gargantuan a task, but be aware that different states and territories do have their own laws and legal requirements that your company and employees must adhere to.
About the author: Sunny Ackerman is President of Americas at Frank Recruitment Group and called Denver home for 17 years. The city remains near and dear to her heart, and she was actively involved in the company’s most recent expansion to the Mile High City.