Make Leisure Your Productivity Booster, Here’s How

Make Leisure Your Productivity Booster, Here's How

This post will walk you through a few simple but effective productive strategies while having some leisure time. Fifteen to twenty years ago, employees were confined to the four corners of their offices. Things have changed today mainly because of the internet. People nowadays work in the comfort of their own homes. Anyone can submit their work online, share files via cloud sharing, and have online meetings via Skype or other platforms. In short, technology has changed on how people work and where people work.

However, this isn’t purely beneficial to all of us. Because of the change of schedules, some people don’t follow the standard 9-5 work schedule anymore. Now you might receive requests from clients at 10 pm or you might receive messages concerning work at 1 in the morning.

What happened to our work schedules?

Our work schedules have become blurry or clouded in the past couple of years. We used to have regular work schedules but now everyone works at their own pace. It’s hard to figure out your own free time. And now most of us have no time for leisure activities like jogging, going out, reading, playing sports, playing video games. We barely even have free time to spend with our families!

People are becoming busier and busier. Many of us have probably worked overtime or have worked over the weekend just to answer some emails or finish up some unfinished work. It is estimated that about half of working Americans feel that they don’t have free time anymore. But who can blame them when their free time isn’t exactly free? When you use it to catch up with work, then what’s the points of breaks anyway?

Leisure time is very important

If you sprint for long distances, you’ll eventually tire out. The same principle can be applied to work. If you work during your leisure time, then expect your performance to deteriorate over time. It doesn’t matter if you’re working more hours because you’re eventually going to burn out.

According to the Institute for the Study of Labor, 55 hours of work per week is the threshold on human productivity, any more than that and you’re going to have productivity issues.

In the field of economics, leisure time is considered a form of commodity.  Leisure time should be spent sleeping, resting, building relationships, exercising, and doing things that give you satisfaction. In short leisure time brings satisfaction, and satisfaction increases productivity levels.

It is very important that workers have their leisure time. During those periods, one can have creative ideas or a flash of insight that can lead to new ways of thinking.  Isaac Newton came up with his concept of gravity when an apple fell on his head during his leisure time. Albert Einstein often came up with new theories and ideas while taking leisurely walks.

Innovative ideas often spring up when we’re taking our breaks. When a person becomes too focused on their work, they get caught up in a stubborn way of thinking. This one-sided way of thinking may get the job done but it’s highly unproductive.

Having your leisure time diffuses you from this one-sided thinking, which allows your brain to function the way it should be.  This will help you open your mind and come up with new solutions to solving your problems.

Things you can do to have a satisfying leisure time

The best thing that you can do is to make your leisure time a way to boost your productivity. So instead of working on your breaks, you utilize your breaks in improving your productivity and efficiency. It may be tempting to answer that email, work on that unfinished project, or to simply get ahead of your workmates. However, you’ll eventually burn yourself out and lose in the long run.  You’re like that guy who sprints in the beginning of a marathon, only to end up losing to the other runners.

Here are some steps to increase your productivity during your leisure time.

  • Plan ahead and schedule your leisure time

You can go plan and make a detailed schedule of when and where you are going to spend your leisure time. You can even use a technique called “time blocking” to help you follow your schedule properly. Time blocking is basically doing your work within a specific time frame.  This way you’ll have more leisure time to spend with friends, family, and for yourself.

When you’re done with the work and scheduled for your break, stop working and take your break. Don’t stress over it, there will always be an abundance of work while leisure time is scarce.

  • Prioritize the most important leisure activities first

Most people watch television, browse the internet, and play video games during their leisure time. Sure, they may be enjoying those activities but on the very next day, they are tired and exhausted? Why is this?

Its simple most of these people have forgotten to sleep, exercise and take care of their bodies. How about getting some sleep before watching TV? Or how about spending time with your kids, your parents, and your friends.

