DVO_week16_3Much like L.A., businesses in Washington, D.C. rely heavily upon appearances to get them through. Not so much movie star good looks - although that can help - it's really about status, but in slightly different ways. For instance, political connections are more valuable, or at least just as valuable, as entertainment connections - although they can also be greatly intertwined.

Politicos have always had a love affair with celebrities. It makes sense, since a celebrity can take an otherwise unknown cause and turn it into a national topic. Whether a business is connected to politics or not, Washington, D.C. has always ranked as one of the top places to run a business. That always kind of surprised me because I'd assumed that the tax structure would be a turn off.

But the great thing is that now, thanks to technology, you can use virtual services to handle day to day business and communications. You can also use conference rooms that are just about everywhere - for a fraction of what it would cost to maintain a space of your own. For new businesses, this is a revelation. It sure beats having to borrow space at someone else's office pad or much worse, the client's place.

All those highfalutin' highly educated lobbyists, lawyers, and senators on the Hill keep that popping D.C. consumer scene going, too. That means anyone with a business that could serve them in just about any way has a lot of potential as well. For instance, retailers have found that the cost of being in the D.C. region are far outweighed by the many opportunities and advantages to access that hot consumer base.

Rent and taxes are higher - but that's to be expected. When you have virtual services and rent conference rooms, that really won't affect you. It also means that you don't have to deal with all that famous red tape Washington is known for. All this makes Washington, D.C. really great for entrepreneurs, so they can get a nice, big bite of that Federal pie!