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Entrepreneurs set deep roots with location of home office

Meacham: Greater focus needed on fostering companies that will boost Oklahoma's economy in the future.
By Scott Meacham Published: March 18, 2013
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Oklahomans exhibit natural fortitude. We understand that it takes grit, determination, resources and time to accomplish important things. When we care about something, we prioritize what it takes to get it done.

One of the things more and more Oklahomans are caring about is promoting entrepreneurship and the startup and growth of more small companies. The more successful Oklahoma-based companies we have, the more we can expand individual and state wealth by producing products and services that people in other states and countries buy.

The holy grail of all economic development activity is the home office. Company headquarters have the decision-makers who control budgets and make the bigger salaries. These locations tend to have the higher paying managerial and functional jobs in engineering, product design and business development.

Think about where home offices are. They usually end up where the company was started — Microsoft in Washington; Walmart in Arkansas, and Pixar Animation in California. It's difficult, costly and seldom successful to convince a company to move its headquarters to another state; that's why where a company first puts down roots is so important.

Look up at Devon Energy's 50-story, 1.8 million-square-foot tower, or think about how Chesapeake Energy began in 1989 with 10 employees and $50,000 in capital and grew into the country's second-largest producer of natural gas, and you will get a sense of the impact that headquarters locations can have.

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DID YOU KNOW?

In a recent survey of 1,431 businesses, 60 percent of entrepreneurs queried spent more than six months working their business idea before forming their entity and 44 percent of the sample had started multiple companies.

Source: The Kauffman Foundation and LegalZoom

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