Delivering LA and Southern California to the Global Market - How Does Your Business Plan Fit?

  Cynthia Coulter, Senior Consultant, ColLAborate

Cynthia Coulter, Senior Consultant, ColLAborate

Southern California (SoCal) has a huge business presence globally. It is one of the most vibrant business environments in the world.  Los Angeles is the third largest municipal economy in the world. Tokyo is the largest and New York is second. LAX is the 4th busiest airport in the world and the Port of LA ranks as the busiest port in the western hemisphere. This growth of SoCal’s economy brings with it opportunities for businesses from around the world to participate in the building of infrastructure and providing services throughout SoCal. It is an opportunity to gain market share in this culturally diverse region.
 
 Los Angeles will host for the third time the summer Olympics in 2028.  While this event alone is not a defining factor for growth, it does provide the opportunity to showcase and encourage the international business community to do business in SoCal.
 
Unprecedented growth is occurring in infrastructure sectors that need to be improved or built. New subway and transportation systems are being constructed to connect all communities in SoCal. The Ports of LA and Long Beach are becoming world class centers for logistics and trade, while instituting sustainable energy and environmental practices to keep our waterways clean.

Real estate development continues to add more housing and commercial space to keep pace with the neighborhoods where integrating work and home office space becomes more and more attractive.
 
As always timing and positioning are everything. Businesses wanting to enter this market have to understand the dynamics of doing business here.
 
Business development, strategic planning, lobbying and public affairs, marketing, and sales have to be integrated. Coordinating these corporate activities is a process for successful growth.
 
Business development strategies must strengthen longer term values of a company. It is imperative that business leaders in this market share their vision and goals with stakeholders. Through strategic planning, marketing and communications, and lobbying and public affairs efforts--business leadership coming into the market will be building their brand and awareness of their business intentions and goals among stakeholders. Gaining a voice in this competitive and highly energized community requires planning and commitment to the marketplace.
 
It is a fact, and part of human nature that people love to deal with important people! Being active in organizations that fulfill your business objectives, and where you can interact with prospective clients and other business leaders, goes a long way to being included and accepted as an active, interested participant in the market.
 
Businesses entering or expanding in this market need to build their presence to increase sales. Attaining these goals may require them to make the decision to bid for contracts with local governments. These bids are large lucrative contracts that include the ports, transportation systems, infrastructure improvements, real estate development, energy delivery systemsand other largescale improvement projects. Effective lobbying and advocacy can afford a corporation lasting competitive advantage. Lobbying efforts are critically important in SoCal. Few activities an executive may engage in carry the potential business impact of a lobbying and communications efforts that reflect the corporate objectives and plans for this specific market. It is the well informed business executive who understands that in today’s climate to win there has to be an integrated business development plan to include strategic planning and lobbying.
 
Successful business development is dependent on the implementation of strategies building long term value for a company from the point of view of customers (including government organizations and departments) and stakeholders (community organizations, other businesses and business organizations).
 
It is not easy for international businesses to understand the business and regulatory climate in California. It is complicated. It is based in history that is not always apparent to outsiders.
 
Professionals who have experience in doing business in California and specifically in LA and SoCal have to have experience and understanding of the global markets. Companies coming here want to know that they are getting guidance, advocacy and business advice that is in line with their business growth objectives. More than ever, the old adage of, “think locally; act globally,” applies.
 
ColLAborate has its roots in lobbying and public affairs and is known for advocacy, community outreach, entitlement processing, and business to business projects. Since 2000, the partners have worked on some of the most important projects in LA.
 
Kate Hennigan Ohanesian is founding partner at ColLAborate. Prior to founding the firm, Kate spent more than 12 years serving the City of Los Angeles in various roles, most recently as Economic Development and Legislative Director for Councilmember Paul Koretz. Kate previously served as Senior Policy Director in the Office of Economic and Business Policy for former LA Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, where she was responsible for the Hollywood Film and entertainment community.
 
Cynthia Coulter is a senior consultant to the company who advises on business development opportunities for the firm and brings significant international C-suite experience with a career in international marketing and corporate communications. She is Canadian born, and longtime LA resident who was an executive with California based Fortune 500 companies to successful start-ups. Recently, she worked extensively in the renewable energy/clean tech and sustainability sectors developing successful business opportunities between North America and China.

For more information on ColLAborate, please visit their website, www.collaborate-la.com or contact Cynthia Coulter (cynthia@collaborate-la.com) or Kate Hennigan (kate@collaborate-la.com).