When you start a small business, there is far more to your initial financial outlay than renting an office and buying some desks to furnish it. Regardless of the type of business you are starting, there are going to be a significant number of costs involved at the start and in the early days that you need to prepare for. Without sufficient financial foresight, many a small business has crashed and burned too soon due to negligence at the financial planning stage.
An online business is going to have a very different set of costs compared with a bricks and mortar store, but most start-ups have to consider a few fundamental costs that are critical to initial and ongoing success, a few of which we’ll take a quick look at in this article.
1. Planning and research
Don’t go anywhere without putting together a meticulously prepared business plan. This is the blueprint for your business and should accurately outline the potential income against your realistic expenses. Without transparency here, you are in danger of underestimating your overall profit and this can affect everything from paying your bills and your staff to your eligibility for a business loan. Alongside your business plan, you should be engaging in solid market research to ensure that you are selling the right things to the right people (and that they might actually buy them). This doesn’t come for free, especially if you hire an expert.
2. The cost of borrowing and loans
It’s important that you source a reputable lender, such as biz2credit.com, to help you with that initial burst of working capital and help you get things moving forward. Banks, investment companies and other lenders can all help, but you should be aware of high interest repayments and make sure you have budgeted for them.
3. Insurance, licenses and staff costs
There is no doubt that you will need a business insurance of some sort, such as liability insurance and cover for your staff which might include health cover and pension plans. This article on how to find healthcare for startups can help give you insight on how to do this. There are lots of different costs involved when it comes to creating a startup so it’s important to realize which costs are relevant for your business and which can be avoided. Some businesses might even need very specific licenses or permits to operate in some verticals. Don’t forget to add these to your initial start-up costs.
4. Technology and digital systems
You will almost certainly need to have a website built and hosted, along with the requisite eCommerce platform if you intend to sell online, a merchant banking facility to take payments securely online, and a whole host of associated software, including payroll and accounting software that must all be paid for and licensed. You can keep costs lower here by considering the outsourcing of much of this.
5. Supplies and equipment
There are always going to be plenty of supplies needed to operate from day to day, including stationary and whatever materials are specific to your service, product or manufacturing process. Furnishings, computers, smartphones and tablets for your sales staff, and projectors and comms equipment for presentations, the list is endless. It’s important here to establish what is strictly essential and what can justify its cost, and also to decide whether it’s more cost efficient to buy or lease from a specialist and keep equipment costs lower.
These are just a few of the potential costs that a start-up needs to be aware of, but with a little planning you will be able to balance your budget efficiently and make a successful start to your campaign.