How to Start a Business in California

UniTel Voice has a very distinct mission when it comes to startup companies, home businesses, and small businesses. Our mission is to empower people by providing them with the tools to launch and grow their business. As such, we’ve chosen to start a blog series dedicated solely to the entrepreneurs brave enough and perhaps as Steve Jobs would say “foolish” enough to start their own business. To do this we’ve focused in on 10 states in which there has been a sizable leap entrepreneurship.  Today’s blog: “How to Start a Business in California”, is all about what it takes to launch a company in the Golden State. California has long been the state were aspiring actors flock to pursue their dreams of super stardom, and young tech companies (think Google and Apple)go from working out of a garage to Fortune 500 status.  However, just because California is home to movie stars and Silicon Valley, doesn’t mean every startup in California has to hot tech company or related to showbiz. There are plenty of Californian entrepreneurs launching everything form dog walking businesses to energy drink companies. We hope this quick blog provides a few useful tips on how to start a business in California.

Here are 5 things you need to know about starting a small business in the state of California:

1.     Write a Business Plan for your California Startup.

How to write a plan to start a Business in California

If you are wondering how to start a business in California and what it takes to do so, we suggest you start with a plan. There are certainly stories of success for small businesses that had no business plan to get them off the ground. While this may be true and completely possible, we suggest that you create a business plan as the groundwork for the direction in which you wish to go. The plan could be as short as one page, but it is a good way to get all your thoughts together and figure out the best avenue to move forward on. A business plan will make you able to clearly show customers the Who, What, When, Where and How of your start up and the services you will be offering. And will also allow you to outline the goals of the company in a clear fashion, clarify the operating procedures, and describe the competitive landscape (which also includes your marketing plan). Here is a great link to help you get started!

2.     Get a California State Tax Identification Number and Appropriate State Licenses and Permits

How to start a Business in the State of California Tax Info

In California, small business owners are required to obtain the proper licenses and/or permits before beginning their operations. The amount of permits and licenses you will be required to have depends entirely on what type of services or products you plan to offer to your customers. The costs of these licenses will also vary depending on what kind of business it is you wish to start. Before you launch your small business in California, look at this resource that outlines exactly what it is you need to acquire as far as California identification numbers, licenses or permits for tax-registration. Here’s some helpful tax info for starting a small business in California.

3.     Use Local SEO to Win California-Based Customers

starting a Business in the State of California SEO

No matter what type of small business you plan to start in the wonderful state of California, you will most certainly need a professional looking website for customers to use. But the design of the website isn’t the only thing you need to consider. Every good website contains content that is optimized for search engines using local search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. This allows your fellow California residents to find your business and content online easily. The best thing you can do is to give your small business presence on social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ that shows your location. You will also need keywords on your site that list what city you operate out of and what services you provide. Finally, you should also list your business on local online business directories in California. Here’s a great blog that lays out the top 5 things you need to accomplish to best SEO your small businesses website for local online traffic.

4.     Get a Virtual Number

how to get a Virtual Number for your California startup company

Here’s where UniTel Voice comes in. When you first start a new business you want to make sure you obtain a virtual phone number that can ring back to your cell phone, home phone, work phone, or even a virtual voicemail box. The flexibility of a virtual phone number gives you the ease of moving offices, using remote workers, and running your business from your cell phone if need be. You may use a local California area code number or a toll free number for your virtual telephone number. A toll free number is always a good choice because it gives your start up business credibility from the start. A toll free number also gives your small business nationwide appeal if you wished to do business outside of just the state of California.

5.     Get a Virtual Phone System 

how to get a Virtual PBX for a California Small Business

UniTel Voice is all about virtual phone systems because they allow you to sound like a big Fortune 500 company without the hassle of having to install any PBX phone system equipment. A virtual phone system gives you two distinct advantages: it gives your California start up a more professional sound and it keeps you and your business partners easily connected. For example, if someone were to call your businesses number, they would get a professional sounding menu (along the lines of: “Thank you for calling X company, press 1 for English, press 2 to speak to a customer service representative, etc.). Virtual PBX phone system extensions can directly connect callers to your cell phone, home phone, work phone, or they can go right into a virtual voicemail box. And the great thing about a virtual phone system for your small business is that it works directly with your existing phones. You don’t have to stress about the little things because there are no contracts, no setup costs, no expensive equipment that needs to be installed, no hardware to keep up with, and no software to keep updated. Because it’s a virtual PBX system, it’s entirely cloud-based and you can manage every feature online.