Prioritize your own health and relationships. Sleep and exercise make you healthy, it ensures that you are able to work properly. Relationships help keep you sane and give you a positive mental attitude.

  • Do these things first

Rest, relax and take a good break. Then come back even stronger

A blade needs to be sharpened constantly if you want to keep its edge. The same can be said for us workers. If you keep on working and working and working, you’ll eventually become dull, boring, and unable to do our jobs properly.

You’ll become a zombie, a mindless drone, and a robot that’s incapable of creative thought and innovation.

Yes, there are tons of work and deadlines piled up on your list. However, that doesn’t mean that you should devote your whole life to it. You need to take a break and let your body and mind rest.

Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to leap forward.

Still need to get your work done?  Try these 14 productivity hacks.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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An Engineer’s Guide to Picking The Right Startup To Join

An Engineer's Guide to Picking The Right Startup To Join

Many engineers are lured by the growth potential of joining a startup. Not only will you get exciting and innovative projects to work on but you can also have the opportunity to create a trail-blazing product with high impact.

Working for a great startup can give you tremendous satisfaction and accelerate your career but joining a bad one can lead to burnout, frustration, and disenchantment.

Over the course of your career as an engineer, you’d likely work for just 7 to 10 companies. Even if all of them are startups, you only have limited opportunities to pick a winner that will make a mark.

However, given that as many as 90% of new startups fail, picking one that’s a good fit and have the potential to succeed is often quite challenging.

An Engineer's Guide to Picking The Right Startup To Join

 

Source

As a software engineer, how can you figure out the legitimacy of the tech company you are interviewing at? What signs of success should you look out for? How can you tell the “real deal” from the smoke and mirrors?

Here are some signals you should look out for:

The Leadership and the Culture

  • The startup should be founded on a vision and mission that are aligned with your values and interests. You’ll put in the hours and take on more risks so make sure the company is building something that you believe in and are excited about.
  • Consider the caliber and experience of the CEO, CTO, and VP of Engineering. Tenure, credibility, and past exits go a very very long way to a successful venture.
  • Most startups depend on VC investments to stay afloat and expand. The CEO should have the ability and track record of raising capital, help VCs see the company’s vision, and sell the product to the first customers.
  • The CEO of a startup has a substantial impact on the success of the company, so pay attention to whether he/she has the traits needed to take the startup off the ground. E.g., a CEO that’s dismissive of challenges is often a red flag.
  • Evaluate the caliber of everyone working at the company, not just the engineer department. Have they worked at other VC backed startups?  Did those startups have good engineering and culture?  You should even be appraising the sales team and/or customer acquisition strategy. If a company wants to solely use craigslist to find talent – that’s a bit of a red flag.

The Investors

  • The VC firms or investors funding a startup are good indicators of its potential. Of course, VCs can be wrong but they have done a lot of research on the founders, the technologies, and the market before whipping out their checkbooks.
  • Consider the names and history of the partners on a VC firm’s board to see if they have a good track record in picking startups that succeed. VCs are typically well connected and have either raised capital or sold companies, so they often have unique insights from their experiences and networks.
  • Look for a startup that gets repeated investment from reputable VC firms. For example, if a top-tier VC (e.g., Sequoia, Benchmark, or A16) invested in seed and then series A, then you could take that as a promising sign.
  • Ignore vanity signs that look good on paper but bring nothing substantial to the table. For example, “fancy advisors” that aren’t involved in the day-to-day operation or “big clients” who simply tested a free auxiliary product. If their corp site seems kind of fluffy, red flag.

Company Size and the Team

  • For a small startup (e.g., 10 employees), you’d likely be working directly with the leadership team instead of middle managers. Find out how the CEO views management to get a gauge on how the company is likely to evolve.
  • When evaluating a 100-person company, you’d probably be talking to a couple of managers during the interview process. Make sure to find out about the company’s approach to management and its priorities.
  • Observe the workplace environment and talk to those “in the trenches” – how employees act and interact in the workplace often tell you more about the company than management would in an interview. For example, do people seem cagey, sincere, controlling, result-oriented, narcissistic, driven, etc.?
  • Find out what “growth” looks like for the leadership team and if they’re approaching the company’s expansion thoughtfully. For instance, how’s the company handling mentorship and onboarding? What’s the growth projection for the team? Are they hiring in a well-orchestrated manner with a reasonable junior to senior employee ratio?

