August 9, 2020  
 
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Michigan Entrepreneurs  
  Kalamazoo, Michigan Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Kalamazoo, Michigan

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

What Type of Business Should You Start?

An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. If you are struggling with what type of business to start, read How to Evaluate a Business Idea.

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 Starting a Diesel Equipment Retail Business guide or our Opening a Wheels & Wheel Covers Retail Business guide.

Always keep in mind that you are starting a business in Kalamazoo. Some businesses will do better in Kalamazoo than others. Don't forget to review Kalamazoo demographics to see if there's a market for what you want to sell.

Kalamazoo, Michigan Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees 4630
5-9 Employees 2230
10-19 Employees 1639
20-49 Employees 1308
50-99 Employees 417
100-249 Employees 237
250-499 Employees 78
500-999 Employees 15
1000+ Employees 6
All Kalamazoo Businesses 10560

As a new Kalamazoo entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Kalamazoo 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 8
Air and Gas Compressor Manufacturing 1
Aircraft Manufacturing 1
Aluminum Die-Casting Foundries 1
Aluminum Extruded Product Manufacturing 1
Aluminum Foundries (except Die-Casting) 2
Ambulance Services 4
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 1
Architectural Services 9
Art Dealers 5
Automobile Driving Schools 1
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 3
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 7
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 21
Automotive Transmission Repair 4
Baked Goods Stores 8
Beauty Salons 45
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 1
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 2
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 17
Blood and Organ Banks 2
Boat Dealers 2
Book Publishers 1
Book Stores 7
Books Printing 1
Bowling Centers 4
Breweries 2
Building Inspection Services 3
Business Associations 7
Business to Business Electronic Markets 1
Cable and Other Program Distribution 1
Cafeterias 3
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 1
Car Washes 10
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 1
Caterers 9
Cemeteries and Crematories 4
Charter Bus Industry 2
Child and Youth Services 8
Child Day Care Services 37
Civic and Social Organizations 20
Claims Adjusting 5
Clothing Accessories Stores 1
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 4
Collection Agencies 2
Commercial Bakeries 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 12
Commercial Photography 7
Commercial Screen Printing 3
Community Food Services 1
Computer and Software Stores 2
Computer Systems Design Services 18
Computer Training 1
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 1
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 1
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 2
Consumer Lending 3
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 5
Convenience Stores 28
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 4
Copper Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Couriers 3
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 2
Credit Unions 19
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 3
Custom Computer Programming Services 15
Dental Laboratories 5
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 3
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 5
Direct Mail Advertising 1
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 3
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 1
Discount Department Stores 5
Display Advertising 5
Document Preparation Services 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 20
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 8
Educational Support Services 2
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 30
Electronic Shopping 5
Elementary and Secondary Schools 7
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 2
Engineering Services 28
Environmental Consulting Services 2
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 2
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 5
Facilities Support Services 2
Family Clothing Stores 5
Family Planning Centers 1
Fine Arts Schools 6
Finish Carpentry Contractors 5
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 20
Floor Covering Stores 5
Flooring Contractors 6
Florists 13
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing 2
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 6
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 1
Food Service Contractors 21
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 1
Framing Contractors 3
Freight Transportation Arrangement 1
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 1
Full-Service Restaurants 107
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 6
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 5
Furniture Stores 5
General Automotive Repair 46
General Freight Trucking, Local 3
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 2
General Rental Centers 5
General Warehousing and Storage 4
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 15
Glass and Glazing Contractors 8
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 7
Grantmaking Foundations 6
Graphic Design Services 7
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 8
Hardware Stores 5
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 5
Home Centers 3
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 1
Home Health Care Services 8
Home Health Equipment Rental 4
Homes for the Elderly 10
Household Appliance Stores 2
Human Rights Organizations 3
Industrial Building Construction 2
Industrial Design Services 1
Industrial Gas Manufacturing 1
Industrial Launderers 4
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 5
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 3
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 58
Interior Design Services 3
Internet Service Providers 1
Investigation Services 3
Investment Advice 12
Iron Ore Mining 1
Janitorial Services 30
Jewelry Stores 8
Kidney Dialysis Centers 2
Landscape Architectural Services 4
Landscaping Services 52
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 8
Libraries and Archives 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 95
Limousine Service 2
Linen Supply 1
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 1
Locksmiths 3
Logging 1
Machine Shops 14
Marketing Consulting Services 7
Masonry Contractors 7
Mattress Manufacturing 1
Medical Laboratories 1
Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing 1
Metal Heat Treating 1
Metal Stamping 1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 1
Miscellaneous Intermediation 3
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 4
Motion Picture and Video Production 3
Motor and Generator Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 1
Motorcycle Dealers 1
Museums 2
Musical Groups and Artists 5
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 3
New Car Dealers 8
New Housing Operative Builders 8
News Dealers and Newsstands 1
Newspaper Publishers 4
Nonresidential Property Managers 9
Nursing Care Facilities 10
Office Administrative Services 6
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 5
Office Machinery Manufacturing 1
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 4
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 25
Offices of Chiropractors 24
Offices of Dentists 54
Offices of Lawyers 99
Offices of Optometrists 7
Offices of Other Holding Companies 4
Offices of Podiatrists 7
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 11
One-Hour Photofinishing 1
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 1
Optical Goods Stores 9
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 3
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing 2
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 5
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 23
Paper (except Newsprint) Mills 1
Paperboard Mills 2
Parking Lots and Garages 9
Passenger Car Rental 1
Periodical Publishers 2
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 6
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 9
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 19
Photography Studios, Portrait 4
Political Organizations 2
Portfolio Management 4
Prepress Services 5
Private Mail Centers 1
Professional Employer Organizations 23
Professional Organizations 4
Public Relations Agencies 1
Quick Printing 5
Racetracks 1
Radio Stations 4
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 3
Real Estate Credit 15
Real Estate Investment Trusts 1
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 4
Remediation Services 4
Residential Property Managers 22
Residential Remodelers 30
Retail Bakeries 6
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 1
Roofing Contractors 8
Rooming and Boarding Houses 6
Sales Financing 3
Savings Institutions 11
Sawmills 1
Securities Brokerage 26
Security Guards and Patrol Services 7
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 4
Ship Building and Repairing 1
Shoe Stores 10
Siding Contractors 5
Sign Manufacturing 7
Site Preparation Contractors 14
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 14
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 1
Software Publishers 1
Solid Waste Collection 2
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Sound Recording Studios 2
Spice and Extract Manufacturing 2
Sporting Goods Stores 17
Sports and Recreation Instruction 4
Sports Teams and Clubs 2
Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 11
Taxi Service 2
Telecommunications Resellers 3
Telemarketing Bureaus 1
Telephone Answering Services 2
Television Broadcasting 1
Temporary Help Services 18
Temporary Shelters 2
Testing Laboratories 3
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 5
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 1
Tire Dealers 11
Tire Retreading 1
Tobacco Stores 4
Toilet Preparation Manufacturing 1
Tradebinding and Related Work 1
Travel Agencies 7
Used Car Dealers 14
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 4
Used Merchandise Stores 16
Vending Machine Operators 3
Veterinary Services 14
Video Tape and Disc Rental 11
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 5
Voluntary Health Organizations 2
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 3
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 2
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 17
Window Treatment Stores 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 9
Women's Clothing Stores 5
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 1
Yarn Spinning Mills 1