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Why the heck did we create an infographic about toll free numbers? Because we’re a boring phone company and we wanted to be found on Google.


Okay, UniTel Voice is not a boring phone company. We sell cutting edge cloud-based phone services (toll free numbers and virtual phone systems) to small businesses and startup companies. We’ve even got a sweet iPhone app! However, we would admit the topic of toll free number service can be pretty dull. So when our marketing team came up with an interesting infographic on the subject, we were pretty darn impressed.

There’s a small business marketing lesson to be learned here.

The majority of our sales come from two places word-of-mouth (i.e. customers referring us to their friends) and online search (people finding us on Google).  The best way to increase customer referrals is by providing amazing customer service—and we’ve had that down since 1998. It’s the people finding us on Google part we are still working on.

toll free numbers and virtual phone systems quoteThere are two ways people find your business on “The Google”. You can pay to rank in search results, or you can create awesome content that organically ranks for free. Since most of our competitors are public companies that out spend us on paid search $100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to $1, we try to focus on ranking organically. So, how do we create awesome content that ranks organically in Google, especially when we’re selling non-sexy services like 1-800 numbers and telephone systems? We focus on our customers. Toll free numbers and virtual phone systems might not be sexy, but our customers are. These days there’s no hotter topic than startup companies and small business entrepreneurs. And that’s the topic we usually cover on our blog. So, why the heck did we create an infographic about toll free numbers? The answer is keywords. Like our competitors, we are desperately trying to rank for the keywords and keyword phrases we know our potential customers are typing into Google (e.g. “get a toll free number”). (Remember, we sell toll free numbers and virtual phone systems to small businesses and startup companies.) This was our best shot at making the topic of toll free numbers interesting, and in doing so, we hope it will increase our ranking for search results related to toll free numbers. How’d we do? We’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below. 

Help your startup company sound and look more professional. Get a toll free number & virtual office phone system from UniTel Voice. You can get a cheap toll free number with quality virtual phone service priced & designed for small businesses and startup companies.

Use This Graphic for FREE on Your Site!

You may use the infographic above on your website, however, the license we grant to you requires that you properly and correctly attribute the work to us with a link back to our website.

…and here’s a nice square thumbnail for facebook:

facts about 1800 toll free numbers thumbnail

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SEO and Content Marketing for Small Business

The case for content marketing for small business:

When people need to find something, a dentist, a place to eat, a product or service, where do they go to find it? They don’t go to a phonebook or the newspaper. They go to Google. Your customers go to Google to find the products and services your small business provides. Therefore, it is critical that your business invests in its SEO (search engine optimization) by producing quality online content. Content marketing for small businesses is critical for business growth because it is the key to not only being found on search engines, but converting online searchers into sales. The article below explains how good content ranks high in Google’s search, how it adds credibility to your company, and how it converts site visitors to customers.

Read more about content marketing for small business in this article posted by our friends at Duct Tape Marketing.

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Small Business Success Tips

If your anything like us here at UniTel Voice, you are constantly getting consumed by all of the ins and outs of your day-to-day business. It can be difficult to be an expert in everything, but you should never let your standards dip. This is why we enjoy John Taffer’s Bar Rescue so much. It’s great to see the progress he is able to make with small business owners by helping them get back to the basics and reminding all of us that sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.

In his 30-plus years in the hospitality business, consultant Jon Taffer has rescued nearly 1,000 bars and many more restaurants from the brink of failure. He’s done it in part by employing high standards, emphasizing measurable results–and mincing no words about costly mistakes managers are making so they can correct them quickly and staunch the red ink.

Sounds so basic, right? Then why is it so hard to do–and why do so many fail at it?

“It is basic,” he said in an interview. “Keeping a bar clean is basic in this business. Having a staff that speaks adequate English is basic.” But miss out on these and other essentials–and just like that, “you get mediocrity.”

“Pushing for excellence is a fight,” he said. “You have to fight to hire the right employees, fight to get the supplies you need, to move line items around. Being a great manager means pushing to get those few extra inches every day. It’s almost like a football game – the team that wins sometimes wins by just inches. But they fought for every single one of them.”

Taffer drives these and other business strategies home on “Bar Rescue,” his Spike TV show, as well as in a new book, Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions. But his insights don’t apply only to the crew at the corner pub. He aims some of them at the managers in Washington and at the voters who hired them.

