August 21, 2019  
 
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Iowa Entrepreneurs  
  Mason City, Iowa Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Mason City, Iowa

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

Mason City, Iowa Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees 4383
5-9 Employees 1971
10-19 Employees 1512
20-49 Employees 864
50-99 Employees 324
100-249 Employees 180
250-499 Employees 54
500-999 Employees 9
1000+ Employees 9
All Mason City Businesses 9306

As a new Mason City entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Mason City 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
Ambulance Services 1
Amusement Arcades 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 2
Architectural Services 5
Armored Car Services 2
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 2
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 8
Automotive Transmission Repair 2
Baked Goods Stores 1
Beauty Salons 19
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 1
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 2
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 1
Book Stores 3
Bowling Centers 2
Business Associations 6
Cable and Other Program Distribution 1
Cafeterias 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 1
Car Washes 2
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 2
Cement Manufacturing 2
Child and Youth Services 1
Child Day Care Services 7
Civic and Social Organizations 11
Claims Adjusting 1
Clothing Accessories Stores 1
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 1
Collection Agencies 3
Commercial Lithographic Printing 2
Commercial Screen Printing 3
Computer Systems Design Services 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 1
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 1
Consumer Lending 1
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 1
Convenience Stores 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 4
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 1
Credit Unions 8
Dental Laboratories 2
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 2
Digital Printing 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 2
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 1
Discount Department Stores 2
Display Advertising 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 13
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 2
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 11
Electronic Shopping 1
Elementary and Secondary Schools 4
Employment Placement Agencies 1
Engineering Services 3
Ethyl Alcohol Manufacturing 1
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 1
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 2
Family Clothing Stores 4
Family Planning Centers 1
Farm Labor Contractors and Crew Leaders 1
Farm Management Services 5
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 4
Fine Arts Schools 1
Finish Carpentry Contractors 2
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 4
Floor Covering Stores 2
Flooring Contractors 2
Florists 3
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 3
Food Service Contractors 3
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 1
Framing Contractors 1
Full-Service Restaurants 30
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 3
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 1
Furniture Stores 6
General Automotive Repair 9
General Freight Trucking, Local 6
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
General Rental Centers 3
General Warehousing and Storage 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 8
Glass and Glazing Contractors 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 3
Hardware Stores 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 2
Home Centers 3
Home Health Care Services 2
Home Health Equipment Rental 1
Homes for the Elderly 2
Household Appliance Stores 3
Industrial Building Construction 1
Industrial Launderers 2
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 26
Interior Design Services 1
Internet Service Providers 1
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation 1
Investment Advice 3
Janitorial Services 6
Jewelry Stores 5
Junior Colleges 1
Landscaping Services 11
Limited-Service Restaurants 34
Livestock Merchant Wholesalers 1
Locksmiths 1
Machine Shops 2
Marketing Consulting Services 1
Materials Recovery Facilities 1
Meat Processed from Carcasses 1
Media Buying Agencies 1
Men's Clothing Stores 1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 1
Mobile Food Services 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 1
Motorcycle Dealers 3
Museums 2
Nail Salons 1
New Car Dealers 7
New Housing Operative Builders 1
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 2
Nursing Care Facilities 4
Office Administrative Services 1
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 2
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 2
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 9
Offices of Chiropractors 6
Offices of Dentists 15
Offices of Lawyers 19
Offices of Optometrists 3
Offices of Podiatrists 1
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 3
One-Hour Photofinishing 1
Optical Goods Stores 4
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 2
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 4
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 2
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 3
Photography Studios, Portrait 3
Portfolio Management 1
Quick Printing 1
Radio Stations 9
Real Estate Credit 3
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 1
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 3
Residential Property Managers 1
Residential Remodelers 6
Roofing Contractors 7
Savings Institutions 1
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 1
School and Employee Bus Transportation 1
Securities Brokerage 8
Security Guards and Patrol Services 1
Shoe Stores 6
Siding Contractors 4
Site Preparation Contractors 2
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 4
Solid Waste Collection 2
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Soybean Processing 1
Sporting Goods Stores 6
Sports and Recreation Instruction 2
Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 3
Television Broadcasting 1
Temporary Help Services 8
Temporary Shelters 1
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 2
Tire Dealers 3
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 2
Tour Operators 1
Travel Agencies 1
Used Car Dealers 4
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 1
Used Merchandise Stores 3
Vending Machine Operators 2
Veterinary Services 3
Video Tape and Disc Rental 3
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 3
Voluntary Health Organizations 1
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 2
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 1
Window Treatment Stores 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 2
Women's Clothing Stores 7
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 1
Wood Window and Door Manufacturing 1

Naming the Company

A big decision when starting a company is choosing a company name. Believe it or not, choosing a good company name can be a big contributor to your business success.

We strongly advocate that you make sure the ".com" domain name is available for your company name. Every business needs a strong Web presence these days, and having a non ".com" domain means somebody else may outrank you in the search results for your own company name.

To get up to speed on what makes for a good company name, we encourage you to read this useful article: Branding Advice.

On a final note, given that you are planning on starting a business in Mason City, it's very important that you make sure no other Iowa company is using the business name you want to use.

Forming a Company in Mason City, Iowa

A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will shield you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

The entity you form can be 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. If you are starting a business in Iowa, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Iowa. As it turns out, you can incorporate wherever you want. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

There are many nuances to forming a company. We recommend you read some of the educational articles about company formation that are availabe on our site, such as Company Formation. You may also want to seek the advice of an lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Mason City, Iowa, our information on Incorporating in Iowa may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Iowa.

Getting Money to Start a Business

Getting your Mason City business the capital it needs to succeed 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.

The good news is this site contains dozens of articles on raising money, including one we recommend entitled 504 Loans.

For Mason City entrepreneurs in need of startup financing, browse our List of Iowa Angel Investors and our List of Iowa Venture Capital Firms.

Letting the World Know You Exist

Whether your goal is to attract Mason City customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your business achieving its goals.

You can learn quite a bit about marketing on our site. Seven Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business is a good read to get your marketing juices flowing. That's just a sampling of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

Ramping Up Sales

Being able to sell is essential to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Mason City 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.

Hiring Telemarketing Firms to Generate Sales Leads is worth reading, as it may give you some good ideas on how to sell your products or services. We have many more good articles on selling that you may enjoy reading.

Moving Forward

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

Owning your own business will be a daunting task, but you can do it.

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

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Mason City, Iowa

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

  • Resources for Mason City, Iowa Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Mason City 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