August 23, 2019  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Iowa Entrepreneurs  
  Ames, Iowa Resources for Entrepreneurs is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Opening a Business in Ames, Iowa

Contemplating starting a business in Ames, Iowa? We walk you through the process of opening a business in Ames.

Are You Ready for the Challenges of Being an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneurial life is difficult, much harder than working as an employee. Are you sure you have the stamina and skills to succeed on your own?

Here are three things we recommend you do before you fully commit to starting a new business of your own.

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Ames. Listen closely to their experiences and see if you think you too can be successful.
  • We recommend reading Why Small Businesses Fail. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Get feedback from somebody whom you trust. Ask them directly: Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Listen carefully to their answer, as they presumably know your strengths and weaknesses.

What Business Are You Starting?

There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? If you are struggling with what type of business to start, read Free Business Ideas.

To view an extensive list of business types, complete with startup instructions, spend some time in the Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our How to Start a Liquid & Bulk Storage Business guide or our Opening a Metal Sculptures Business guide.

Remember that starting a business in Ames has some implications. Some businesses will do better in Ames than others. Only by spending some time analyzing Ames demographics can you decide if there will be strong demand for your business idea.

Ames, Iowa Demographic Information

Ames has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.

To give you a better feel for Ames demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Ames.

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 7296
5-9 Employees 3480
10-19 Employees 2664
20-49 Employees 1956
50-99 Employees 564
100-249 Employees 396
250-499 Employees 36
500-999 Employees 36
1000+ Employees 12
All Ames Businesses 16440

As a new Ames entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Ames for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.

Business Type # of
Abrasive Product Manufacturing 1
Advertising Agencies 1
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 1
Architectural Services 8
Armored Car Services 1
Art Dealers 2
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 2
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 11
Automotive Transmission Repair 1
Baked Goods Stores 2
Beauty Salons 15
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 2
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 3
Blood and Organ Banks 1
Book Stores 4
Bowling Centers 1
Building Inspection Services 1
Business Associations 13
Business to Business Electronic Markets 1
Cable and Other Program Distribution 1
Cafeterias 1
Car Washes 3
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 4
Charter Bus Industry 1
Child and Youth Services 1
Child Day Care Services 16
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 1
Civic and Social Organizations 17
Claims Adjusting 1
Clothing Accessories Stores 3
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 3
Commercial Photography 1
Commercial Screen Printing 1
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 2
Computer and Software Stores 1
Computer Facilities Management Services 1
Computer Systems Design Services 8
Computer Training 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 2
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 1
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 3
Convenience Stores 1
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 1
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 2
Credit Unions 5
Custom Computer Programming Services 17
Dance Companies 1
Dental Laboratories 2
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 1
Direct Mail Advertising 1
Discount Department Stores 3
Document Preparation Services 1
Drafting Services 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 15
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 1
Educational Support Services 2
Electric Power Distribution 1
Electrical Contractors 8
Electronic Shopping 1
Elementary and Secondary Schools 1
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 1
Engineering Services 20
Environmental Consulting Services 2
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 2
Facilities Support Services 1
Family Clothing Stores 8
Family Planning Centers 1
Farm Management Services 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 1
Fine Arts Schools 4
Finish Carpentry Contractors 2
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 10
Floor Covering Stores 2
Florists 3
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 3
Food Service Contractors 2
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 1
Framing Contractors 6
Freight Transportation Arrangement 2
Full-Service Restaurants 58
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 2
Furniture Stores 4
General Automotive Repair 15
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
General Rental Centers 3
General Warehousing and Storage 2
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 10
Glass and Glazing Contractors 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 3
Grantmaking Foundations 3
Graphic Design Services 2
Hardware Stores 2
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 3
Home Centers 2
Home Health Care Services 2
Homes for the Elderly 2
Household Appliance Stores 4
Ice Manufacturing 1
Industrial Launderers 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 28
Interior Design Services 2
Internet Service Providers 1
Investment Advice 3
Janitorial Services 14
Jewelry Stores 5
Land Subdivision 4
Landscape Architectural Services 1
Landscaping Services 14
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 2
Limited-Service Restaurants 52
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 1
Locksmiths 1
Machine Shops 1
Mail-Order Houses 2
Manifold Business Forms Printing 1
Marinas 1
Marketing Consulting Services 1
Masonry Contractors 2
Meat Processed from Carcasses 1
Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing 1
Men's Clothing Stores 5
Mobile Food Services 2
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 5
Motion Picture and Video Production 3
Motor Vehicle Towing 2
Motorcycle Dealers 2
Museums 1
Musical Groups and Artists 1
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 2
New Car Dealers 4
New Housing Operative Builders 5
Newspaper Publishers 4
Nonresidential Property Managers 3
Nursing Care Facilities 2
Office Administrative Services 4
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 1
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 1
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 11
Offices of Chiropractors 13
Offices of Dentists 22
Offices of Lawyers 12
Offices of Optometrists 3
Offices of Podiatrists 2
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 2
One-Hour Photofinishing 2
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 2
Optical Goods Stores 4
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 2
Paging 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 3
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 7
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 3
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 3
Photography Studios, Portrait 6
Plastics Bag Manufacturing 1
Plastics Bottle Manufacturing 1
Portfolio Management 1
Poultry Processing 1
Professional Organizations 2
Quick Printing 1
Radio Stations 2
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 2
Residential Property Managers 13
Residential Remodelers 9
Roofing Contractors 5
Rooming and Boarding Houses 25
Savings Institutions 5
School and Employee Bus Transportation 1
Securities Brokerage 10
Shoe Stores 9
Siding Contractors 2
Sign Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 2
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 13
Software Publishers 2
Solid Waste Collection 2
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Sporting Goods Stores 3
Sports and Recreation Instruction 2
Tax Preparation Services 2
Telemarketing Bureaus 2
Temporary Help Services 2
Temporary Shelters 3
Testing Laboratories 2
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 1
Tire Dealers 6
Tire Retreading 1
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 2
Travel Agencies 4
Used Car Dealers 2
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 2
Used Merchandise Stores 5
Vending Machine Operators 1
Veterinary Services 4
Video Tape and Disc Rental 4
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 2
Voluntary Health Organizations 1
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 8
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 4
Women's Clothing Stores 7