The Market, the Product, and the Path to Profits

  • Ultimately, a product needs buyers in order to be successful. Research the competitive dynamics of the market and the position of the company within the market to see if the product is likely to succeed.
  • Consider the current profitability of the company or if there are a clear path and timeline to becoming profitable.
  • Ask open-ended “big picture” questions at the strategic level, such as:
    • The source of funding and eventual exit strategy, if any.
    • The overall product or service direction.
    • The startup’s primary customers and competitors.
    • Short-term and long-term challenges to growth and survival.
    • Where you fit into their big picture (e.g., how they see you helping them succeed.)

Conclusion

The startup environment isn’t always easy to navigate but it offers exciting opportunities that are stimulating and potentially lucrative for engineers.

When evaluating a startup, consider both direct answers from the leadership and indirect answers (e.g., from your observation or informal conversations with other employees) to paint a picture of what you can expect life to be like at the company.

Since you’ll be working closely with everyone in the company, make sure to take your values and personalities into consideration so you can create an enriching experience for yourself while building a career.

Not everything is glossy and fun in a startup. In fact, if everything sounds too perfect, generic, polished, canned, or politically correct – that could be a red flag that you should dig deeper before getting onboard.


 

Cadre is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. Cadre is building a talent network utilizing AI and Machine Learning to help solve the tech talent crisis across their portfolio of 85 startups throughout California, Seattle, and Austin.

 

Jason Stomel
Contributor
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.
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Jason Stomel
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.

Living And Working in Los Angeles, California

Living And Working In Los Angeles, California

When it comes to the Los Angeles area, the key word here is “greater”. It encompasses a huge metropolitan area of almost 34 thousand square miles filled with a population of about 18.7 million people. It’s the 2nd-largest urban region in the whole US. The Los Angeles metropolitan area alone measures 4,850 square miles in area.

It includes 5 counties, with Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County. Its cities include Los Angeles, Long Beach, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, Oxnard, Ontario, and Glendale.

Fun Things To Do

In this huge region, just about any type of entertainment is available, and your options will reach up to the hundreds or even thousands.

  • Looking for restaurants? Here you’ll find all types of cuisine, and creative chefs may define their own cuisine by fusing different types into a new creative cuisine. Formal establishments for fine dining are spread throughout the region, while it seems like every corner has a fast food joint ready to offer quick sustenance for the residents. Many of these fast food restaurants are open 24/7.
  • Pubs and bars are also plentiful, and here you’re like to find every brand of beer or liquor coming from all parts of the world. You’ll be able to finally taste every single malt whiskey from different Scottish regions (or even from countries like Japan) and your knowledge of beer brands will definitely improve.
  • These establishments can also offer all types of entertainment programs. Not only do you get live music of various genres, but you can also find comedians, poetry readings, theatrical shows, mimes, gymnasts, magicians, and many other performers.
  • Beaches are also available here. You can go to Santa Monica or visit Venice Beach. The boardwalks and promenades in these places offer eclectic goods, unique performers, and playing courts for various sports.
  • Does your family love to relax in parks? Just about every neighborhood has a nice park for picnics and for playgrounds. And the entire region is dotted with major California state parks.
  • For dedicated shoppers, you won’t run out of malls in the Greater Los Angeles area. The most prominent shopping areas include Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Abbott Kinney Boulevard, the Sunset Strip, Melrose Avenue, the Miracle Mile, the Fairfax District, Wilshire Boulevard, Robertson Boulevard, and Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
  • For the sports-inclined, just about every sport is played here as well. That includes less well-known sports such as rugby and even cricket. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim delight the baseball fans, basketball fans love the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, hockey fans have the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, and even soccer fans the Los Angeles Galaxy with the Los Angeles Football Club coming soon. And even football fans don’t have to wait anymore to watch NFL games live and in person, as the Los Angeles Rams have come to town.

