April 26, 2019  
 
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Iowa Entrepreneurs  
  Cedar Rapids, Iowa Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Thinking about starting a business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? This step-by-step guide walks you through the major decisions you should consider before opening a new business in Cedar Rapids.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees 10316
5-9 Employees 4784
10-19 Employees 3774
20-49 Employees 2640
50-99 Employees 1008
100-249 Employees 570
250-499 Employees 168
500-999 Employees 60
1000+ Employees 36
All Cedar Rapids Businesses 23356

As a new Cedar Rapids entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Cedar Rapids 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
Businesses
Advertising Agencies 7
Aircraft Manufacturing 1
Amusement Arcades 3
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 2
Apprenticeship Training 3
Architectural Services 11
Art Dealers 6
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 2
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 5
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 24
Automotive Transmission Repair 5
Baked Goods Stores 2
Beauty Salons 53
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 4
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 3
Blood and Organ Banks 1
Boat Dealers 3
Book Publishers 4
Book Stores 7
Bowling Centers 4
Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing 3
Building Inspection Services 4
Business Associations 7
Business to Business Electronic Markets 3
Cable and Other Program Distribution 4
Cafeterias 3
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 2
Car Washes 11
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 9
Caterers 4
Cemeteries and Crematories 7
Child and Youth Services 4
Child Day Care Services 42
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 3
Civic and Social Organizations 22
Claims Adjusting 3
Clothing Accessories Stores 4
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 5
Collection Agencies 1
Commercial Bakeries 2
Commercial Flexographic Printing 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 6
Commercial Photography 1
Commercial Screen Printing 9
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 3
Commodity Contracts Dealing 1
Community Food Services 2
Computer and Software Stores 8
Computer Facilities Management Services 1
Computer Systems Design Services 31
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Concrete Pipe Manufacturing 1
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 1
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 2
Consumer Lending 6
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 4
Convenience Stores 1
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 2
Copper Rolling, Drawing, and Extruding 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 7
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 3
Credit Unions 18
Custom Computer Programming Services 25
Dental Laboratories 9
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 1
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 4
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 12
Direct Mail Advertising 4
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 4
Discount Department Stores 4
Display Advertising 3
Document Preparation Services 2
Drafting Services 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 58
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 13
Educational Support Services 2
Electric Power Distribution 7
Electrical Contractors 29
Electronic Auctions 1
Electronic Shopping 6
Elementary and Secondary Schools 11
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 5
Engineering Services 28
Environmental Consulting Services 2
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 3
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 7
Family Clothing Stores 17
Family Planning Centers 4
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 2
Fine Arts Schools 7
Finish Carpentry Contractors 9
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 18
Flight Training 1
Floor Covering Stores 11
Flooring Contractors 9
Florists 6
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 6
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 1
Food Service Contractors 14
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 1
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 3
Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation 1
Framing Contractors 10
Freight Transportation Arrangement 9
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 1
Full-Service Restaurants 110
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 7
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 5
Furniture Stores 12
General Automotive Repair 38
General Freight Trucking, Local 16
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 2
General Rental Centers 3
General Warehousing and Storage 6
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 22
Glass and Glazing Contractors 4
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 4
Grantmaking Foundations 6
Graphic Design Services 9
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 3
Hardware Stores 8
Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal 1
Historical Sites 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 7
Home Centers 4
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 2
Home Health Care Services 11
Home Health Equipment Rental 3
Homes for the Elderly 4
Household Appliance Stores 8
Human Rights Organizations 2
Industrial Building Construction 3
Industrial Launderers 4
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 103
Interior Design Services 4
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 1
Internet Service Providers 3
Investigation Services 4
Investment Advice 15
Iron and Steel Forging 1
Iron Foundries 1
Irradiation Apparatus Manufacturing 1
Janitorial Services 44
Jewelry Stores 14
Junior Colleges 1
Land Subdivision 2
Landscape Architectural Services 2
Landscaping Services 35
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 11
Limited-Service Restaurants 114
Limousine Service 1
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 7
Locksmiths 4
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 1
Machine Shops 9
Mail-Order Houses 4
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 2
Marketing Consulting Services 9
Masonry Contractors 5
Materials Recovery Facilities 1
Meat Markets 5
Meat Processed from Carcasses 2
Media Representatives 1
Medical Laboratories 5
Men's Clothing Stores 5
Miscellaneous Intermediation 2
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 11
Motion Picture and Video Production 2
Motor Vehicle Towing 3
Motorcycle Dealers 3
Museums 4
Musical Groups and Artists 2
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 5
Nail Salons 1
Natural Gas Distribution 1
New Car Dealers 12
New Housing Operative Builders 8
News Dealers and Newsstands 1
Newspaper Publishers 3
Nonresidential Property Managers 3
Nursing Care Facilities 7
Office Administrative Services 16
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 14
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 5
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 3
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 21
Offices of Chiropractors 31
Offices of Dentists 67
Offices of Lawyers 95
Offices of Optometrists 9
Offices of Other Holding Companies 5
Offices of Podiatrists 5
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 9
One-Hour Photofinishing 3
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 1
Optical Goods Stores 11
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 1
Packaging and Labeling Services 2
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing 1
Packing and Crating 3
Paging 1
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 9
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 25
Paper Industry Machinery Manufacturing 1
Parking Lots and Garages 5
Passenger Car Leasing 2
Passenger Car Rental 5
Periodical Publishers 4
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 3
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 6
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 4
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 24
Photography Studios, Portrait 10
Plastics Bag Manufacturing 1
Political Organizations 2
Portfolio Management 4
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 3
Prepress Services 1
Professional Employer Organizations 1
Professional Organizations 2
Public Relations Agencies 1
Quick Printing 5
Radio Stations 5
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 3
Real Estate Credit 15
Real Estate Investment Trusts 2
Recreational Goods Rental 1
Reinsurance Carriers 1
Remediation Services 2
Repossession Services 1
Residential Property Managers 13
Residential Remodelers 24
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 5
Roofing Contractors 15
Rooming and Boarding Houses 1
Sales Financing 3
Savings Institutions 8
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 5
Secondary Market Financing 1
Securities Brokerage 31
Security Guards and Patrol Services 6
Septic Tank and Related Services 2
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 2
Shoe Stores 12
Siding Contractors 9
Sign Manufacturing 5
Site Preparation Contractors 4
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 25
Software Publishers 6
Solid Waste Collection 4
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Soybean Processing 3
Sporting Goods Stores 16
Sports and Recreation Instruction 6
Sports Teams and Clubs 1
Tax Preparation Services 16
Taxi Service 2
Telecommunications Resellers 1
Telemarketing Bureaus 6
Telephone Answering Services 2
Television Broadcasting 4
Temporary Help Services 28
Temporary Shelters 4
Testing Laboratories 2
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 3
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 1
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 2
Tire Dealers 17
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 1
Toilet Preparation Manufacturing 1
Tour Operators 2
Tradebinding and Related Work 1
Translation and Interpretation Services 2
Travel Agencies 6
Truck Trailer Manufacturing 1
Used Car Dealers 17
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 4
Used Merchandise Stores 22
Vending Machine Operators 5
Veterinary Services 14
Video Tape and Disc Rental 9
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 3
Voluntary Health Organizations 7
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 5
Wet Corn Milling 3
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 34
Window Treatment Stores 2
Wineries 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 31
Women's Clothing Stores 16
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 1