Here are some of his top small business tips:

Remember the faces of your customers–or risk losing them.

“A customer is not worth just $10–he or she is worth hundreds of dollars, thousands of dollars. In the restaurant business, when you deliver food to someone’s table, one of two things happens: The customer sits up, takes notice, looks over at his or her companion’s plate–or nothing at all happens. No business can allow nothing to happen.

“Consumers have many, many choices today,” he adds. “If you can’t build a relationship with your customers, you’re in big trouble. If you can remember the numbers from the reports and spreadsheets you spent hours poring over in your office, but you can’t picture the faces of your customers–you’re in big trouble.”


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You probably dial telephone number area codes every day, but have you ever stopped to think about the history behind area codes? When, why, how, and who first introduced area codes? When did we start using them? Why do telephone numbers need area codes? How did you end up with a particular area code? Why do they use 555 area codes in the movies? Are there any area codes so coveted that they would sell for one million dollars? This fun infographic below tackles these quandaries and more in’s collection of interesting facts about area codes that will BLOW YOUR MIND! Okay, not all of these telephone area code facts will “blow your mind”, but they are interesting. So please take a quick look and let us know which facts you find remarkable (as well as any gems we may not have included) in the comments section below.

Facts About Area Codes That Will Blow Your Mind

Help your startup company sound and look more professional. Get a toll free number & virtual office phone system from UniTel Voice. You can get a cheap toll free number with quality virtual phone service priced & designed for small businesses and startup companies.

Use This Graphic for FREE on Your Site!

You may use the infographic above on your website, however, the license we grant to you requires that you properly and correctly attribute the work to us with a link back to our website.

…and here’s a nice square thumbnail for facebook:

Social Media Thumbnail Image

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Happy Halloween! Enjoy Scary Savings with Small Business Coupons from UniTel Voice

At UniTel Voice we love to give out small business coupons during the holidays, and Halloween happens to be our favorite! Click the image below to instantly take advantage of these small business coupons for Virtual Office Phone Systems & Toll Free Number Service. And the best part is these scary savings last all year. No promo codes required for this small business coupon, just click the promotional discount image below.


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How to get small business social media fansMaximizing the value of social media efforts is a tough task for small business owners and one man marketing teams. Growth can seem slow when you don’t have time or money to throw at contests and and larger campaigns. This is why it feels soo good when you finally can get some positive customer feedback. Here are 4 great strategies to make the most out of these opportunities and keep your followers coming back for more. They’ve also included some awesome tools!

1. Use a targeted approach.

Fostering wide scale awareness on social media in the same manner as huge brands isn’t economically feasible for small- to medium-sized companies. Instead, Maloney says companies with more modest budgets should spend their time and resources on the customers they’re most likely to convert.

Read More Here!

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5 Tips for Starting a Small Business in the State of Arizona

How to Start a Business in Arizona

The mission of UniTel Voice is to empower startup companies, small businesses, and home-business owners to launch and grow their businesses. With that mission in mind we’ve decided to start a new blog series on tips for how to start a business, and in doing so, we’ve hand selected 10 states where there’s been a notable increase in entrepreneurship. Starting with the states that begin with the letter “A”, today’s topic is: how to start a business in Arizona. Arizona has always been a great place for entrepreneurs. Even Wyatt Earp decided to hang up his badge and gun to start his own Arizona small business. Unfortunately, that whole OK Corral thing caused him to put his business on hold, but if Arizona is good enough for the Earps to launch their startup business dreams, it’s good enough for us. Here are 5 must-know tips about starting a business in the great state of Arizona:

Here are 5 tips you need to know about starting a business in the great state of Alabama:

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Update: The FCC is scheduled to release the newest toll free prefix 833 very soon. To learn how you can pre-order 833 toll free numbers and reserve your chance to get a great 833 vanity number before all the good numbers are scooped up by someone else

What You Need to Know About Pre-Ordering 844 Numbers!

Special FCC Announcement: The Release Date for the New 844 Toll Free Prefix Has Been Moved Up. 844 Numbers Will Be Available December, 7 2013! 

How to Pre-Order 844 Toll Free Numbers

Companies and individuals can now reserve or pre-order 844 toll free phone numbers! Looks like Christmas is coming early this year for marketers, as the FCC announces the release of the new 844 toll free number prefix scheduled for this December.


