Vancouver the California of Canada

Vancouver the California of Canada

April 19th, 2011 // 3:17 pm @


Vancouver is a unique business location, and understanding its character can help you run a successful business in the city.

Cities all have unique characteristics, which impact significantly on how friendly they are for running a business in, and also how you should interact with the workforce within each city.

Cities are like people, they are built on their experiences, and those experiences are driven by some key facts:


  • Some cities have hundreds of year’s history in being trading cities, share dealing cities, insurance etc. Such history tends to be self fulfilling, if a city is where a certain industry flourishes it attracts people to do the business and customers.


  • The basic economics of a city can be good for certain types of business, these economics can be such things as infrastructure, access to suppliers, trained staff etc.


  • Government policy affects different types of business as either through direct government action or through a more general level of being business friendly.


  • Where your city is can be critical, distances to markets, commodities, etc can have huge impact.

Vancouver scores badly against many of these criteria:


  • Vancouver has little history, let alone business history, on which it can build.


  • The city is near some key natural resources, such as lumbar and some mining products, but beyond that there is little specific economic advantage Vancouver has over many other cities.


  • Vancouver is as business friendly as any Canadian City, but it is many thousands of miles from the political center of the country, and that has traditionally lowered political interest.
  • The more welcoming attitude of Canadian politicians has driven considerable Far East investment in the city.


  • We are a long way from most Canadians, it’s nearest other cities are across the border in the US. It is not even on the way to anywhere really, being a cross roads such as Chicago can in itself drive economic success

So why does Vancouver prosper, put simply it is a good place to live and we make the rest work. The majority of Vancouver inhabitants have chosen to move to Vancouver primarily for lifestyle reasons.

Therefore we have a unique workforce, of “Individuals” who will move for lifestyle, and who therefore balance lifestyle vs. career differently form many other cities.

So what does this mean for doing business in Vancouver?

The businesses that tend to succeed are those where geographically close to your market is not business critical, and the Internet has been a great aid in this.

If your business needs real creative people Vancouver can be perfect, we have a disproportionate number and quality of creatives.

To motivate and retain staff, one needs to remember that people here value lifestyle over career more than in many other cities of western North America or Northern Europe.

Vancouver has more in common with the cities of California, or those of Southern Europe than it does Toronto, New York, or London.

Great place to do business but unique!

Category : Blog &Key Business Success Drivers

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