Do you want to start a business in California? If YES, here are 50 best profitable small business ideas & investment opportunities in California. California is one of the 50 states that make up the United States. The state can boast of about 3,622,304 functional small businesses, making it very fertile for starting a small business. Another thing that counts in the favor of small businesses in California is the population.
50 Best Small Business Opportunities in California
1. Data Analysis: one business idea that you can start small in California but can earn you a lot of income is data mining and analysis. If you can learn the ropes, you can earn a lot of money offering this service on freelancing platforms.
2. Gift store: granted, there are many gift shops already in in the state, but there is still room for new players in the trade. Though the business might be somewhat seasonal, with profits spiking during the Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine, and other festive periods, an encouraging volume of sales can be made all year round.
3. Auto repair: California has a lot of automobiles running on the road, and this presents a great business for someone who is technically inclined and knows a lot about cars. You can choose to repair a particular brand of car that you are familiar with. Alternatively, you can sell auto parts from different vehicle manufacturers and still make profit from it.
4. Importing: no country is self-sufficient, even California. You can look for a product or produce that may still be experiencing some scarcity in the market and start importing it to supplement the country’s supply. It is true that you can start this business on a small scale, but you need to get a lot of licenses and permits before you start this business.
5. In-home care for seniors: For many seniors, living at home for long as possible is a priority, but the natural aging process can make that difficult over time. You can start a small business in California where you provide care for seniors directly in their homes. You need to have assistants who would visit these seniors at home in order to cook, clean, do laundry, help them shop for grocery amongst other things.
6. Fitness center: with the frightening rise in the rate of obesity in the state, a fitness center is a good business to set up anywhere. If you aim to have all the equipment needed to start a standard fitness center, you may run into financial difficulties, so you should start small with just the basics, and offer your services to your neighborhood for the time being. You can even start from your garage if you have a sizable one, but ensure that you adequately publicize your fitness center so that you can gain enough membership to help you expand the business.
7. Medical staffing: Medical staffing companies supply health care professionals such as nurses and therapists, to health care organizations, such as hospitals or nursing home facilities. This is a good business to start in California as there are a lot of medical and health facilities there, and these organizations would be needing staff from time to time.
8. Providing pet boarding, grooming and day care services: if you are an animal lover, you can open a resort where you can provide boarding, grooming and daycare services for pets.
9. Healthful Quick serve restaurant: Californians are always health conscious, so if you can open a quick serve restaurant that focuses on serving only healthy food, then your restaurant would sure carve a niche for itself in the growing market. You would need moderate start up capital to for this business, but it would pay you in the future.
10. Hair Salon: women would always need to look good, that is almost like a basic need. The good thing about starting a hair salon is that the business can be started small and in any part of the state and the business would still get enough customers. Just ensure that you have enough skills in the trade and you would make profit in your small business.
11. Cleaning business: if you are quite comfortable with the mop and rag, then you could start a cleaning service. You can easily start your own cleaning business, or if you have saved up enough money, you could buy a cleaning franchise. You can focus on retail businesses and keep your customers clumped into one or two blocks. If you provide great services, it would serve as a mode of advertising for you because your customers will come by word of mouth.
12. Savings consultant service: a savings consultant helps clients accomplish financial objectives by assessing financial situations; developing and presenting financial strategies and plans; monitoring changes in financial status and life circumstances. California being an economically viable state, savings consultancy services are quite essential.
13. Cruise planning: Californians love to go on holiday at least once in a year, so you would make good income if you set up a business planning and arranging cruise trips for people.
14. Temporary staffing business: with all the new businesses cropping up in California, you can start a business that provides temporary staff for them. If you want to maximize profit, and you have training skills, you can choose to train the staff before you send them off to the requesting firm.
15. Private Security firm: security is very essential in every state. One major factor that drives the private security industry is the inadequate distribution of law enforcement personnel, so individuals and companies are forced to hire private security personnel for things like event security and residential patrol. If you have some experience in this area, then you can decide to seek for licensing and open your own private security outfit.
16. Painting business: can you paint? If you can, then you can open up a small business where you can offer painting services to people. You can run this business conveniently from your home and market your services to real estate developers and building remodelers.
17. Brow care: are you a trained beauty therapist? you can decide to focus on giving people perfect brows. Brow care is actually a niche in the beauty industry that can net you good income.
18. Appliance repair shop: An appliance repair business repairs equipment and appliances that are used in the home and garden. The barrier to entry into this industry is very low and a majority of establishments in this industry are individuals who are running the business on their own. If you have the knowledge, you can start a business where you can repair appliances for people.
19. Coffee Shop: A lot of people love coffee, and would always stop over for freshly brewed coffee every once in a while. Setting up a coffee shop in a busy area will attract many customers during office break times and in the mornings. You can add donuts, pretzels or bagels etc as coffee accompaniment.
