Thanks to Austin's vibrant art and music scene, firms like ad agency Broken Records don't have to shell out big bucks to wine and dine clients. Instead, they introduce them to great local bands.
The capital of Texas ranks no. 1 for small business friendliness, according to Thumbtack's latest annual survey. Entrepreneurs say it's easy to start a business there, networking is top-notch, taxes are low, regulations are light, and hiring is a breeze.
But what really sets Austin apart is a culture that embraces new ideas -- its annual South by Southwest entrepreneurial festival is just one example. That culture goes out of its way to support new businesses.
For example, many bar owners let Rick Orr go behind their counters to explore their computer systems. His company, TabbedOut, has since designed a smartphone app that helps customers quickly split restaurant checks.
Clayton Christopher, co-founder of liquor company Deep Eddy Vodka, said: "People are very open to making introductions and helping each other out."