October 25, 2014  
 
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Missouri Entrepreneurs  
  Columbia, Missouri Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Open a Business in Columbia, Missouri

Need help starting a business in Columbia, Missouri? We've got the information you need to open a business in Columbia.

Are You Ready for Life as an Owner?

Most new businesses do not succeed, in part because the founder did not have the entrepreneurial skills and traits needed to succeed. So, before you start your business, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.

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 Columbia. Listen closely to their experiences and see if you think you too can be successful.
  • We recommend reading Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Seek the advice of somebody who knows you well. 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 to Start

An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. To stir your creative juices on what kind of business to start, take a look at Free Business Ideas.

For in-depth how-to guides on how to start specific businesses, browse our Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Starting an Ornamental Shrub & Tree Services Business guide or our Opening a Sound Level Testing Business guide.

Remember that starting a business in Columbia has some implications. Some businesses will do better in Columbia than others. Make sure you fully understand Columbia demographics before you lock in on your business idea.

Columbia, Missouri Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees 81214
5-9 Employees 29386
10-19 Employees 21840
20-49 Employees 14280
50-99 Employees 4368
100-249 Employees 2646
250-499 Employees 672
500-999 Employees 336
1000+ Employees 168
All Columbia Businesses 154910

As a new Columbia entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Columbia 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 11
Amusement Arcades 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 1
Architectural Services 17
Armored Car Services 1
Art Dealers 2
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 3
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 7
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 23
Automotive Transmission Repair 5
Baked Goods Stores 2
Beauty Salons 47
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 2
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 2
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 1
Blood and Organ Banks 5
Boat Dealers 2
Book Publishers 1
Book Stores 6
Bowling Centers 1
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills 1
Building Inspection Services 1
Business Associations 14
Cable and Other Program Distribution 6
Cafeterias 3
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 1
Car Washes 12
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 9
Casinos (except Casino Hotels) 1
Caterers 5
Cemeteries and Crematories 2
Charter Bus Industry 1
Child and Youth Services 6
Child Day Care Services 65
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 5
Civic and Social Organizations 20
Claims Adjusting 2
Clothing Accessories Stores 4
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 3
Collection Agencies 5
Commercial Lithographic Printing 4
Commercial Photography 2
Commercial Screen Printing 3
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 1
Community Food Services 3
Computer and Software Stores 5
Computer Systems Design Services 15
Confectionery and Nut Stores 2
Consumer Lending 12
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 5
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 2
Couriers 11
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 3
Credit Bureaus 1
Credit Unions 4
Custom Computer Programming Services 19
Dental Laboratories 4
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 3
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 2
Digital Printing 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 5
Direct Mail Advertising 1
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 1
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 3
Discount Department Stores 4
Display Advertising 1
Document Preparation Services 1
Drafting Services 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 28
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 18
Educational Support Services 3
Electric Power Distribution 3
Electrical Contractors 29
Electronic Auctions 2
Electronic Shopping 3
Elementary and Secondary Schools 7
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 3
Engineering Services 25
Environmental Consulting Services 3
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 5
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 5
Family Clothing Stores 15
Family Planning Centers 1
Farm Management Services 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 2
Fine Arts Schools 8
Finish Carpentry Contractors 23
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 12
Floor Covering Stores 7
Flooring Contractors 8
Florists 6
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 5
Food Service Contractors 11
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 1
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 1
Framing Contractors 18
Freight Transportation Arrangement 4
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 2
Full-Service Restaurants 118
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 4
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 3
Furniture Stores 22
General Automotive Repair 37
General Freight Trucking, Local 5
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 5
General Rental Centers 2
General Warehousing and Storage 4
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 19
Glass and Glazing Contractors 2
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 2
Grantmaking Foundations 4
Graphic Design Services 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 2
Hardware Stores 2
Historical Sites 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 7
Home Centers 5
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 2
Home Health Care Services 17
Home Health Equipment Rental 4
Homes for the Elderly 5
Household Appliance Stores 9
Human Rights Organizations 1
Industrial Building Construction 1
Industrial Launderers 1
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 86
Interior Design Services 6
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 2
Internet Service Providers 3