People across the USA and Canada have already begun to pre-order and submit reservation requests to reserve 844 vanity numbers. Folks know 844 numbers are going to go fast and this is their one and only opportunity to grab the perfect custom toll free 844 number.  If you own a small business or you work in the marketing department of a large company, you know how hard it is to find the perfect website domain name and you probably know that it’s even harder to find the perfect toll free vanity number.  The good news is no matter how big or small your company, it has an equal opportunity to snap up toll free vanity numbers as they become available. In fact, the FCC ensures that toll free numbers are distributed on a first come, first serve basis. So if you are interested, you should try to pre-order 844 vanity numbers and reserve 844 toll free numbers now so you are first in line to nab them on 10-7-13 at 12pm EST. There are special rules the FCC has put in to place to protect consumers and prevent number hording.  When a number is released into the SMS/800 spear pool, the first phone company to submit a RespOrg (Responsible Organization) request gets the number. The only problem is these high-demand vanity numbers go extremely quickly. Every marketer knows that a good toll free number can be a powerful marketing tool. Just ask the guys over at 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-800-DENTIST. Their phone number is more than just their brand, it’s their whole business.

So, how do I Reserve an 844 Vanity Number?

How to Reserve 844 Vanity Numbers

The last time the FCC released a new toll free number prefix was when they released 855 toll free numbers in October of 2010. With that said, it could be a while before the FCC releases the next toll free prefix 833 or 822. Businesses and marketers have a limited-time opportunity to place an 844 number reservation request. Because of this small window of opportunity you should act now and pre-order 844 numbers today. The sooner you place your order request the better chance you’ll have at being first in line to secure an 844 vanity toll free number. After December 7, it’s highly likely all these high-demand 844 vanity numbers will be snapped up. So, how do you pre-order 844 toll free numbers? You can do it through UniTel Voice, an authorized RespOrg toll free service provider registered with the FCC. UniTel Voice has made reserving 844 numbers fast, easy, and affordable. You can submit a reservation request for less than a $1 per number. And UniTel Voice will only charge you a one-time fee of $99 if, and only if, we successfully secure your number. Other companies with the same level of access to 844 numbers are charging upwards of $50 per reservation request and $600 if they secure the 844 vanity number. Learn how you can reserve an 844 number for your small business.

Why Pre-Order an 844 Toll Free Number through UniTel Voice?

Get 844 Toll Free Vanity Numbers

UniTel Voice uses an automated submission system that has been developed to ensure customers have the best chance at being first in line to secure a new 844 vanity number! When the clock sticks 12pm EST on 12/7/13, our systems will instantly submit your order requests. While there is no guarantee that we will get every number, this is the best opportunity for those looking to get high-demand vanity numbers. Companies using similar submission technologies are charging upwards of $600 per number for these same services. Beware of 844 capture scams and be sure to use a trusted toll free service provider like UniTel Voice.

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Wondering how to be an entrepreneur?

How to be an Entrepreneur Profile

If you want to learn how to become an entrepreneur you should first examine the average entrepreneur profile.  When you think about the people who start companies you probably envision a young Steve Jobs building the Apple 1 in his garage, or the guys from Google writing code in their grade student dorms. You might be surprised to learn that the majority of people who start a business don’t fit the stereotypical entrepreneur profile glorified in the media. The fact is when you look at entrepreneur statistics you don’t see many Harvard college-kid dropouts turned billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and not every startup is a hot tech company. If you want to know how to be an entrepreneur, just look at the startup stats to learn the facts about entrepreneurs. You’ll find that the average age of most company founders is 40 years old. And of those founders most have graduated college, have several years of experience working for other companies, and are married with kids. Did you know that Sam Walton was 44 years old when he stated the first Wal-Mart store? He was even older when the chain really took off.

Facts about Entrepreneurship Stats

These entrepreneur statistics may surprise you. However the facts about entrepreneurship shouldn’t be discouraging—they should be inspiring! No matter where you are in your education, your career, or your life, you can take the leap and try to start a new business.  No one says you have to change the world, start Wal-Mart or create Google. The truth is whether your business creates one job or hundred jobs, it’s still an incredible accomplishment. Becoming an entrepreneur means taking that leap and giving your business idea a go. Below is an Infographic displaying some of these thought-provoking entrepreneur statistics that contrast startup founder stereotypes. It illustrates an entrepreneur profile that might surprise you and inspire your own quest on how to become an entrepreneur.  Please feel free to share.

Infographic: Interesting Stats about Entrepreneurs that May Surprise You 

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