Education

The Greater Los Angeles area has hundreds of colleges and universities, and its total student population number in the millions. Among the most prominent include University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California USC, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pepperdine University, Occidental College (Oxy), University of California – Irvine, Chapman University, and Pomona College.

Just about every major course can be studied in this region, ranging from the various art courses to every branch of the sciences.

Notable companies

It will require an entire book to list down all the notable companies in this huge region. Its economy has reached $770.6 billion. But it is perhaps most well-known as the hub of the largest entertainment industry in the world. It is here where the top-grossing films are produced, where the most popular TV shows are made, and where musical artists record their music. Los Angeles alone has 841 museums and art galleries with more than a thousand musical, theater, dance, and performing groups.

The area now boasts of the huge fashion industry, so much so that its workforce now outnumbers the workers in the New York fashion industry. Health services and the biomedical industry account for 700,000 jobs, while 190,000 more work for the aerospace and tech industry.

In fact, the area has now seen a steady influx of tech companies gobbling up office space in the area. And it’s now known as Silicon Beach, as a viable and more fun alternative to Silicon Valley. Hundreds of cutting-edge tech incubators and startups have come in, and they’ve joined the tech giants like Google and Facebook which have opened offices in the area. Check out these 50 Hottest LA Startups

Economic – why you want a JOB here

You’ll want a job here because the coolest jobs are here. They’re available in many of the most exciting tech industries, including the video game industry, social median special effects for TV and film, biotech, mobile apps and games, and a whole lot more.

And here you have every entertainment option right at your fingertips, with shopping districts, beaches, and state parks offering respite from work.

Check our Job page regularly for available opportunities that can match your background and qualifications. As you get a glimpse of what’s available in the area, you can now jumpstart your Los Angeles journey.

 

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

Best Project Management Practice For Complex Projects

Best Project Management Practice For Complex Projects

Managing a complex project requires careful planning and an accurate estimation in terms of resources needed and deadlines that need to be met – and this is all prior to starting to execute on the project. Requirements must also be clearly understood, forming the basis of the project plan and helping to clearly define the goals of the project.

Not all projects are worth the time and effort, and sometimes there is a tendency to overestimate the capability of a team. On the other hand, you cannot know the limits of your team unless you take the plunge. If you boil it down, there are only two reasons why a project would not be fulfilled by your team: it is either a matter of ability or of management.

For ability, there is no substitute for good training, hard work, experience, and team synergy. Those four core characteristics are essential.  Hundreds of thousands of scholarly articles and case studies have been done just to find out how to achieve these characteristics, and a short feature in this article will not do them justice.

On the other hand, proper project management is much more straightforward and truly has a gigantic impact on the productivity of a team, ultimately promising results if done correctly. Project management may sound high-level and strategic, and this is partly correct, but, at its heart, project management is actually very simple to learn and achieve. It is the execution part of the process that takes time and effort. Simply put, project management is how a leader fulfills steps in order to complete a project successfully. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that a project is managed properly.

1. Get a bird’s eye view and look for the forest to follow up with focusing on the trees

Whether it be for conceptualizing and starting your project, for troubleshooting and improving the process for the duration of the said project, inductive thinking, or the top-down thinking, can definitely help. By knowing that conclusion that you want to arrive and then start building up from there, the project will have a better structure and the execution would be easier. Looking at the bigger picture will allow you to find the bottlenecks and the problem.

You can do this by either looking at it with the mentality of a third neutral person or better yet ask an expert who has no part in your project. For instance, asking questions in Quora or opinions with your friends in your social media, provided of course that you can trust them with your privacy and secrecy, will definitely help you find a different perspective.

