Are you thinking of starting a small business? It’s a fantastic dream, as starting your own small business can transform your life in so many ways and provide some rewarding opportunities. Being an entrepreneur allows you to make your mark on the world and do something good for the planet, if that’s your goal. You can take control of your life and also make a fair bit of money ti support your family, if that’s what’s important. You can also create a legacy for future generations through the wealth and opportunities you give your decendents. Check out the stats below regarding US small businesses to get some insights on this segment of the economy.
Obviously, there are also many downsides to starting a small business, including the potential for acquiring significant debt (and incorporation only protects you to some extent from this becoming personal debt), the tendency of a small business to envelop every available second of your time, and the stress that comes from being the one in charge of everything. Also, the failure rate for small businesses is high; with 20% failing the first year, 30% by the end of year 1, and 50% failing to survive after 5 years [source]. That’s something to consider seriously before deciding to hang your shingle or start a shop.
An undeniable benefit to owning your own business is being your own boss, with the freedom and power to do whatever you want to do. If your hometown doesn’t inspire you to achieve great things then you might consider starting a small business someplace else, someplace that inspires you. You have a whole world of opportunity out there from which to choose, but one of the best places to fulfill your dreams of starting a small business might just be California.
Starting a small business in California
If you’ve never considered moving out West, this suggestion might seem like it’s coming out of left field. However, if you ever visited California before, especially if you ever spent a significant amount of time there, you can likely put your finger on at least a few reasons why California makes the perfect home for your small business. Here are some great reasons why The Golden State is the place to be.
A booming economy
California boasts the fifth largest economy in the world, with a deluge of tech and entertainment companies appearing over the past few decades. There are so many opportunities for starting a business in the state that goes beyond your first thoughts of California as Silicone Valley or Hollywood. First, these industries created so much wealth that the economy can support businesses of all types that cater to that wealth and the money trickling down from it. As a budding entrepreneur, you will find so many wealthy clients and investments ready to do business with you.
If you’re more interested in social entrepreneurship, you find that California faces a crisis of the unhoused that really needs a unique approach. For instance, you might consider starting a chain of tiny houses or 3D-printed homes (like the ones shown below) as a solution for those who can’t afford the exorbitant housing prices in much of the state.
You might also consider the ethnic diversity of the state that rivals that of every other state. This opens up opportunities for reaching these markets. The same is true for reaching LGBTQ markets/
Also, consider that California (along with a small number of other states) are really very fashion-forward. This extends beyond clothing and accessories to include furnishings and other lifestyle elements.
Huge talent pool
Although you might start your adventure as a one-person operation, eventually you will need to supplement your own labor by hiring some employees or outsourcing various aspects of your business as you scale your efforts. California is one of the best places to find workers, as there is a huge pool of talent available to you and the state recently committed more money for job training to improve the skills of workers in the state. You’ll find workers with every skill level from entry to high-tech skills to those with skills for the hospitality industry. For decades, people actively moved to California for employment opportunities, so you will no doubt find many skilled applicants ready to start a career with your company.
Everyone knows that business success is all about connections, and what better place to expand your professional network than California? There is a vast wealth of California trade shows, conferences, and other industry events you can attend. And, the convention capital of the world is only a few hour’s drive away in Las Vegas. Print out some business cards and start introducing yourself to people at as many events as you can find in your industry or those related to your industry. It’s only a matter of time before the next business opportunity comes along from your networking efforts.
The climate in California is temperate all year round, with gorgeous sunshine in the summer and comfortable cool climes throughout winter. It’s a comfortable place to live and work, and few people who move to the West coast end up regretting it. Being warm may be little more than a nice perk, but if you run a business that relies on good weather, it’s a serious consideration.
For instance, you can start out with a little food truck with a few outside tables to keep costs down before generating enough capital to move into a restaurant. A new trend revolves around Cannabis and you’ll find small outdoor restaurants popping up (with the aid of fans that remove residual smoke from the air) to cater to those who want to imbibe with their dinner.
With all this in mind, how does one just get up and start a new life in California? You will find there are some initial logistics to get your head around so start planning your transition well in advance. You’ll need to know things like where to find the best office space, how to register a company in the state and how to get a tax ID number in California. But once you have cleared these hurdles you are ready to start growing your business and making money.
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