The ever changing face of Inglewood is becoming more apparent as you drive down the avenues and boulevards. And the excitement among residents is palpable. We are building a destination city, and yes, plenty of people with money to spend are going to come. The question is, what will they find when they get here?
It’s time to increase our capacity. If you find yourself out-sold, out-promoted, or even out-placed, you’ll have no one else to blame but yourself. Many times, when change happens, old timers are passed up, and find themselves the victims of change. We all know of immigrants who came to America under the worst of conditions and became extremely successful within a few years. Many had to start off living in the worst parts of town, and didn’t know a word of English. But they worked hard, persevered and sacrificed until they made it, defying all the odds.
On the other hand, there are those who complain that it isn’t fair for newcomers to get a break. But life isn’t fair; you make your own “luck.” If you are an entrepreneur, born in America, if you apply yourself, you have a good shot of succeeding beyond your wildest dreams. Even as a minority, there are still programs and monies set aside to help you succeed in your endeavors.
The phenomenal growth that Inglewood is currently experiencing will only increase once the pipeline of development projects begins to materialize. In 2018, Hollywood Park, the new stadium and the Crenshaw/LAX Metro Rail Project will be up and running. The question is will you still be up and running? Will your home or business reflect the rise of this city?
If you are an Inglewood homeowner, you know your property value is rising and will continue to do so. Have you thought about home improvements so you can build more equity for the future? Even before Inglewood began to turn around, certain parts of the city were known for homes with manicured lawns. Now that outsiders are starting to come in and buy property here, more homes will be getting upgrades. You don’t want to be the only neighbor on the block with a worn roof or garage in need of repair. Now is the time to look into repairs, painting and other improvements.
When the Fabulous Forum opened 15 months ago, it brought thousands of visitors to Inglewood—many who had to find a map to pinpoint where it was. The new influx in business has certainly benefitted local businesses in the area, especially those on Manchester and Prairie. But with increase, comes responsibility. Restaurants can really take advantage of their proximity to the Forum, but they still need to be positioned correctly.
I am talking about making improvements, increasing capacity so restaurant owners can handle the growth of their businesses. This applies to any Inglewood business. If your customer base sudden doubled, could you handle it? Business owners need to think about the future, step up their game, or risk being left behind. Inglewood is like a magnet right now. Outsiders have their eye on the future and are planning when and where to move. As a stakeholder, you must deepen your roots and hold your ground. And the best way to do this is to make sure your business practices are pristine.
Businesses can position themselves to take advantage of the wave of new customers coming to Inglewood. Prepare now by putting together a checklist: Do you need financing? Do you need to hire more people? Get additional insurance or equipment? Should you relocate or renovate your current space? You may not be ready to make these changes now, but you should at least make plans to act in the future.
Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Opportunity is clearly in Inglewood. The question is, are you prepared? Don’t get mad if an outsider moves in and takes some of the business, when you should have stepped your game up long ago. If you’ve been in this city for years, you have built relationships that will stand the test of time. Don’t let what you’ve built be destroyed because you would not take action to maintain it.
A city with a dominate minority population does not often attract the kind of interest, money and opportunity that Inglewood has and there is no guarantee of the future. So now is the time to step up and ride this wave and give your home or business all that you’ve got. Build yourself, your home and your business so you will have something to really be proud of when the people come.