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Guide to Starting, Protecting, and Running a Business in California

Is there a better place in the world to start a business than California?

The Golden State is home to many booming industries, so you’ll have your pick of the litter. Countless people head west to make their dreams come true, so why not you?

Today, we’re going to give you some guidance on starting a business in California. Yes, California is beautiful and synonymous with success, but for as many people that have found happiness here, just as many have been chewed up and spit out.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the world of entertainment or you’re breaking into tech, you’ve got to put thousands of hours into your business if you want to make it as an entrepreneur. Don’t let the sunny, relaxed vibes distract you. 

Starting a Business in California

If you’re going to get your new business off the ground quickly, then you’ll need to find your little corner of a market to call your own. In the business world, this is called “finding your niche” and it’s absolutely necessary when figuring it what it is your business will be doing.

Finding Your Niche

You’ll probably have some idea of what you want to do. Maybe you’re a clothing designer and you want to open up an LA-based boutique. Finding your niche is recognizing that there’s going to be dozens of other clothing boutiques that already have a customer-base in LA, then figuring out how you’ll be able to fit in.

Often, just a minor tweak to your business idea will be enough to get started. Remember, great businesses develop over time, so try to get your foot in the door now and expand on your brand and business once you know what you’re doing.

Business Planning

It’s a liberating feeling to get this out of the way. The next thing you’ll have to do is write out a business plan. This outlines everything that you need to do ahead of your business launch.

Market research, investments, learning about registration and taxes, and figuring out how to promote yourself are all important parts of the business plan. Learning what you can and can’t do with regards to your physical location and online marketing (ie. what is CCPA, what are zoning laws?) is important as well.

You can cover anything you want. A business plan mainly acts as a guide throughout the early stages of running your business.

Logistics

Next, you’ll want to secure financing for your company. If you’re going into it with startup capital, then you’re in the clear. If not, go to the bank with your business plan and get a business loan.

During this process, you’ll have to choose an entity type. Are you an LLC, LLP, corporation, or sole proprietor? This, along with a solid business name will make it all official in the eyes of the government.

After you’re set-up, you can find a physical location for your business to operate out of. For most people in the beginning phases of entrepreneurship, this is your home or apartment. If you’re a clothing shop, to use the example from earlier, you’ll need a brick and mortar.

Marketing

Since it’s 2019, your digital presence is just as important as your physical one. Get your website launched along with your social media profiles. You’re going to need these things to formulate a digital marketing plan, so you can get an initial customer base.

Start producing content right away and begin forging online relationships with people and other businesses in your area. It can be tough to stand out online these days, so do a lot of research on current digital marketing and SEO practices so that you can get your foot in the door.

Grow Your Business Organically

When you’re starting a business in California, things have a tendency to move pretty fast. A lot of entrepreneurs here get a whiff of success and try to grow too fast. Let your young company grow organically and don’t force yourself in where you don’t belong. 

Follow this guide to get started and follow your gut on these initial big decisions. More often than not, that’s what pays off the most.

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