Where could your business or future business succeed in 2014? Some promising opportunities exist across the country, for businesses of all sizes and risk levels.
From Silicon Valley to America's Heartland, the following five American cities could be the ticket to business success in 2014:
1. Des Moines, Iowa
Ranking first overall by Forbes for the Best Place for Business and Careers in 2013, Des Moines is another favorite heading into 2014 due to lower business costs.
At 17 percent below the national average, businesses can get started with less capital in a city that has the highest concentration of financial services employment - also according to Forbes. Add a lower cost of living, and you have a recipe for business success.
2. Austin, Texas
It's not just the food. Austin is an excellent spot for young professionals, and has landed the top spot as Most Business-Friendly city from CNN Money, due to its arts and culture.
Particularly noteworthy is Austin's cost of living, which is at seven percent lower than the national average.
As the home of the South by Southwest conference that features entertainment, music, and technology, it is only natural that businesses are drawn to the business climate in Austin - as well the climate itself.
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3. Raleigh, North Carolina
This North Carolina city has always caught the eye of entrepreneurs, due to a highly educated workforce and high quality family life. Of course, Research Triangle Park also brings a lot to the table.
The area also boasts an impressive education system, with the likes of Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina in the immediate to surrounding area. High research produces a nice pool of graduates that can boost local businesses looking to grow.
4. San Francisco, California
In a city that is filled with investors, opportunities, and an array of skilled workers, San Francisco is always going to be on this type of list.
Kiplinger reports that the city had $4.4 billion in start-up funds through the first nine months of 2012, which was 21.9 percent of the country's venture capital investments and $1.2 billion more than the next area (San Jose).
And while San Francisco isn't winning awards for its cost of living, the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area provides one of the most interesting business opportunities in the country.
5. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Could Pittsburgh be that diamond in the rough? With a healthy dose of entrepreneurial resources in the area, that could be the case.
Pittsburgh has tech start-up accelerator AlphaLab, the Allegheny Conference of Community Development, state-sponsored economic development group Innovation Works, and considerable sources of funding with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon - the latter of which is home to 118 research institutes and centers and has, on average, launched 15 to 20 start-ups a year, according to Kiplinger.
These five cities should certainly be a great source for businesses looking for interesting opportunities in 2014.
About the author
Brian Neese is an author that specializes in content marketing, social media, and SEO. He writes about technology, the best bachelor degree jobs, marketing, and much more.