7 Steps to Starting a Business in Minnesota

September 14, 2022

As a state known for resilience, innovation, and midwestern hospitality, Minnesota has always had a foot in both the past and the future. It’s one of the few places to avoid the dismal “Rust Belt” label and successfully transition to a high-tech hub with a bustling service economy.

This makes Minnesota a perennial business favorite, both for established firms and brand new companies on the come-up. It’s no wonder there are more Minneapolis billboards appearing all the time.

Let’s talk about the seven steps you must follow to ensure a successful new business venture in Minnesota, using the state’s unique features to your advantage.

1. Tap Into City Centers

Whether you’re running a lean tech startup, building a restaurant chain, or an indie bike repair shop, you’ll want to be in striking distance of the Twin Cities. Better yet, you can set up shop right in the middle of the two - ideally along the river - so that you can cover more ground and connect with clients and customers with ease.

The heart of the city is where excitement and interest in commerce thrives most, no matter what type of business you pursue. Even if your operation is mostly remote and virtual in nature, you always want to put yourself in the center of the action.

2. Connect with Communities

Beyond the densely populated Twin City downtown areas, Minnesota expands for hundreds of miles in every direction, with plenty of small towns and neighborhoods worth noting.

Neighborhoods north of the Twin Cities are typically where corporate execs, legal professionals, and physicians make their homes, while young urban professionals enjoy living along the river in refurbished lofts.

Your business outreach efforts should reflect the preferences and buying patterns of people in each neighborhood, so meet them on their turf and speak in their terms. When marketing, families are more interested in stability and long-term thinking, while post-college employees are looking for fun and freedom.

3. Advertise Aggressively

Word of mouth goes a long way in the midwest, where people love to talk and share with family and friends. However, advertising is required to get the ball rolling, which means using the full spectrum of ad techniques and technologies, including those unique to the region.

Start by making a name for yourself online, and establishing your presence through Google Business profiles and other trusted user review sites. Create branded content that Minnesota residents will want to read and spark interest in your offers.

From there, make your way into local business registries and seize whichever media opportunities appear in your path. Locals love to know that they’re supporting local businesses, so embrace that label and go all-in.

4. Recruit the College Crowd

Minnesota has a high concentration of higher education institutions, both in the Twin Cities and beyond. Students come from all over the world to study tech, engineering, and medicine - all career paths with lucrative potential.

As a business, your job is to put yourself out in front of graduates and grads-to-be, ensuring you get the best of the bunch when it comes time to scale your operation. Don’t miss a job fair or recruitment event, and make sure college students know your brand by the time they hit the workforce.

5. Double Your Efforts During Summer

While Minnesota winters are notoriously tough, summertime has a lot to offer for locals and tourists alike. This is your chance to capitalize on good moods and summer spending by making your business known across all channels and delivering stellar service.

Consider advertising at outdoor events, festivals, fairs, and any other outreach opportunity you can find. Your brand will be associated with warm months and good times, helping to carry big sales numbers through the fall and winter.

6. Become a Sports Superfan

Drive through the Twin Cities, and you’ll see plenty of Minneapolis billboards featuring sporting events and referencing local teams. That’s because Minnesotans love their hometown heroes, from hockey and football to racing, hunting, and more.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you run - make sure that fans know you care about winning as much as they do. Appear on Minneapolis billboards or digital signage at stadiums on game day and watch new customers arrive in droves.

7. Follow the Traffic - and the Money

Business in Minnesota requires an eye toward the future while being ready to adapt to trends at any time. See where investment flows throughout the city and take note of new real estate developments and community overhauls. The more Minneapolis billboards you see popping up, the better.

If you can put your business in the right place at the right time, it won’t be long before you’re recognized as a trusted enterprise in the community, rather than an outsider.

Be the Best in the Midwest

Just a few Minneapolis billboards can give your business an edge in Minnesota, but why not think even bigger? Utilize all the out-of-home advertising formats available, plus traditional and digital ads as you build the next best business in the region.

 

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