California Business Startup Guides
Starting a Business in San Francisco, California
Thinking about starting a business in San Francisco, California? This step-by-step guide walks you through the major decisions you should consider before opening a new business in San Francisco.
What Type of Business Should You Start?
An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. We recommend that you read How to Evaluate a Business Idea.
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 Air & Gas Compressors Service & Repair Business guide or our Opening a Cinder Blocks Business guide.
Don't forget that starting a business in San Francisco has some implications. Some businesses will do better in San Francisco than others. Study San Francisco demographics and do a competitive analysis as part of your startup planning process.
San Francisco, California Demographic Information
San Francisco has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.
To give you a better feel for San Francisco demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in San Francisco.
As a new San Francisco entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in San Francisco 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.
Should You Buy an Existing San Francisco Business?
We've created a useful website page for those who want to Buy a Business in California. Follow that link and you may find several good businesses for sale in San Francisco.
If you are intent on buying a business, you may want to read this article: How to Buy a Business.
Don't Forget to Create a Business Plan
A business plan is critical in laying a solid foundation for your business success. Indeed, a business plan describes what you plan to do with the business and how you plan to do it. Not having a business plan is a recipe for disaster.
If writing a business plan is on your to-do list, be sure to read Business Plan Contests. You should also take advantage of face-to-face free consulting available from your local SCORE chapter in California.
Raising Money for Your Venture
Getting your San Francisco business the capital it needs to succeed will be harder than you might expect. To obtain business financing, you will need to hear a lot of rejections before you finally find a funding solution that works for you.
To learn about raising money, we recommend you read the fundraising articles on our site, such as Getting a Small Business Loan.
Letting the World Know You Exist
To grow your San Francisco business, you'll need to have a good marketing plan.
We have some helpful resources on this site for entrepreneurs who are working on marketing plans. Business Logo Design 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.
How to Sell
Do you know how to sell? In order to attract customers to your new San Francisco business, you need to focus on sales.
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.
Some Interesting San Francisco Entrepreneurs
We're compiling a number of interviews with San Francisco entrepreneurs. Enjoy!
- Interview with Jonathan Swanson, Co-Founder of Thumbtack.com
- Interview with Zuzy Martin Lynch, Founder of Cooking for the Clueless, Inc.
- Interview with Alexandra Watkins, Founder of Eat My Words
As an entrepreneur in San Francisco, 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.
Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in San Francisco and throughout the United States . We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in San Francisco, neighborhood development and overall economic health.
More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in San Francisco, California
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in San Francisco.
- Resources for San Francisco, California Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist San Francisco 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.
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