California Business Startup Guides

Starting a Business in Stanford, California

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

Will You Be a Good Entrepreneur?

Most new ventures fail, in part because the business owner did not have the perseverance and abilities that are necessary to succeed. So, before you start your business, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.

Because entrepreneurship is not for everyone, we recommend you do the following to help you assess whether you should move forward with starting a business:

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Stanford. They are usually very willing to share their insights on the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
  • We recommend reading Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Seek the advice of somebody who knows you well. Others sometimes know you better than you know yourself.

What Business to Start

There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? We recommend that you read Evaluating Your 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 How to Start a China & Glassware Rental Business guide or our Opening a Metal Slitting & Shearing Business guide.

Don't forget that your new startup will be located in Stanford. Some businesses will do better in Stanford than others. Make sure you fully understand Stanford demographics before you lock in on your business idea.

Stanford, California Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size
# of
1-4 Employees
5-9 Employees
10-19 Employees
20-49 Employees
50-99 Employees
100-249 Employees
250-499 Employees
500-999 Employees
1000+ Employees
All Stanford Businesses

As a new Stanford entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Stanford 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
Book Publishers
Book Stores
Child Day Care Services
Civic and Social Organizations
Computer Systems Design Services
Convenience Stores
Custom Computer Programming Services
Educational Support Services
Engineering Services
Family Clothing Stores
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers
Food Service Contractors
Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting
Internet Service Providers
Janitorial Services
Libraries and Archives
Limited-Service Restaurants
Marketing Consulting Services
Motion Picture and Video Production
Office Administrative Services
Offices of Lawyers
Pharmacies and Drug Stores
Prepress Services
Professional Organizations
Rooming and Boarding Houses
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars
Sporting Goods Stores
Sports and Recreation Instruction
Wired Telecommunications Carriers

Is a Franchise Opportunity Right For You?

As you drive around Stanford, you may be surprised to see how many franchises there are in the area. But is franchising the right option for you?

We advise the entrepreneurs we work with to consider franchising as an option. We have many articles on franchises, such as Buying an Existing Franchise. Gain a solid understanding of franchising by scanning all of our Articles on Franchising.

You can find franchise opportunities by browsing our Franchise Opportunities Directory.

Sample franchise opportunities include Sparkling Image and Back Yard Burgers, Inc.. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as Tanning Franchises and Healthcare Services Franchises.

Note on Stanford Franchise Opportunities: You will need to contact franchisors directly to see if their franchises are available in Stanford.

Where to Get Money to Start a Company

Finding the funds to fuel the growth of your Stanford business is not an easy task. Bootstrapping, which means growing the business without outside funding, is the best alternative, but that's not a viable option for many startup plans.

Take advantage of our many articles on raising money, such as 504 Loans.

For Stanford entrepreneurs in need of startup financing, check out our List of California Angel Investors and our List of California Venture Capital Firms.

Learning More About Entrepreneurship

Successful entrepreneurs recognize that what they know now may not be enough to ensure their future success.

As an entrepreneur who lives in Stanford, California, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby California universities, colleges and community colleges. We also recommend you look into networking organizations for Stanford entrepreneurs.

What's Next?

Most new Stanford businesses underestimate the number of challenges they will face.

From this point on, you control your own destiny.

This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Stanford and elsewhere to achieve real success. We have a wealth of experience in business start-ups, financing, marketing, sales and more...and we've made all of our knowledge available to you.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Stanford, California

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

Starting-a-Business Guides for Other Cities in California

Starting a Business in Springville
Starting a Business in Stockton

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Starting a Business Guides for Other States



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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


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