Best Places to Raise a Family
For IT freelancers who want a comfortable life in a city with one of the best school districts in the country (Plano Independent School District is ranked 81st in the nation, according to Niche) and reasonable housing costs, it's hard to beat Plano. The city is known for short commutes (typically around 25 minutes), and low crime rates. Plano was also rated second on Livability's list of Best Places to Raise a Family in 2015, so it's a great choice if you're in nesting mode.
The city's large corporations create opportunity for both freelancers and small businesses. According to statistics compiled by Plano Economic Development, more than 21,000 people in Plano work in IT. While many are employed at large corporations like Hewlett Packard and Dell Services, others work as solopreneurs or run their own businesses.
If you're looking to connect with other creators and entrepreneurs, you might want to check out TheLab.ms, where those in tech can connect both online and in person in a collaborative workspace, but networking with the general business community is also a snap.
"I spent 30 years in corporate, I went back and got my MBA and started my company and I will never ever get laid off again," says Brian Padden, owner of HxP Telecom & Cloud Solutions. "There are a lot of technical organizations [in Plano] that have monthly meetings. It's easy to meet people and to network because it's very social down here. I would say it’s the best place in the world for freelance consultants."
Mo Nilforoushan, owner and president of TeamLogic IT in Plano, said the number of businesses and the size of the city's technical community are two factors that led him to found his business here.
"I said to myself, with all these technical people and companies moving to Plano, if I cannot do business in Plano I should never get into business," says Nilforoushan. "So I started TeamLogic IT. It’s a franchise, but I basically have my own company. Plano is a center for freelance and the reason is because we have big companies and small companies. Really, if anybody wants to start from scratch and start their own company, there are so many opportunities here."