Illinois Business Startup Guides
Start a Business in Columbia, Illinois
Are you starting a business in Columbia, Illinois? This article discusses the most important things to consider when opening a business in Columbia.
Is Becoming an Entrepreneur Right for You?
Running your own business is difficult, much harder than working as an employee. Are you certain you have the stamina and skills to succeed on your own?
While entrepreneurship has become a popular career choice, we recommend you do the following before you take the plunge:
- Talk to other entrepreneurs in Columbia. Get their take on what it's really like to be an entrepreneur.
- We recommend reading Why Small Businesses Fail. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
- Get feedback from somebody whom you trust. That's the best way to get a truly objective assessment as to whether others think you have what it takes.
What Business Are You Starting?
Choosing a business that is right for you is very important. If you are struggling with what type of business to start, read How to Evaluate a Business Idea.
If you still are not sure what type of business to start, peruse the Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our How to Start a Ceramic Products Wholesale & Manufacturers Business guide or our Starting a Materials Handling Equipment & Supplies Wholesale & Manufacturers Business guide.
Always keep in mind that your new startup will be located in Columbia. 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, Illinois 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.
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.
Forming a Company in Columbia, Illinois
It's essential that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will protect 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 popular way to form a business. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. If you are starting a business in Illinois, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Illinois. As it turns out, you can incorporate in any state you would like to. 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 Offshore Company Formation. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Columbia, Illinois, our information on Incorporating in Illinois may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Illinois.
Do You Need a Business Plan?
A business plan is critical in laying a solid foundation for your business success. In effect, a business plan is a written description of the future you envision for your business. Failure to write a business plan is a recipe for disaster.
Raising Money for Your New Venture
Getting your Columbia business the capital it needs to succeed will be harder than you might expect. If you don't have a rich uncle to fund you, you'll need to be creative in how you approach your fundraising efforts.
Fortunately, this site contains dozens of articles on raising money, including one we recommend entitled 504 Loans.
Marketing Your New Venture
Whether your goal is to attract Columbia customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, you'll need to have a good marketing plan.
You can learn quite a bit about marketing on our site. Sponsoring Local Events is an article that will stimulate a few thoughts on your marketing plan. That's just a taste of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.
As an entrepreneur in Columbia, 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.
We are here to help Columbia businesses to be successful. 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, Illinois
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Columbia.
- Resources for Columbia, Illinois Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Columbia entrepreneurs.
- Illinois Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Illinois.
- Illinois Small Business Development Center - Illinois Small Business Development Centers located throughout the state provide assistance to new and existing small businesses.
Starting-a-Business Guides for Other Cities in Illinois
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