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4 Steps to Starting a Business in California

4 Steps to Starting a Business in California

The most crucial aspect to understand is that personally having a lot of interest in what you want to put out to the market and caring about how it will impact people’s lives is key to getting your business to thrive and flourish. Before coming up with any business plan, ask yourself this question: would this be something I would use or buy even if someone else came up with it?

Here are the key steps to make sure you’re doing things right.

Step 1: Conceptualize your Business Idea.

The first step to starting a business in California is being observant about the works of everyday life and trying to come up with creative solutions. Most business ideas come about once someone has identified a problem or inconvenience that’s fixable provided the right resources or materials. 

Step 2: Plan the details.

Business Name and Logo

First impressions count. If you get people interested in what you have to offer through your business name alone, then that’s good marketing. Being witty works for most people, especially if you incorporate cheeky puns into the name.

You can also refer to resources such as name generators online. If you’re catering to the local market, optimize your business name using search engine optimization by incorporating your specific location and functions. 

As for the logo, you can make your own or hire commission graphic designers to visualize your business’s vibe. The colors, font choices, and other incorporated images will influence how people will perceive your brand.

Business Location

It may come as a no-brainer, but your location plays a part in your brainstorming sessions for a business idea. The location dictates what services or products you can offer because you’ll have to scope out available resources, materials, and existing distributors. 

Business requirements also differ per location, so make sure you check the official guides regarding getting licenses and permits and registering your venture. Make sure you also read up on zoning regulations detailed in local ordinances.

Market Research

One of the most important questions you have to ask when planning a business venture is: for whom will your products/services be? Once you have a target audience, it narrows down how you can market your products or services. Here are some ways you can check for market research:

  • Existing surveys (or try conducting your own)
  • Customer reviews or similar business ideas
  • Marketing approaches of similar products
  • Current trends influencing the market

Business Pitch

Practice how you’re going to introduce your business venture to people. Make sure to cover all the essential bases:

  • Identify the problem.
  • Provide a solution.
  • Define your target audience.
  • How will you market your business?

Step 3: Do the paperwork.

Business Structure

Before registering your brand, you first have to define your business structure. It will determine how you’re going to register your business. Look up the legal business structures available in California and consider the size element and tax benefits:

  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC
  • Partnership
  • Sole Proprietorship

Business Banking and Accounting

Once you’ve registered your business, you now have to establish the business as its own identity and separate it from your assets to prevent complications. A designated business bank account will make accounting and tax filing more organized. The account will also use a different identification number instead of your social security number.

Bookkeeping is crucial to the business’s financial health. Consult with business accountants, or refer to accounting software tools that you know how to use.

Insurance

Business insurance will protect your assets in case of lawsuits or property damages. There are several types of business insurance you can consider:

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance

California Permits and Licenses

Permits and licenses make sure you comply with the local, state, and federal government. Check with resources such as the Department of Consumer Affairs, the CalGOLD Permit Assistance Tool, and the local Chamber of Commerce and inquire about the application process.

The whole process can be tedious, but hiring legal services can help ease the burden. For example, if your venture concerns alcohol goods, you can hire a California alcohol beverage control attorney.

Step 4: Boost your Accessibility.

Once you’ve handled the paperwork, you now have to think about how people will access your products or services. Even if you’re not an online-based business, the contemporary digital setting will make it almost impossible to grow your brand without providing an online platform for people to visit. 

Aside from setting up your business number, consider investing in a website. The website can serve either as a simple digital brochure or to overcome the location problem and provide an online purchasing option. If you’re not entirely sold on the idea of a website yet, you can always set up a page on other social media platforms.

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