20. Rug and carpet cleaning: the cleaning service is doing good in California because most people do not have the time nor experience to do them by themselves. With little capital and a lot of experience, you can successfully start a rug and carpet cleaning business.
21. Recycling Business: A recycling facility engages in the recycling of materials such as plastic, paper and glass from waste locations. Once these materials have been separated and sorted, operators go ahead to refine them into usable products and then sell them to wholesalers as well as manufacturers. You can run a small recycling plant in California and where you can recycle either paper, plastic, metals or the likes.
22. Pizza place: pizza is one snack that people love so much, and if you look at the history of prominent pizza houses, you would notice that they all started small. So you as well can start your own pizza place on a small scale and watch the business balloon in future if you take good care of it. You have to know though that you need to have some capital before you can start this business.
23. Vitamin supplement store: people are encouraged to take vitamins because our diets today hardly contain all the nutrients our bodies need daily. You can start a small business where you retail vitamins and other meal supplements. You would need licenses to carry out this business.
24. Boutique: boutiques are good businesses for anyone who has an eye for clothes. You can open a store where you retail clothes. You can equally open a consignment store if you reside in a not-so-wealthy neighborhood.
25. Tanning salon: some people want to be brown all year long, and since the California climate cannot offer them that luxury, they tend to patronize tanning salons. Your customers here would be mostly young people.
26. Photography: if you have the skills and a good camera, you can start a business taking the pictures of others. You can start by showcasing your photography skills with a good portfolio or do some voluntary photography at various weddings and corporate events to get noticed.
27. Home remodeling, tile and supplies store: because of the balanced economy of California, its citizens tend to have cash to spare to remodel their homes. You can start a small business selling tiles, home remodeling and related supplies.
28. Dating website: Dating or matchmaking services involve helping people to meet, communicate, interact and eventually build a romantic relationship. A lot of people all over the world are looking for love, and you can start this service as a small business where you target to bring people who are looking for love in California together. For better integration, you can choose to specialize in a niche in the society.
29. Pet supply web store: Californians love their pets, and with the increase in disposable income, they are more likely to splurge to get their pets expensive products. If you cannot afford a brick and mortar store, you can start an online store were you get to sell your pet supplies. Know that publicity is the key you need to make a success out of this business.
30. Cabinet and closet manufacturing: are you a seasoned carpenter? If yes, then you can make a good living manufacturing cabinets and closets for people. Ensure you put your works in catalogs so that people can choose what they like from there.
31. Barber shop: this is almost like an essential business because men would always have to shave their hair and beard. The good thing about this business is that you can make profit from it in any part of town you site it. But one great tip you need is to ensure that you are able to deliver various trendy hairstyles.
32. Vacation rental business: there are a lot of good sights and places of interest in California making it a nice tourist destination. In order to take advantage of what the state has to offer, you can start renting out vacation homes to tourists and visitors. Since vacations do peak at summer, so your business may likely be a seasonal business, but the profits you would make during the season may likely carry you to the next if you work hard enough.
33. Plumbing and bath remodeling company: people always value change, and if you are an experienced plumber, you could choose to offer that change in the plumbing section. You can set up a company that offers plumbing and bath remodeling services. You can as well offer to sell the accessories yourself if you can afford the startup costs, but if you want to start small, just offer plumbing and remodeling services.
34. Specialty food distribution: specialty food are basically unique and high value food items made in small quantities from high-quality ingredients. Consumers typically pay higher prices for specialty foods, and may perceive them as having various benefits when compared to non-specialty foods. You can decide to start distributing such food items either directly to consumers or to restaurants.
35. Beauty care products retail: beauty products are always in high demand because there are almost essential commodities as far as some people are concerned. You can approach companies dealing in these products and offer to become their retailer. You would make good profits from this business if you manage to expand your client base.
36. Dance studio: if you are a former dancer and you have creative talent, you can open a dance school where you get to teach upcoming dancers moves that can make them popular. If your startup capital is low, you can start the business from your garage and make money from charging registration fees for a certain duration. You could meet schools and offer to train the students, maybe for a certain competition for a small fee.
37. Events planner: California is a lively state and it has celebrations going on quite frequently. If you have a good eye for details, you can offer to plan events for people.
38. Chiropractic center: are you a trained chiropractor, and can you comfortably offer this service to people? Then the logical thing would be to open your own center instead of going to work for another person. A lot of Californians are seeking alternatives to conventional medicine and if your methods prove effective, you would not want for customers, because your satisfied clients would spread the word about your services.
39. Family restaurant: food is a basic need of life, and since the economic climate of California favours small businesses, you could decide to open a small family restaurant that can cater to not only your neighborhood, but others around them too. By way of expansion, you can run a website where people can make reservations, and equally order food. Instead of running a brick and mortar store, you can opt to sell your food from a mobile food truck.