Raising Funding for Your Venture

Finding the funds to fuel the growth of your Ames business requires strong organization skills and perseverance. The reality is that there is very little funding available for new small businesses, and you have to explore every possible alternative.

Take advantage of our many articles on raising capital, such as 504 Loans.

For Ames entrepreneurs who want to raise money for a new venture, browse our List of Iowa Angel Investors and our List of Iowa Venture Capital Firms.

Getting the Word Out About Your New Venture

Whether your goal is to attract Ames customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your succeeding.

You can learn quite a bit about marketing on our site. Promoting an Online Business is an article that will stimulate a few thoughts on your marketing plan. That's just a sampling of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

How to Sell

Do you know how to sell? In order to attract customers to your new Ames business, you need to focus on sales.

Good selling involves demonstrating that your wares meet your customer's needs. Let us help you refine your selling techniques through our many useful sales advice tips.

Landing Big Customers is a good article to read, one of dozens in the Selling for Entrepreneurs section of our site.

Never Give Up

As an entrepreneur in Ames, you won't be working for the boss anymore. You are the boss.

If you choose the right business and love what you do, you will greatly increase your odds of success.

This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Ames and elsewhere to achieve real success. We have a wealth of experience in business start-ups, financing, marketing, sales and more...and we've made all of our knowledge available to you.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Ames, Iowa

Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Ames.

  • Resources for Ames, Iowa Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Ames entrepreneurs.
  • Iowa Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Iowa.
  • Iowa Small Business Development Center - The Iowa SBDC conducts research, counsels, and trains business people in management, financing, and operating small businesses. They provide comprehensive information services and access to experts in a variety of fields. This is a great resource for Iowa entrepreneurs!



Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business

Writing a Business Plan

Raising Money


Small Business Marketing

Advertising Advice

Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips

Entrepreneurial Selling

Workplace Safety