What About Buying an Existing Kalamazoo Business?

An excellent way to get started in business is to Buy a Business in Michigan. Follow that link and you can review several good businesses for sale in Kalamazoo.

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

Do You Need a Business Plan?

Writing a business plan is vital in laying a solid foundation for your business success. Simply put, a business plan is a written description of the future you envision for your business. Starting a business without a business plan will greatly reduce your chances of business success.

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

Getting the Word Out About Your New Company

Whether your goal is to attract Kalamazoo customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, you need a excellent marketing plan.

We have some helpful resources on this site for entrepreneurs who are working on marketing plans. Branding Advice 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.

Learning More About Entrepreneurship

Good entrepreneurs know that they don't know everything.

With your business being located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, you should investigate some of the many programs available at nearby Michigan universities, colleges and community colleges. Another way to keep up on your learning is to investigate Kalamazoo networking organizations.

What's Next?

Most new Kalamazoo 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.

This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Kalamazoo and elsewhere to achieve real success. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Kalamazoo, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Kalamazoo, Michigan

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

  • Resources for Kalamazoo, Michigan Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Kalamazoo entrepreneurs.
  • Michigan Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Michigan.
  • Michigan Small Business Development Center - This organization supports 12 regional offices and over 30 satellite offices, each providing counseling and training to Michigan small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the 83 counties in Michigan. Services to entrepreneurs are offered through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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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