Maid-Rite restaurantLocation, location, location. We’ve all heard how the right location can make or break a business. So, how does a new business choose where to locate? How does it decide if a city has the right demographic mix to make a business successful? In reality, every situation is different, with a variety of issues to evaluate prior to making any commitments.

As a City Council member, I am always looking for opportunities for the residents of our city. As my wife Wanda and I travel the country, we enjoy dining at new and different restaurants. When we discover a restaurant I think it might be a good business to have in Blue Springs, I simply ask for corporate information and contact their home office to let them know about our great city. Frustratingly, most of the contacts never bear fruit, yet I believe it’s important to continue to try. You never know when a great opportunity may come along.

Recently, an opportunity came to me in an unusual way. Many of you know that I am an active user of a smartphone application called FourSquare.  FourSquare allows you to “check-in” and let your friends know where you are. One feature of this application is to publish your check-ins on Twitter. Twitter is an Internet service that shares 140 character “tweets” with anyone who is out there watching.

Here is where the story begins: Growing up, my parents and I frequently traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to visit family. Along the way, we always stopped at Taylor’s Maid-Rite in Marshalltown, Iowa, to have a Maid-Rite sandwich. If you are unfamiliar with Maid-Rites, you’re missing something wonderful. They may very well be one of the healthiest hamburgers you can eat. Frankly, healthy has nothing to do with it. They are just great.

On a recent drive down I-35, I noticed a sign for a Maid-Rite store along the highway and couldn’t resist. I pulled in and we had a couple of Maid-Rites. Like always, I “checked in” and sat down for dinner. By the time we were back in Blue Springs, I had a tweet from Maid-Rite Corporation thanking me for dining at one of its restaurants. I tweeted back “you’re welcome” and suggested the company locate a store in Blue Springs and provided contact information for the city.

Imagine my surprise when this week’s council packet contained information regarding negotiation for locating a Maid-Rite in Blue Springs. It is seeking a franchise owner to run a Maid-Rite store in our city!

In a struggling economy, with more people looking for work than the number of jobs available, entrepreneurship flourishes. Somewhere in Blue Springs, someone willing and eager to start their own business may be waiting, eager to provide work for themselves, their family and friends. This is an opportunity looking for a connection. If this sounds like the business you are looking for, contact Tania Burt, executive vice president of Maid Rite Corporation at 515-276-5448. She can help you explore the possibility.

Entrepreneurship and small business is the foundation of our economy. Many believe the best solutions to our economic troubles will rise from our entrepreneurial spirit. Could a simple “check-in” actually create jobs for our city? Stranger things have happened.