The Most Profitable, Innovative California Businesses for 2013

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It’s no surprise that oil and gas companies top the charts for growth and profit in 2013. According to national averages, net margins in the oil and gas industry topped margins from other private companies by over 200 percent. Several California-based companies made the Fortune 500 list, with Chevron coming in third—the highest spot for a California business. Chevron reported over $233 billion in revenue for 2013. However, California offers a business landscape that’s rich in diversity, as oil and gas companies only played one role in 2013’s economic performance.

California’s Fortune 500 Players

Out of 500 companies on Fortune’s annual list, 54 of the 2013 players were based in California. Companies with the highest profits spanned a variety of niches. Given California’s famous Silicon Valley, it’s not shocking that a number of the businesses are technology, computer, or Internet based. Tech companies reporting billions or millions of dollars in profits include Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Intel, Google, Symantec, and NetApp. Apple is the highest ranking tech company on the Fortune 500 list, reporting $156.5 billion in revenue.

Intuit, the leading software company headquartered in Mountain View, California, is another example of a successful brand with a continued bright future. With the success of their tools like Quickbooks, and their paycheck calculator, they have managed to rank number 8 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2014.

Entertainment is another big money-maker for California businesses. Companies like Walt Disney, DirecTV, and Qualcomm are near the top of the list. Other California industries represented on the Fortune 500 include grocery and food services, retail, finance, and health care.

Small Businesses Play a Role

Though small businesses are unlikely to report the type of revenue that lands companies on the Fortune 500, there were many successful California upstarts in 2013. One of the things that caused some California businesses to stand out in 2013 was innovation. Whether your business invented a new program, or saw record-breaking sales numbers in 2013, the success and changes in your business are as important to you and to local residents as Fortune 500 numbers are to the national economy.

One California-based small business that is making news through innovation and growing profits is Yardarm Technologies. In the wake of several tragedies and growing concerns about gun safety, Yardarm Technologies invented a device that will let individuals disable weapons from a distance. According to Entrepreneur, the device is meant to let gun owners disable misplaced or stolen firearms.

Jumping on another modern bandwagon, California small-business uAttend delivers cloud-based time-management apps that help employers keep track of employee hours, attendance, and scheduling, as CNBC highlights. From on-the-go time management through cell phones to high-tech punch clocks that work with biometrics such as finger prints or hand scans, uAttend delivers solutions for employers in a busy, complex world.

Delivering Needs and Wants

From Fortune 500s to state-based small businesses, the most successful companies of 2013 understood what the public wanted or needed. The businesses that delivered the best services or products in the most innovative fashion pulled in the highest profits for the year. From Disney’s ever-expanding ability to dazzle the masses with its entertainment to uAttend’s attention to singular detail, the best California companies of 2013 provided products that are likely to continue to perform in 2014.

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David Eastman
I was given $1,000 to invest in the stock market as a graduation present and have been hooked to the complexities surrounding today's market Recent College graduate with a degree in financial economics. Currently trying my hand in the marketing world. Strong interest in resources economics and sustainable management practices.

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