Investigation Services 1
Investment Advice 4
Janitorial Services 25
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 1
Jewelry Stores 13
Kidney Dialysis Centers 2
Land Subdivision 12
Landscape Architectural Services 3
Landscaping Services 45
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 5
Libraries and Archives 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 99
Limousine Service 1
Linen Supply 1
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 3
Locksmiths 2
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 1
Machine Shops 4
Mail-Order Houses 6
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 7
Marinas 1
Marketing Consulting Services 10
Masonry Contractors 10
Meat Processed from Carcasses 1
Media Representatives 1
Medical Laboratories 5
Men's Clothing Stores 4
Miscellaneous Intermediation 3
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 15
Motion Picture and Video Production 2
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing 2
Motor Vehicle Towing 4
Motorcycle Dealers 4
Music Publishers 1
Musical Groups and Artists 2
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 6
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 2
Nail Salons 6
New Car Dealers 12
New Housing Operative Builders 18
News Dealers and Newsstands 1
News Syndicates 2
Newspaper Publishers 2
Nonresidential Property Managers 3
Nursing Care Facilities 5
Office Administrative Services 9
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 3
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 3
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 22
Offices of Chiropractors 21
Offices of Dentists 55
Offices of Lawyers 86
Offices of Optometrists 13
Offices of Other Holding Companies 2
Offices of Podiatrists 1
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 12
One-Hour Photofinishing 2
Optical Goods Stores 7
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 2
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 4
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 20
Parking Lots and Garages 2
Passenger Car Rental 3
Payroll Services 4
Periodical Publishers 3
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 4
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 8
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 3
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 5
Photography Studios, Portrait 7
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas 2
Plastics Bottle Manufacturing 1
Political Organizations 2
Portfolio Management 2
Poultry Processing 1
Private Mail Centers 5
Professional Employer Organizations 3
Professional Organizations 8
Public Relations Agencies 3
Quick Printing 1
Radio Networks 1
Radio Stations 9
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 6
Real Estate Credit 5
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 2
Repossession Services 1
Residential Property Managers 22
Residential Remodelers 30
Retail Bakeries 1
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 2
Roofing Contractors 5
Rooming and Boarding Houses 25
Rope, Cordage, and Twine Mills 1
Sales Financing 1
Savings Institutions 4
Sawmills 1
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 1
School and Employee Bus Transportation 1
Securities Brokerage 19
Security Guards and Patrol Services 3
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 1
Shoe Stores 15
Siding Contractors 11
Sign Manufacturing 3
Site Preparation Contractors 16
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 14
Software Publishers 4
Solid Waste Collection 2
Special Needs Transportation 1
Sporting Goods Stores 19
Sports and Recreation Instruction 14
Sports Teams and Clubs 1
Tax Preparation Services 9
Taxi Service 4
Telecommunications Resellers 1
Telemarketing Bureaus 2
Telephone Answering Services 1
Television Broadcasting 2
Temporary Help Services 17
Temporary Shelters 2
Testing Laboratories 1
Textile Machinery Manufacturing 1
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 4
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 3
Tire Dealers 11
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 4
Tobacco Stores 4
Tour Operators 1
Translation and Interpretation Services 2
Travel Agencies 5
Used Car Dealers 17
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 6
Used Merchandise Stores 14
Vending Machine Operators 1
Veterinary Services 16
Video Tape and Disc Rental 10
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 5
Voluntary Health Organizations 4
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 2
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 11
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 6
Women's Clothing Stores 21

The Role of the Business Plan

A business plan is essential in maximizing the prospects of your new company. Simply put, a business plan describes what you plan to do with the business and how you plan to do it. Starting a business without a business plan is a recipe for disaster.

To learn more about business plans, read Business Plan Contests. A great resource for business planning assistance is the face-to-face free consulting available from your local SCORE chapter in Missouri.

Marketing Your New Venture

To rise above the crowd in Columbia and advance your business, you'll need to have a good marketing plan.

There are myriad resources on this site to help you with your marketing plan. Advertising on Google discusses marketing strategy and tactical marketing in a way that should get you thinking about how to creatively promote your business. That's just a taste of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

Building Up Your Sales

Mastering the art of selling is priority one if you want your new Columbia business to do well.

Why should customers buy from you instead of buying from competitors? Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.

Selling Stuff on the Web is a good article to read, one of dozens in the Selling for Entrepreneurs section of our site.

Never Give Up

Most new Columbia businesses underestimate the number of challenges they will face.

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

Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in Columbia and throughout the United States . We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Columbia, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Columbia, Missouri

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

 

 

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