An Online Business Start-Up Platform: The central clearing house of everything needed to successfully start and grow a business
Small businesses are the heart of Long Beach, but getting started is complicated. Many entrepreneurs think that the first step of the process of starting a business is a trip to City Hall. The reality is, there are several steps and pieces of information that need to be gathered before that. The relevant information for entrepreneurs is scattered across departments and work groups making it difficult for city staff to readily share and help entrepreneurs comply with city regulations.
To help entrepreneurs overcome this challenge, we developed a comprehensive on-line business portal – a one stop shop that makes clear the necessary steps and existing resources for entrepreneurs.
We anticipate that BizPort users will have:
- an increased awareness of available resources
- a better chance of successfully completing the business licensing process
- enough support to do better after one year than the national average
We partnered with several UX Design classes at CSULB to quickly generate a body of knowledge around the different business owners and types in Long Beach.
Every time we added a feature to BizPort, we went back to our user base to test it. This feedback loop helped us guarantee the success of the end product.
We were able to have a MVP (minimum viable product) up and running within four months, allowing us to build using user-centered iterations.
Starting a business is difficult, and I don’t know what I don’t know.
– Nancy, restaurant owner downtown
During our initial discovery phase when we explored the broad challenges to economic development, we hypothesized a few initiatives that could help overcome that challenge. Many of these initiatives we rolled into BizPort.
Allows entrepreneurs to track their progress through the business licensing process.
Helps entrepreneurs find applicable financial opportunities available to them.
Through a partnership with the VA, veterans are trained on BizPort and are deployed as resources throughout the city for entrepreneurs.
This training helps build empathy for entrepreneurs in city departments who are a part of startup process.
Simple How-to-Videos available in multiple languages on how to start and grow a business in the City
© 2017 LONG BEACH INNOVATION TEAM