February 16, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Pennsylvania Entrepreneurs  
  Williamsport, Pennsylvania Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Open a Business in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Need help starting a business in Williamsport, Pennsylvania? We've got the information you need to open a business in Williamsport.

Are You Ready for Entrepreneurship?

Most new ventures do not succeed, in part because the business owner did not have the perseverance and abilities that are necessary to succeed. So, before jumping into the world of entrepreneurship, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.

With so much at stake when you start a business, we strongly recommend you do the following before you proceed:

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Williamsport. Listen closely to their experiences and see if you think you too can be successful.
  • We recommend reading Why Small Businesses Fail. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Get feedback from somebody whom you trust. Ask them directly: Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Listen carefully to their answer, as they presumably know your strengths and weaknesses.

Choosing the Right Company to Start

There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? To stir your creative juices on what kind of business to start, take a look at Business Ideas That Don't Make Sense.

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 an Indoor Advertising Business guide or our Starting an Interactive Media Services Business guide.

Don't forget that you are starting a business in Williamsport. Think about what needs are currently being underserved in Williamsport. Only by spending some time analyzing Williamsport demographics can you decide if there will be strong demand for your business idea.

Williamsport, Pennsylvania Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 8152
5-9 Employees 3936
10-19 Employees 3036
20-49 Employees 1716
50-99 Employees 672
100-249 Employees 456
250-499 Employees 96
500-999 Employees 48
1000+ Employees 12
All Williamsport Businesses 18124

As a new Williamsport entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Williamsport 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
Advertising Agencies 2
Amusement Arcades 1
Architectural Services 2
Armored Car Services 1
Art Dealers 1
Automobile Driving Schools 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 2
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 11
Automotive Transmission Repair 2
Barber Shops 2
Beauty Salons 30
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 1
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 11
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 1
Blood and Organ Banks 1
Book Stores 1
Bottled Water Manufacturing 1
Bowling Centers 2
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills 1
Building Inspection Services 2
Business and Secretarial Schools 1
Business Associations 3
Cable and Other Program Distribution 2
Cafeterias 1
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 1
Car Washes 3
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 2
Caterers 2
Cemeteries and Crematories 2
Child and Youth Services 4
Child Day Care Services 11
Civic and Social Organizations 27
Claims Adjusting 2
Clothing Accessories Stores 1
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 3
Commercial Bakeries 2
Commercial Flexographic Printing 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 4
Commercial Photography 2
Community Food Services 1
Computer and Software Stores 2
Computer Systems Design Services 3
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Consumer Lending 3
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 3
Convenience Stores 5
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 2
Credit Unions 8
Custom Computer Programming Services 5
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 4
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 3
Direct Mail Advertising 2
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 1
Discount Department Stores 1
Display Advertising 1
Document Preparation Services 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 25
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 4
Electrical Contractors 15
Electron Tube Manufacturing 1
Electronic Shopping 2
Elementary and Secondary Schools 3
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Engineering Services 4
Environmental Consulting Services 2
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 3
Family Clothing Stores 2
Finish Carpentry Contractors 3
Fish and Seafood Markets 1
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 5
Floor Covering Stores 5
Flooring Contractors 2
Florists 3
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 3
Food Service Contractors 7
Full-Service Restaurants 48
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 4
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 2
Furniture Stores 5
General Automotive Repair 16
General Freight Trucking, Local 2
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 2
General Rental Centers 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 6
Glass and Glazing Contractors 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 1
Grantmaking Foundations 2
Graphic Design Services 1
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 1
Hardware Stores 4
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 1
Home Centers 2
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 1
Home Health Care Services 3
Home Health Equipment Rental 2
Homes for the Elderly 6
Household Appliance Stores 3
Household Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturing 1
Human Rights Organizations 2
Industrial Launderers 2
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Industrial Pattern Manufacturing 1
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 28
Interior Design Services 1
Internet Service Providers 1
Investigation Services 1
Investment Advice 2
Iron Foundries 1
Janitorial Services 9
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 2
Jewelry Stores 7
Landscaping Services 8
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 1
Libraries and Archives 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 43
Limousine Service 1
Linen Supply 3
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 2
Logging 1
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 1
Machine Shops 5
Mail-Order Houses 2
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Marketing Consulting Services 2
Meat Markets 3
Media Representatives 1
Metal Stamping 1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 2
Miscellaneous Intermediation 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 4
Motor and Generator Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 1
Motorcycle Dealers 1
Museums 1
Musical Groups and Artists 1
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 2
Nail Salons 2
Natural Gas Distribution 1
New Car Dealers 7
New Housing Operative Builders 2
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 3
Nursing Care Facilities 6
Office Administrative Services 3
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 3
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 5
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 9
Offices of Chiropractors 12
Offices of Dentists 29
Offices of Lawyers 38
Offices of Optometrists 4
Offices of Other Holding Companies 1
Offices of Podiatrists 4
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 1
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 1
Optical Goods Stores 4
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 4
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 2
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 4
Payroll Services 2
Periodical Publishers 3
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 2
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 1
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 11
Photography Studios, Portrait 2
Plastics Bottle Manufacturing 1
Political Organizations 1
Portfolio Management 2
Professional Organizations 1
Radio Stations 5
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 2
Real Estate Credit 6
Remediation Services 1
Residential Property Managers 1
Residential Remodelers 13
Retail Bakeries 1
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 3
Roofing Contractors 4
Rooming and Boarding Houses 1
Rope, Cordage, and Twine Mills 1
Savings Institutions 9
Sawmills 1
Securities Brokerage 8
Security Guards and Patrol Services 1
Septic Tank and Related Services 3
Setup Paperboard Box Manufacturing 1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 3
Shoe Stores 4
Siding Contractors 1
Sign Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 7
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 9
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 1
Soft Drink Manufacturing 2
Software Publishers 1
Solid Waste Collection 3
Sporting Goods Stores 9
Sports and Recreation Instruction 1
Sports Teams and Clubs 1
Steel Wire Drawing 1
Tax Preparation Services 7
Taxi Service 1
Telemarketing Bureaus 1
Telephone Answering Services 1
Temporary Help Services 7
Temporary Shelters 2
Testing Laboratories 2
Textile Bag Mills 1
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 1
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 1
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 1
Tire Dealers 8
Tire Retreading 1
Tobacco Stores 6
Truss Manufacturing 1
Used Car Dealers 8
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 3
Used Merchandise Stores 2
Vending Machine Operators 1
Veterinary Services 4
Video Tape and Disc Rental 3
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 4
Voluntary Health Organizations 2
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 4
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 10
Women's Clothing Stores 3
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing 1