2. Make a superstar team who knows the project well

By superstar team, we do not mean the best of the best, which was very good can be quite costly and a team of geniuses does have its own unique problems. What we mean is that you should make your current team superstars. This is directly related to the first reason why a project could feel like something beyond the capabilities of the team. We are not just talking about the capability but also the synergy of the team. To make it more straightforward, we make the team learn during the project and not just do.

Getting an experienced expert is good, but if you are thinking long-term, which you should, cultivating talent is the way to go. In managing a project, deal with it as an opportunity for your team members to level up, whether by improving on their abilities and talents or by improving the synergy of the team by making them more integrated and knowledgeable about the team members and the long-term vision and goals of your business.

This can be done by integrating tools into your project management that not only remind them of their duties and responsibilities but also make the team aware of where the progress of the project is currently. One way to do that is to use software light Trello or Scoro. These tools will not only give a visual representation people assigned, they will also allow you to put comments and do even time tracking and reports on finances and project progress. If you do not have a project management tool yet, please get one as soon as possible. You will see your efficiency improve by leaps and bounds.

3. Communication should be proper

You may have a plan that has a great top-down perspective and you may have the best tools for your project management, but one thing where a competent team can fail is the breakdown of communications. We are not just talking about the lack of communication. What we are talking about this proper communication. Communication is a two-way process, in the listener or receiver is as important as the sender of the message.

The best way to ensure that there will be no misunderstanding or miscommunication is to use not only a reliable tool but to also properly word your messages. There are communication tools like Slack and in fact, most project management tools have their own communication channels. Instant messaging is best and will beat out not only e-mail but also voice calls because instant messaging is faster and easier to understand.

As for your communications, it is best to use simple language for instructions and more detailed sentences for the process. It is best to start with what should be the result by use of descriptions using adjectives and adverbs and then followed by a series of instructions which has a lot of verbs and concluded by recommendations for processes. That way, your communications are easier to understand and by using words economically.

In simpler words, you can improve your project management by focusing first on the bigger picture, followed by the proper use of tools and lastly by using proper communication channels and techniques.

Overall, a project manager must be an expert in leadership, communication, and organizational skills. With the high workload and stress, it is critical to have the skills required to bring a project to the finish line. Staying accountable and aware of all aspects of the project will guide you to project management success.

Also, try these 10 shortcuts to boost your productivity.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

Living And Working in Huntington Beach, California

Living And Working In Huntington Beach, California

Southern California has a number of seaside cities, but Huntington Beach is one of the most famous. Named after Henry E. Huntington, an American businessman, Huntington Beach is the 4th largest city in Orange County by population. With a population of 200,809 and 22,860 registered businesses, Huntington Beach is without a doubt a thriving community that also happens to be very scenic. Because of this, it’s not only popular for potential residents and employees but also for tourists.

Huntington Beach attracts more than 16 million beach visitors annually. This comes as no surprise because Huntington Beach has in fact also earned several accolades from the 2013 Orange Country Register Annual Reader Survey, including “Best Beach” and “Best Surf Spot”. With its stunning views, vibrant local atmosphere, and diverse population, many see the City of Huntington Beach not just as a great tourist destination but also as an area ripe for investment, with enough resources to support several industries.

Fun Things To Do

What welcomes you when you visit Huntington Beach is an almost 10-mile stretch of sandy beaches. This alone gives you a score of things to do, from surfing its world-famous waters to playing beach volleyball, swimming, and just sitting back to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze. Surf City USA is known for its breathtaking beaches, so if the sun, sand, and sea are what you’re after, you’ll find much of that in Huntington Beach.

That said, there are other forms of recreation and entertainment for those who are not necessarily looking for a good time at the beach. Those who love exploring the outdoors will enjoy the green spaces in Huntington Beach, which is a city that has a commitment to the environment. From the 365 acres of Huntington Central Park (where you can go horseback riding!) to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, you won’t run out of places to explore. You can also visit the restored Huntington Beach Wetlands.

