Starting a business in California is a fantastic idea, considering you’ll have a large pool of potential customers. However, that can also make it harder to set yourself apart from your competition or save enough money for expansion. You’ll have to be savvy to make it here!
How to Run a Startup Business in California
Whether you’re already up and running or you’re in the stages of starting your business, it’s never too late to learn how to succeed in The Golden State. Here’s some tips for your startup.
1. Know What Taxes You’ll Need to Pay
The taxes you’ll need to pay will be based on the business structure you’ve chosen. If you’ve been around for a while, you may know how the 1099-NEC compares to a 1099-MISC, but newbies may see both documents used by clients. Hint: you’ll probably need a 1099-NEC!
As a rule, sole proprietorships or single-member LLCs pay self-employment taxes, whereas multiple-member LLCs and corporations pay business taxes. If you hire employees, you may be subject to even more taxes. Regardless, you should know how to fulfill your tax requirements.
2. Keep Detailed Records of Everything
Do you know where your business stands financially or how to overcome these challenges if (when) they show up? If the answer is no, you need to start keeping detailed records. You can either keep physical records or upload them to the Cloud, but doing both is the safest option.
When you constantly upload and backup your records, your business won’t have to worry about losing its data. Just make sure your servers are secure, and your data files are encrypted. You can use encryption and authentication software to make this process easier for management.
3. Create a Business Plan
Creating a business plan is optional, but it’s important to write one for strategic planning, research, and recruiting reasons. Not only that, but investors rely on detailed plans to evaluate the possibility of your business’s success before funding it, which is why lenders ask for one.
Business plans can range from single-page documents to multiple-page reports filled with graphs and detailed sections. If you’re just starting out, a lean business plan is best. If you already have a business but don’t have a plan, go the traditional route for funding purposes.
4. Be Consistent and Organized
All businesses should take the expression “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day” to heart because it’s unlikely you’ll be successful right from the start. It takes time to prove to your market that you’re a trustworthy business they should pay attention to, so focus on your short-term goals for now.
Staying focused is hard when your business is in the red, especially in California, where everything is pricey. But if you’re consistent and organized, there’s a chance you’ll pull through.
5. Market Your Business Online
Although marketing may not fall under the umbrella of “running a business,” it’s essential for the success of your company. 14% of small businesses fail because of poor marketing skills, and you can’t be a good marketer if you run out of cash or don’t understand your customer’s needs.
With proper customer and competitor research, you can put your money in the right places. Your brand will take you far if you’re able to represent the people you’re selling to. After that, you can start building your social media presence and investing in content/website marketing channels.
6. Offer the Best Customer Service
What separates most businesses apart from each other is their customer service, but it can be easy to forget about your customers when you’re trying to scale. However, if you provide better service to your customer, they’re more likely to choose you over the competition every time.
In a hyper-competitive market like California, you have to be known for something to stand out. What better way to do this than overdelivering to your customer any chance you can? Without loyal customers, you won’t have a business to run, so be sure to pay attention to their needs.