Is Franchising a Better Option?

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

Our advice is to consider franchising as an option. We have many articles on franchises, such as Franchising My Business. Become a franchising expert of sorts by reading more of our Articles on Franchising.

To learn about specific franchise opportunities, check out our Franchise Directory.

Representative franchise opportunities include Banfield, The Pet Hospital and Boneheads Grilled Fish and Piri Piri Chicken. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as Hotel and Motel Franchises and Kitchen Design Franchises.

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

Forming a Company in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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 corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership or other structure.

Incorporation is a very popular way to form a business. A key decision is whether to form and S-Corp or a C-Corp, and you also must decide in which state you will incorporate. If you are starting a business in Pennsylvania, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Pennsylvania. In fact, you can incorporate wherever you want. For example, it's very popular to incorporate in Delaware, and incorporating in Nevada has become very trendy as well. Don't forget, though, that you will have to register as a foreign entity in all states that you do business in.

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 Subchapter S Corporations. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, our information on Incorporating in Pennsylvania may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Pennsylvania.

Do You Need 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. Starting a business without a business plan is a recipe for disaster.

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

How to Sell

Mastering the art of selling is essential if you want your new Williamsport business to do well.

So what does it take to bring in more prospects and close more business? Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.

Closing Sales Techniques is worth reading, as it may give you some good ideas on how to sell your products or services. We have many more good articles on selling that you may enjoy reading.

Never Give Up

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

Owning your own business will be a daunting task, but you can do it.

We are here to help Williamsport businesses to be successful. 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 Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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



Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business

Writing a Business Plan

Raising Money


Small Business Marketing

Advertising Advice

Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips

Entrepreneurial Selling

Workplace Safety