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The Best States for Business

Should you really go west, young man (or woman)? Several news sources claim that they have found the best states for business development by constructing clever point value ranking systems. We analyzed them and figured out the top five states that are truly the best of the best to start a new business in.

  1. Virginia. Virginia is possibly the number one state on so many lists because it's right next to the nation's capitol. Virginia is also ranked highly because it has several pro-business laws. One drawback to consider is that the cost of living in several areas is high.
  2. Utah. Ding dong! Have you heard about the new city that is taking the world by storm? It’s Salt Lake City and it has a huge workforce ready to work for you, as long as you replace the coffee machine with a soda fountain. In a CNN Money graphic, Salt Lake City emerged as one of the best cities to start a business in the entire world. Utah's businesses-friendly laws for large and new businesses and its business tax laws were ranked in the top 10.
  3. Texas. It’s a big state with a lot of big deal cities. Namely, Austin which is bizjournal's #1 place to start a small business. Austin has seen 1.5% growth in the number of small businesses. That is an amazing amount of growth considering no other city broke .6%. If you’re thinking of starting a business that has anything to do with music, definitely start there. Texas is great for franchises with a tax spend of .5 - 1% for businesses earning over 300k. Another interesting factor, CNBC ranked it #1 for infrastructure and transportation. So, go look around Texas and enjoy the smooth ride on the road to your new business.
  4. North Carolina. This state isn’t just nice to small businesses, they have several institutes devoted to fostering new businesses. The Raleigh Business & Technology Center offers several services to small business owners from equipment to a 10 month program that provides essential courses on running a successful business. There are also a slew of tax breaks and incentives for starting businesses. Raleigh and Charlotte both ranked in the top 10 places to start a business. The regulatory environment is also good. How good? The state ranked #1 on Forbes list.
  5. ColoradoCNN included Colorado in a story last year about businesses in beautiful places all over the world. So, is Colorado paradise? Possibly. It’s home to the#1 city to live in the country and ranks within the top 5 states on several lists as best to start a business in. There’s a flat tax for business of 4.6%. If you're looking to start a completely new type of business it's perfect because it ranks second in innovation and has a large pool of talented workers you can poach for your new venture.

Sue Funke is a comedic writer with a background in e-commerce. She studied writing at Hofstra University and writes for several online publications. You can see her performances on YouTube or learn more about her online store at http://FunkeIndustries.tumblr.com

Understanding Franchise Opportunity Rankings: The Entrepreneur Franchise 500

The Franchise 500 list is the most well-known and commonly cited of the various franchise rankings, but some confusion surrounds the methodology behind Entrepreneur's ratings. Through a series of articles on FranchiseHelp.com, we'll take a closer look at what goes into compiling these rankings (those from Entrepreneur and those from other sources) and what a prospective franchise buyer can glean from them when trying to make an informed decision about joining a particular franchise system.

Quantifying Yelp's Impact on the Restaurant Industry

Luca studied the effects of Yelp ratings on the revenue of restaurants and discovered several interesting findings. Studying the relationships of restaurants' revenues to their Yelp reviews in Seattle over a period from 2003 to 2009, he found a significant relationship between a restaurant’s average rating and revenue. One star’s worth of improvement on Yelp leads, he found, on average to an increase of between 5 and 9 percent in revenue. The average rating is more important than the review, as many Yelp users are overwhelmed by the sheer number of reviews on manyrestaurantpages and find it easier to consult the star rating. Luca also found two features which exacerbate the effect on revenue Yelp has. First, the more reviews a restaurant has, the more impact an increase in its Yelp rating will have on its revenue. Second, the more reviews by Yelp “elite” members, the more impact; “elite” reviews have almost twice as much impact as other reviews.

A Checklist for Franchising your Business

We thought it might be useful to break the process down into a to-do list for the prospective franchisor. This isn't meant to be an all-inclusive guide by any means, but the list below should give you a solid idea of what lies ahead.