40. Indexing: Book indexers earn their living by providing a useful service to authors, publishers and readers. Indexes are considered to be so important that many university librarians will be less likely to purchase a book for their library if it does not contain an index. Book indexers usually work from home on a freelance basis and they earn good income. There are indexing courses available and you can get an indexing software to help you out.
41. Bakery business: think of warm croissants, doughnuts, pies, cakes, bagels etc whenever you are taking your morning coffee, and you would know why bakeries are an essential part of the society. Note that you can easily run a small bakery where you can bake to satisfy your neighborhood and still make profit.
42. Gutter cleaning business: you can offer this service to residential and official buildings for a fee. The one capital you need to start the business is money to buy cleaning equipment and brushes. Your marketing skill is what would gain you profits in the business.
43. Driving school: if you have a couple of cars at your disposal, you could decide to start a service where you teach people how to drive. But there are license hurdles to scale before you can start this business even on a small scale.
44. Mobile spa service: a spa is a business that provides a variety of services for the purpose of improving health, beauty and relaxation through personal care treatments. Spas offer a variety of services such as manicures, pedicures, hair care, seaweed wraps, aromatherapy, facials, waxing, acupuncture, facial and full body massages. These services are almost essential because people need to relax and pamper themselves after working so hard during the week.
45. Crèche/daycare: do you love kids, and have what it takes to care for them? You can open a center where you can keep an eye on them while their parents work. In California today, most families have both parents working, so the need for daycare facilities are on the increase. You can start this business from your home with no problems, just ensure that your house is child proofed. This business would be most suitable for women especially former teachers or nurses.
46. Grocery store: if your neighborhood is far from the local grocery or convenience store, you can decide to open a grocery store to fill this need. Note that your store need not be as big or well stocked like 7eleven or Walmart, you only need to have a small shop that stocks everyday essentials.
47. Hardware store: setting up a hardware store in California is a good business idea not only because you do not need any skills to start the business, but because the startup cost of the business is quite reasonable. You can setup your store in a commercial area and offer a wide variety of products at reasonable rates. To make it more appealing, you can set up an online store front for people to choose items from and offer free delivery.
48. Laundry service: everyone does laundry, and as such a laundry service is a good business to start anywhere including California. This business, even as it is lucrative requires very little startup capital and expertise. All you need to do is find a good location and gather the required equipment. Spread word of your business all over your neighborhood and you will surely get clients, provided you offer quality services.
49. Car wash service: Car wash business is very lucrative for a state like California; it requires little investment and skills and you are ready to start the business. Majority of people are lazy to clean their cars themselves, target them by providing the best services and making them your regular customers. You can add sidelines of tyre changing, pressure check and etc.
50. Homebased Alteration Service: if you have sewing skills and a sewing machine, then it is time to capitalize on your talent and ideas by providing garment and fabric alteration services right from the convenience of a home workspace, and earn a bundle of money in the process.
Why Start a Business in California?
California has the largest population among all the states in the US, and a higher-than-average per capita income. This makes the state to be teeming with potential business investors, and as well the state is very technologically advanced making it one of the technology hubs in the united states.
Entrepreneurs running huge conglomerates may find California’s complex tax code burdensome and its government regulations prohibitive, but overall, small businesses are thriving in the state.
According to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses contributed 6,471,608 jobs to California’s economy in 2012. That number represented half of all private-sector jobs and 34.8 percent of the entire labor force in December 2012. In 2014, California boasted of a real gross state product of $2.3 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). That is almost 13 percent of the United States’ total gross domestic product.
These statistics show that California has a lot to offer small businesses, and if you reside in California and are looking for a small business to start, we have brought out 50 viable small businesses that you can make profit from.
Thriving Business Sectors in California
Some of the most thriving and also the most dominant sectors of California’s economy are agriculture, science and technology, trade, media and tourism. As the most populous US state as well as a coastal state, the economy of California is quite varied, with each sector performing in equal footing. Studies show that a large percentage of the economic activity is concentrated in the coastal cities, while the inner areas are mostly focused on agriculture.
The strongest economic areas are around Los Angeles, which focuses on media, tourism and trade, and San Francisco, where technology, trade and tourism are the main industries. Besides, as a coastal state, California is also a major gateway for trade to and from the United States.
California is notable for supporting and promoting strong business communities. Little wonder it is known as the home to the film industry in Southern California, the tech industry in Silicon Valley, and wine country in Napa Valley. With the combination of strong entrepreneurship spirit, strong tourism, great universities, and ideal weather all year round makes businesses, especially small businesses, thrive.
Real Estate Market in California
Research shows that some of the most expensive and largest housing markets in the United States of America are in the state of California. As a matter of fact, there are a number of communities in California where average housing prices ranges between US$1 million to $2 million.
Generally, the Central Valley in northern California is the least expensive area, as is the Inland Empire in Southern California, though prices in these regions are still much more expensive than most other areas of the country, to the point that there are also communities in these areas where housing prices average around the $1 million mark. The agricultural central counties have some of the highest poverty rates in the state.
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