While Huntington Beach is definitely a nature lover’s dream, the downtown also welcomes those who just want to chill and relax. The downtown has so many options for dining and shopping, as well as a laid-back vibe that just makes you want to stroll around. As chill as the atmosphere is during the day, when nighttime comes, you get one of the most famous nightlife locations in Orange County. You’ll have several bars and lounges to choose from, offering specialty cocktails, live entertainment, and good laughs.

Another thing about Huntington is that its location makes it ideal as a base camp if you plan to go to theme parks like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, San Diego Zoo, or even Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Education

Huntington Beach is home to many schools. Golden West College offers 2-year courses and has one of the most stunning campuses in Southern California, sprawled over 122 acres and serving 15,000 students. This The Huntington Beach Union High School District serves the area and is comprised of many schools, including Huntington Beach High School.

Notable companies

Huntington Beach is a growing city, and this means that employment opportunities also abound. Many companies have chosen Huntington Beach as their home, but the economy of this city is actually dependent on several key industries.

  • Technology is one of the leading industries in Huntington Beach, which is where you can find more than 650 industrial businesses. 2013 data shows that there are a total of 12,072 technology jobs spread across 424 firms in Huntington Beach, with 9,848 in tech manufacturing firms and 2,224 in tech services firms. This shows that there’s a lot of room for growth in the tech industry. This even includes tech services like data processing, scientific research and development, software publishing, and internet service providers or ISPs.
  • The warm and sunny climate that Huntington Beach enjoys throughout the year makes it a magnet for tourists. Being known as Surf City USA, there is definitely a lot of room for the tourism industry to thrive and continue to grow. In Huntington Beach, there are so many activities that can keep you entertained but it’s also centrally located in Orange County, so chances are it will never run out of tourists. This also means there are many job opportunities within the industry, from restaurants and hotels to resorts and retail shops.
  • Huntington Beach is not just about the pretty sights, because it has an industrial district in the northwest. Big names like Boeing, C & D Aerospace, Cambro Manufacturing, and Quicksilver have found their home here, and what this means is that you have an aerospace company, a food service equipment manufacturer, and a giant clothing manufacturer all sharing the same space. This makes Huntington Beach quite diversified, which is good because it also means that job opportunities abound and there’s room for everyone.
  • Tech Startups in the Area: ShiftMe, MailPix, AnyMeeting.com

Economic – Why You’d Want a JOB Here

There’s something appealing about building a career in a growing industrial space that also happens to be a picturesque beach city. Huntington Beach is a place where there’s so much room for professional growth, but there’s also a lot of space for you to grow personally. The central location of this beach city makes it ideal, as it is easily accessible from anywhere in Orange County and the rest of Southern California. But once you want to wind down and enjoy the laid back atmosphere, you can easily do so as there are countless places in Huntington Beach to do that.

Huntington Beach is the perfect place to begin anew, and the growing population and thriving economy is proof that more and more people are taking notice. So if you’re looking for something different and you want your career to thrive in a place as beautiful as Huntington Beach, then the first step is to know where to look for the coolest jobs available. Check our Job page regularly for available opportunities that can match your background and qualifications. As you get a glimpse of what’s available in the area, you can now jumpstart your Huntington Beach journey.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

You don’t need to take too many months to prepare if you’re really determined to start a business. Instead, you can complete these steps in a few days.


When you’re pondering the prospect of starting your own business, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad details of the process. You can end up spending too many months preparing, and during this time you might even hesitate and lose your nerve.

The truth of it is that you really don’t have to spend a lot of time to prepare to start your own business. You just need to focus, and with the following checklist of steps, you need to take you can be well on your way.

