Deep in the heart of Texas, many would tell you that when it comes to "big and bright," that's exclusively the realm of the stars at night and the lights that shine down upon Friday clashes on the gridiron.
However, the leaders gathered at the Houstonian for Inc.'s celebration of Texas entrepreneurs rightly put the rapidly growing and evolving entrepreneurial sector alongside the state's revered stars and brisket.
Sound like a little bit of Texas bravado? They've earned it.
Texas has close to 400 companies on the 2012 Inc. 5000 list. And since 2008, Texas has skyrocketed into the top 10 of the State Entrepreneurial Index rankings, passing 26 states in the process. Texas entrepreneurs are creating their own wells of success that show no signs of running dry anytime soon.
So what is it about Texas that has these entrepreneurs enjoying such fantastic growth? What are these leaders doing that you can emulate for your own company? Here are three reasons our event panel thinks Texas entrepreneurs are kicking their competition all over the place and what you can do for your own business to not fall behind:
1. Friendly Regulatory Environment
With a state legislature that goes into session on a less frequent basis than their counterparts, businesses get a chance to live and breathe without constantly readjusting to new regulatory guidelines.
Panel tip: Do your research. Put yourself in an environment that supports your business efforts. Yes, that might mean moving your business.
2. The People Have Heart
To paraphrase Jerry Lasco, Houston-based entrepreneur and CEO of Lasco Enterprises, the friendliness of people in Texas translates directly into howhis team works together and delivers an amazing experience for his customers. Building great cultures is easy when you have people willing to invest more than just their skills into it.
Panel tip: Prioritize culture. Communicate your values clearly. When you bring in good people, they'll attract more good people. As Lasco said, "Be a great fit for 1 percent of applicants instead of an okay fit for 50 percent."
3. Independent Spirit
For as much as Texas has always been a bit of an independent entity, that same spirit lends itself to creating great entrepreneurs who want to build the business on their own and enable their fellow Texans to do the same.
Panel tip: Control your own destiny and don't be afraid of the lessons that come from failing on your own. As panelist Nina Vaca, chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources said, "When my company was on the brink of bankruptcy, I bought out my partners. Things were dire, but I was in control of where we went from there. That's a powerful place to be."
So remember, while Texas still has unbearably hot summers and fire ants to deal with, it's a tremendously supportive and enabling place to build a business. No cowboy boots or spurs required.