In the first six months of 2015, Silicon Valley companies raised over $11 billion through more than 800 different investment deals, according to CB Insights.
As the primary hub for tech startups, aspiring entrepreneurs all dream of making the move out West to rub elbows with angel investors, venture capitalists and future Mark Zuckerbergs. Although the ecosystem is one of the best places to be for tech companies, it is not the only area worth starting a business in. Cities including Denver, Washington, D.C., Austin, Chicago, Salt Lake City and Boston are emerging hubs for startups. Internationally, Berlin, London, Paris and Vancouver are also noteworthy examples. Here in Phoenix, AZ, businesses flourish too.
Despite the fact that most unicorn companies thrive in the Valley, success is possible anywhere. To grow a business outside of Silicon Valley that helps thousands of other businesses or millions of individual consumers.
Prioritize developing people.
In Silicon Valley, startup employees have extremely competitive resumes. An internship at Google can land a recent graduate an excellent job at a company of their choosing before they formally enter the full-time workforce. A diploma from Stanford, too, puts a job candidate at the top of any consideration pile.To build a successful business anywhere in the world, you must prioritize developing the abilities and skills of your workers. The ambitious college dropout you hired to work in client services may actually be fit to lead the whole department one day, if you invest in providing tools and knowledge that help him do his job better.
Be the big fish in a small pond.
Big businesses in small towns have an almost monopoly-like advantage in developing partnerships with local vendors, sourcing talent and currying favor with local government.By supporting the local economy with jobs, entrepreneurs in quiet towns can build brands that every resident admires. Firms that call small cities their home tend to play an integral role in bettering their local community and, in return, have an easier time hiring exceptional employees, obtaining business permits and selling their wares.
Stay cash flow positive and profitable.
One of the traps that new startups fall into is relying on investors to fund operations. For startups outside of Silicon Valley, money is a lot harder to come by. Entrepreneurs, instead, should focus on building businesses that are not cash-intensive. Most new companies should operate on a shoestring budget for a few months until they are cash flow positive. Afterwards, they can use the small profits they generate to reinvest in growth. A new business can thrive anywhere. With enough grit, persistence and know-how, entrepreneurs can strategically leverage local resources to win.
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