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What do you need for a successful Florida startup?

Florida has been nicknamed "The New Business Hub." Entrepreneurs who invest their time and money in a business that is part of a booming industry -- such as health, food and beverage and retail -- can find success here in our state if they're able to successfully meet the needs of a population diverse in every way, including age.

Collier County is among the best parts of the state for startups. Of course, so are tourism hubs like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. However, it takes more than a good idea, the right location and a well-thought-out marketing plan to succeed with your Florida startup. Let's look at a few other key ingredients.

Sufficient startup capital: Fortunately, Florida has no shortage of "angel investors" and venture capitalists looking for good investment opportunities. The Sunshine State is also home to almost 200 banks where entrepreneurs can apply for loans.

Well-educated professionals: A business owner is only as good as their team. Savvy entrepreneurs know how to attract smart, hard-working professionals from Florida's large, diverse talent pool who have experience, education and/or skills they might lack.

Online optimization: No matter what kind of company you have, if you're only relying on local advertising and word-of-mouth, you're way behind the curve. Successful companies need an online presence.

Even if you're not a retail establishment that can make online sales, you can use your online presence to attract customers from across the state and around the world. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an industry all its own. SEO experts know how to get your company to the top of search engine results and to use your online presence to attract the people most likely to be looking for your product or service.

Of course, every entrepreneur needs sound legal advice. Florida laws can be complex and confusing. Running afoul of them, even unintentionally, can be costly in time, money and reputation. It's best to seek legal guidance early in the process of starting a new business in Florida.

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