Category Archives: SMEs

Insights to Building a Business in LA

There are many tips from seasoned experts on how to grow one’s company.  When referring to businesses in LA, according to a recent Forbes article,

“Developing a relationship with the local community can be key to your business’ success. It can help give you visibility and attract customers to your establishment. Taking advantage of every resource your community offers to you is also a must if you want to cement the position of your business locally.”

It makes sense.  If locals know about your business they might very well support it.  People like to support the local economy and if it’s marketed well and the product is good they generally prefer using local than going further afield.

But how do you nurture such a relationship?  According to Spencer Chambers of locally-handcrafted Honest Abe Cider, being written up in local newspapers was hugely helpful for his business.  Perhaps the success was also helped by his marketing of being a locally handcrafted business also.

Maybe new business leaders in the area could jump on the bandwagon of the possibility of getting a second Hollywood sign in California.  Should an additional one be built (as has been suggested given the poor location of the first one for this much visited world-renowned icon) perhaps local businesses could find ways to partner with it, publicizing their products and services!  Who knows; these days in the marketing world, anything is worth a try!

Cyber Security Bolstering LA Businesses

The Los Angeles Cyber Lab has just been created by officials in the city.  The idea is to bolster the city’s cyber security by actively spreading data that the government receives – at the Integrated Security Operations Center – (to help their cyber security) to local businesses.  For America, this work is unprecedented.

A joint private-public venture between Cisco and the City of LA (with an advisory board featuring top companies such as Amazon and Microsoft) the aim of the Cyber Lab is to facilitate operations for local companies.  According to LA City’s Chief Information Officer, Ted Ross:

“Taking the resources that the city of Los Angeles is already paying for to protect ourselves, and making them available at no cost to L.A. businesses, it just seems like the right thing to do.  If we can help small-, medium- and large-sized businesses protect themselves against cybercriminals, then I think we’re really helping move the needle, and I think our constituents are getting even more out of their government.”

The three main parts of the initiative can be categorized as follows: cybereducation, threat intelligence and the provision of an innovation incubator (for local businesses to try out the security products and services prior to purchase).

LA SMEs: Thriving?

small-businessMorale among SME proprietors in LA is improving.  Their attitude – and hope – for both their own economies and the economic outlook of the nation as a whole is substantially better than it was half a year ago.  Despite this, according to findings from the fall 2016 Bank of America  Small Business Owner Report, there are still real concerns over increasing healthcare costs, elevated interest rates, the strength of the U.S. dollar and credit availability.

Indeed, while nationwide 37 percent feel that their local economy is set to improve within the next year, in LA, that number is 47 percent. In general though, confidence in the national economy is rising (just not as much as that of LA in particular).  As Small Business Banker Manager at Bank of America Troy Bosch said, finally SME proprietors have been able to “shake off some of the uncertainty” about economic conditions that they encountered earlier in 2016.

COO of VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center), Robert Lopez, explained this phenomenon.  He said: “Small businesses create economic opportunities that extend well beyond the business owner by providing job opportunities and commercial growth in their communities. Wells Fargo and VEDC have a strong history of supporting small business owners and we look forward to continuing our partnership by helping entrepreneurs start and build their businesses.”