Have You Considered Franchising?

Examine a list of Cedar Rapids businesses and you'll notice that many local entrepreneurs have gone the franchising route. Should you be giving franchising serious consideration?

Our recommendation is that you consider franchising as an option. This site has dozens of articles on franchising, such as The Franchising Process. Become a franchising expert of sorts by reading more of our Articles on Franchising.

To learn about specific franchise opportunities, check out our Franchise Directory.

Sample franchise opportunities include Stone Mountain / GCO Flooring Outlets and Global Recruiters Network. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as B2B Franchises and Hair Styling Franchises.

Note on Cedar Rapids Franchise Opportunities: You will need to contact franchisors directly to see if their franchises are available in Cedar Rapids.

Have You Considered Buying an Existing Cedar Rapids Business?

An excellent way to get started in business is to Buy a Business in Iowa. Follow that link and you might discover several good businesses for sale in Cedar Rapids.

If you are serious about buying a business, you may want to read this article: How to Buy a Business.

Company Formation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

It's very important that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will separate you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

When forming a company, you will decide among many company types, such as a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

Incorporation is a very common way to legally create a business entity. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. Just because you are starting a business in Iowa, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Iowa. In fact, you can incorporate in the state of your choosing. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

There's a lot to know about forming a company. To learn the basics of company formation, browse articles on our site, such as Incorporating Online. You may also want to seek the advice of an lawyer. On a final note, since you will be starting a business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, our web page covering Incorporating in Iowa may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Iowa.

Raising Money for Your New Venture

Raising money to fund your new Cedar Rapids business is not an easy task. Bootstrapping, which means growing the business without outside funding, is the best alternative, but that's not a viable option for many startup plans.

To learn about raising money, we recommend you read the fundraising articles on our site, such as 504 Loans.

For Cedar Rapids entrepreneurs on the hunt for startup funding, browse our List of Iowa Angel Investors and our List of Iowa Venture Capital Firms.

Ramping Up Sales

Being able to sell is essential to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Cedar Rapids or are selling to customers throughout Iowa, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.

The key to selling is to set sales goals goals and monitor your progress towards those goals. Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.

Selling Products on eBay offers some helpful tips on how to sell. It's one of several good articles on our site regarding Entrepreneurial Selling.

Next Steps

You have a dream -- starting a business in Cedar Rapids. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.

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 Cedar Rapids and elsewhere to achieve real success. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Cedar Rapids, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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

  • Resources for Cedar Rapids, Iowa Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Cedar Rapids 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!
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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business

Writing a Business Plan

Raising Money

Incorporate

Small Business Marketing

Advertising Advice

Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips

Entrepreneurial Selling

Workplace Safety