California Business Startup Guides
Starting a Business in Los Angeles, California
Thinking about starting a business in Los Angeles, California? This step-by-step guide walks you through the major decisions you should consider before opening a new business in Los Angeles.
Are You Sure You Want to Do This?
Most new companies do not succeed, in part because the founder did not have the entrepreneurial skills and traits needed to succeed. So, before you open a business, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.
While entrepreneurship has become a popular career choice, we recommend you do the following before you take the plunge:
- Talk to other entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Ask them candidly what it's like to run a business.
- We recommend reading Why Small Businesses Fail. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
- Get feedback from somebody whom you trust. The people who know you best are often in the best position to tell you bluntly whether you will be a good entrepreneur.
What Business Are You Starting?
There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? To help you decide on a business type, we encourage you to read How to Evaluate a Business Idea.
For step-by-step instructions on starting a variety of business types, visit the Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Starting a Diesel Generators Business guide or our Opening a Fraternal Orders Business guide.
Always keep in mind that you are starting a business in Los Angeles. Some businesses will do better in Los Angeles than others. Only by spending some time analyzing Los Angeles demographics can you decide if there will be strong demand for your business idea.
Los Angeles, California Demographic Information
Los Angeles has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.
To give you a better feel for Los Angeles demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Los Angeles.
As a new Los Angeles entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Los Angeles 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.
Don't Forget to Create a Business Plan
Writing a business plan is critical in laying a solid foundation for your business success. In effect, 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 will greatly reduce your chances of business success.
If you want more information on writing business plans, we recommend reading Business Plan Contests. A great resource for business planning assistance is the free business counselors available to you through your local SCORE chapter in California.
Mastering the art of selling is a must if you want your new Los Angeles business to do well.
Good selling involves demonstrating that your wares meet your customer's needs. Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.
How to Improve Your Entrepreneurial Abilities
Successful entrepreneurs recognize that what they know now may not be enough to ensure their future success.
Given that you are starting a business in Los Angeles, California, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby California universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also worthwhile to see if there are any networking groups or organizations in which Los Angeles entrepreneurs get together to network and trade their business experiences.
Los Angeles Entrepreneur Interviews
We're compiling a number of interviews with Los Angeles entrepreneurs. Enjoy!
- Interview with Convergence Capital Partners Founder Alex Kasdan
- Interview with Gift List Media Founder Amy Bates Stumpf
- Interview with Jonathan Klein, Owner of I Said Sit! Personalized Dog Training
- Interview with Rob Carpenter, CEO of Friendgiftr
- Interview with Innovative Crib Designs Founder Mary Anne Amato
- Interview with JumpintoTomorrow Founder Sam Spear
- Interview with Sondra Lowell, Founder of Film Sleepy
- Interview with Johnny Earle, Founder of Johnny Cupcakes
- Interview with Aarin Elizabeth, Founder of iVi Scents
- Interview with Jim Janosik, Founder of GoGreenPrinting.biz
- Interview with Brian Ree, Co-Founder and CEO of GoldenMine.com
- Interview with Hamilton Chan, CEO of Paperspring.com
Most new Los Angeles businesses underestimate the number of challenges they will face.
From this point on, you control your own destiny.
We are here to help Los Angeles businesses to be successful. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Los Angeles, neighborhood development and overall economic health.
More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Los Angeles, California
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Los Angeles.
- Resources for Los Angeles, California Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Los Angeles entrepreneurs.
- California Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in California.
- Fresno, California Small Business Development Center - The UC Merced SBDC Regional Network assists Central California entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling, training and business information.
- Los Angeles, California Small Business Development Center - The Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network (LA SBDC Network) is part of the national, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) effort to provide free one-on-one customized consulting services and low-cost training workshops to growing businesses and start-up businesses.
- Sacramento, California Small Business Development Center - As Northern California continues to grow demographically and economically, the Northeastern California Small Business Development Center (NECSBDC) at CSU, Chico is committed to helping communities prepare and plan for future growth.
- San Diego, California Small Business Development Center - The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwestern College serves entrepreneurs and small businesses in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The SBDC provides no-cost business assistance to start-up & existing businesses.
- San Francisco, California Small Business Development Center - The Northern California Network of Small Business Development Centers helps individuals start, manage and grow their businesses.
- Orange County Small Business Development Center - The Orange County SBDC is a leader in providing consulting, training, and technical assistance to the small business community.
Starting-a-Business Guides for Other Cities in California
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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs