September 30, 2019 - Robert John Hadfield
Location, Location, Loca...Why?
The Consequence of Your Whereabouts.
Last week I flew to Denver. I rented a mini van, picked up my 19 year old son and started the long haul back to St. George. My son is planning to attend college here in Southern Utah starting this coming winter semester.
As we started along I-70 I was instantly taken back one year ago when I was making the same journey. In early September 2018 I started the long voyage of moving Audiomover from its long-standing home in Denver, Colorado to start a new life in St. George, Utah. I had been contemplating the move for more than a year, and then after months of planning and logistics we loaded up some giant trucks and made the move.
The Audiomover part of our business is not geographically limited because it is primarily conducted through the mail. Interestingly most of our business comes from New York, California, Texas and Florida. And although we moved several hundred thousand tapes through our doors, during the nearly two decades we were located in Colorado, we had less than 20 customers actually come by our office. Even some of our Colorado customers mailed their items to us.
For nearly twenty years our business was based in Colorado. And although I knew in principle that it didn’t matter where we were located, I had no proof that we could move to a completely new geographic location and still be successful.
But here we are one year later and the phone still rings, mail still arrives, text messages are received, contracts are signed and tapes are digitized day in and day out. And not only are we surviving, we are thriving. Based on current contracts and projections, Q4 2019 will be Audiomover’s most successful quarter ever.
The phrase “location, location, location,” was once a mantra for success in business. And although that idea is certainly still true in many cases, it applies in different ways now. For me, the location is not about people conveniently accessing or finding our physical office, indeed that has played almost no role at all. For us, it is more about having this business in a location that provides a quality of life that inspires creativity and motivates action. In that sense the location is still vital, but in a much different way. Perhaps creating an obvious physical location might attract people in our local market, but that hasn't been part of our business model; and I don't see a need. The size of the overall market across the country dwarfs anything we could find in one location. Because of that, focusing on a local market has always seemed like a waste of energy to me.
But there are still other reasons to consider location.
Among those reasons is the need for change. One of the greatest ways to create a change in your life is to change your location. When you see things differently in a physical sense, you can’t help but begin to see things differently in a figurative sense. Your mind automatically adjusts in many different ways when the daily physical input changes. When we moved our headquarters to southern Utah last year, I hoped some of those internal changes would happen naturally, and they did; both for me personally and for the company as a whole.
When you stay in the same location too long, you stagnate. So maybe the mantra, “location, location, location,” listed three times could also imply that your location should change frequently.
Whatever the case, after moving to Southern Utah, we have seen growth and expansion unlike anything we have experienced in the preious two decades. Almost 100% of our business still comes from out of state, but we are seeing more of it than ever.
It is exciting to own a company that thrives and benefits from the shrinking world we live in. Our growth over nearly two decades, and especially the last year in a new location, is a testament to the success a small company can achieve when you look at the entire continent as your market place. And when your location suits both your customers and yourself.