Budding entrepreneurs across the United States are breathing life into their startup business ideas from the comfort of their homes. There are all kinds of platforms, channels, and revolutionary apps which have facilitated this, enabling upcoming small business owners to discuss, distribute, and analyze their potentials online. However, a great company needs to be more than just an idea; eventually it needs a location. If you’re looking to launch on the West Coast, here’s what you need to know.
Is California Small Business-Friendly?
Although California has a complex (and seemingly overwhelming) tax code, most its 3,622,304 SMB owners report that they’re comfortable doing business in this state. California has the largest population across the nation—38.8 million residents, according to the 2014 US census. Furthermore, California boast a higher income per capita than other states’ average, making it an ideal place to launch a new business and reach interested customers, as well as potential investors.
Most of California’s affluent population clusters along the West Coast and regions of coastal counties neighboring Silicon Valley and Hollywood. This is where startup businesses thrive. Aside from hosting spend-happy potential customers, the inland counties in California are home to people interested in blue-collar jobs, perfect if you’re looking to kickstart your manufacturing. Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau estimate that SMBs contributed about 6,471,608 jobs to the state of California in 2012. Small businesses—and their employees—continue to thrive. At a gross state product of $2.3 trillion, California contributed about 13% of the nation’s GDP, as compiled recently by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
To wrap it up, starting a small business is still a hard journey. But by launching a small business in California, you will have a special advantage that you won’t find elsewhere.
Tip #1: Find a Mentor
As you get started, having a mentor at your right hand will significantly increase your likelihood of success. The mentor will play a role similar to your financier or investor, and there are quite a number of reputable angel investors on the West Coast to borrow a leaf from. Seeking advice or funding from renowned investors or entrepreneurial mentors is not setting too high expectations, but expecting them to start mentoring you immediately is! Good things don’t come fast or easy, and since the journey to success in today’s murky business waters is rough, this will take some patience.
Tip #2: Utilize Customer Feedback
Using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies is still the best way to attract consistent traffic to your company site. The challenge however, is getting that traffic in the first place—especially if your company has negative reviews on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, Foursquare, or Glassdoor. Your duty is to design a credible website and, if necessary, fix any major flaws/complaints listed on the aforementioned reviews sites.
You’re busy enough as a small business owner; don’t add doing your own SEO to that long to-do list. Find a credible, white-hat SEO service to optimize your site for you. They should also thoroughly research on your target market so you’re reaching the right audience—potential customers who are most likely to spend money on your business. By utilizing unique local SEO keywords and other techniques, you can captivate your audience and combat critical voices.