  1. Come up with a business idea. You need a business that best suits your preferences, skills, and interests. Pretend you have to ask for some seed money from a prospective investor. You have to make sure you have the skill set and the background for the business idea you’re offering. To make your idea more concrete, you have to serve a particular need or solve a specific problem. You need to identify this need or problem so that you can customize your solution and design your business accordingly.
  1. Do market research. You can go online for this, starting out by checking out your competition. If you’re starting a plumbing business, then you better know how many plumbers there already are in your town. You should also find out the level of demand for the business service or product you’re thinking about offering to the consumer public.
  2. Choose a unique business name. Uniqueness is more important than how catchy your business name is. You can always do a quick web search, though you also need to check with your state department of revenue that no one else in your state is already using the business name you’re considering. A trademark search will also be necessary. Check GoDaddy.com for a domain name.
  3. Define your target market. You can find lots of apps online that can help, and you can always conduct your own surveys.
  4. Pick the location where you’ll be working. Most people start by working at home, but that may change later on. But you have to find workspace options that you may need to use eventually, such as when you’re meeting with clients.
  5. Set up your website. That means buying your domain, obtaining your web hosting (we uses MediaTemple), and building a website. It probably will help a great deal if you let a pro handle all this, although you will have to pay for these services. The point is that a website is a must—people don’t really trust new businesses without websites these days.
  6. Put up phone service. Even though just about everyone has a smartphone these days, it’s still a good idea to have a business phone setup to make things a lot more professional. You can still use your smartphone, but the other people at the other end of the line will see your business phone number instead.
  7. Set up your customer database. You’ll need this if you regularly interact with customers. If you find keeping lots of contact information on Rolodex cards, then you certainly will find a database a lot more useful/
  8. Use lead generation software. Leads tell you where you can focus your sales tactics so that you don’t waste time contacting people who are unlikely to become your customers. You can find software that can identify these likely customers for you, and you can use them with your database.
  9. Get your business on social media. You should have a business profile on the social media platforms where you will find your most likely customers. You should also consider getting on Yelp and Google My Business.
  10. Obtain the business licenses you’ll need. You can do some research on the state licenses and permits you’ll need, along with the fees you have to pay.
  11. Get your Employer Identification Number if you have workers. The EIN will be required by the IRS if you’re going to operate as a partnership or corporation, or if you’re going to hire workers. You can just go to the IRS website for this.
  12. Open a business bank account. The most convenient bank is the one where you already have a personal savings account. But you can check out other banks in your area if they specialize in business accounts. You’ll most likely need your EIN, the documentation you needed to register your business with the state, and a copy of your business license.
  13. Invest in accounting software. Try FreshBooks and QuickBooks, along with Zoho Books and Xero. You’ll need this type of software to keep track of your revenues and expenses, and the reports will be necessary come tax time.
  14. Draw up a marketing plan. Again, you can go online and find templates you can use to promote your business. Your plan needs to identify your target market, as well as the ways to reach and advertise to these potential customers.
  15. Write your business plan. A business plan comes in handy to help you focus on the tasks you need to do to start and develop your business. This business plan also will be necessary when you’re looking for investors. This business plan will include a general description of your company, the data from the market analysis you’ve done, information about the products or services you’re offering, and some financial data.
  16. Obtain the funding you need. You can go to a bank or a relative to obtain a loan, and perhaps use up some of your savings. But you should also see if there are grants available for your business. Crowdfunding may also be possible.
  17. Think about trademarks and patents. You can discuss this with an attorney, though if a lawyer does all the work the fees can go into the thousands of dollars.
  18. Prepare a logo. A logo helps your business to stand out, and it can be very useful for marketing. We use 99designs.com and Fiverr.com for this task.
  19. Think about insurance. At the very least, you may need professional liability insurance. Check with your insurance agency to find out what your business insurance needs and options are.

You can do some of these steps in just a single day, so there’s no good reason to feel overwhelmed about the preparations you need to make. Starting a business can be a risk, but you can’t reap the rewards if you don’t take the plunge.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

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