I have been founding, scaling, and selling businesses in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. I have seen ups, downs, and everything in between. The peaks and valleys of an entrepreneurial career are intense, and if I have learned anything throughout my tenure it is that they simply cannot be weathered alone. No man is an island, and success never happens in a vacuum. The good news is that the city of angels is home to some fantastic resources that every entrepreneur should take advantage of if they want to enjoy success.
LA Entrepreneur Should Take Advantage of These Resources
1. The Los Angeles Times Op-Ed Section
Looking for thought-leaders in our city? Industry experts? Someone whose goals and opinions align with yours for the purpose of starting a business? These people are not hiding. In fact, they are publishing their thoughts right in our globally-recognized newspaper for everyone to see. Entrepreneurs do not often look to the news for business opportunities, which I think is a mistake. The LA Times has exacting standards, and while the thoughts and opinions expressed in the op-ed section do not reflect or represent the thoughts of the newspaper, the quality of the work they choose to publish does. You are not going to find a dummy in the LA Times. Do not assume that the people who may want to work with you are hiding at some exclusive event. Potential partners are right out in the open. Do not overlook them.
2. Los Angeles Universities
Think about how many colleges our city is home to. The University of Los Angeles and the University of Southern California alone are recognized worldwide for their research and programming, to say nothing of Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine University, and the network of fantastic state schools that are within a quick drive. Some of the smartest minds in the world come to our city for education. A smart entrepreneur workshops an idea finds smart people to support that idea and then gets out of their way. Finding a rockstar team member in any one of our city’s fantastic educational institutions is not difficult.
3. The Entrepreneur Network of Los Angeles
This organization is exactly what the name implies – a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who come together for career development and education. Los Angeles is a large city, and a lot of people come here to find opportunities. This means that the talent pool is both vast and deep. It is mathematically improbable that you will not find someone or something to connect with within this network.
4. Our Proximity to Hollywood
Los Angeles owns the entertainment industry. The most recognizable faces in the world call our fair city home. To start a business here is to work with, among, and for celebrity clientele, and this presents an opportunity for one of those celebrities to become a spokesperson for your brand. There is tremendous opportunity in influencer marketing, and connecting with an influencer in Los Angeles is not particularly difficult. Failure to take advantage of one of the most unique aspects of our city is a failure to achieve your business’s full potential.
5. Los Angeles Private Equity Firms
It does not matter if you are seeking funding or an exit, the local private equity scene in Los Angeles is immensely helpful to Los Angeles entrepreneurs. At some point or another, a successful business is going to need funding, and it is convenient for both Los Angeles business owners and Los Angeles investors that no one has to go out of town in order to make that happen. Seeking funding from afar is both difficult and taxing. By starting your business in Los Angeles, you will already have a foot in the door with a variety of PE firms that fund local businesses.
Los Angeles is a challenging city. It is fast-paced, sprawling, and cut-throat. It weeds out the weak business minds among us very quickly. In order to successfully work as an entrepreneur here, it is vital to take advantage of everything that makes this city unique. This city is home to brilliant minds, innovative business leaders, essential support networks, and more. I always say that business owners need to think 18-steps ahead when it comes to running a business, and a strategy for leveraging local resources absolutely needs to be one of those steps. Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” There is a lot here to take advantage of…so don’t let someone else get there before you do.