It is often difficult to estimate exactly how much money do you need to start a business, especially if you have no experience as an entrepreneur. Different types of business have different requirements, and there are also some expenses that can easily be postponed or avoided altogether by finding cheaper alternatives or a different approach. If you are thinking of launching a business, consider your costs in the following areas to draw a ballpark figure of your business start-up costs.
Very few businesses can operate without any sort of equipment, even if it’s just a computer to create content for making money with Google. If you are short on business capital to start with focus on buying first the things that you absolutely need to generate money, and you can progress further down your shopping list as you start creating revenue. Look at low cost options, such as clearance sales or second hand items, but don’t sacrifice quality to the point you waste your time or health operating equipment that is not adequate for your needs.
If you want to reduce your start-up costs you are probably considering creating a home office and managing your business from there, but that’s not always possible. If you require business premises allocate enough time to research and choose something that is within your budget. Many entrepreneurs, especially those working on media and online ventures, choose shared office spaces to cut costs, but there’s also specially designed shared working spaces for artisans, with shared working areas and equipment, which can also be worth looking at. If you don’t have money to start a business and need to obtain funding from a bank remember to justify on your business plan why you choose a particular office size if, for example, you are the only person working for the business.
Few small businesses require a large advertising campaign to start with, but having an online presence such as a professional business website and a blog is almost always a must. Budget ahead for the development and deployment of your business website, hosting and domain names, and make sure you get a product that you can keep up to date yourself, such as a business website powered by WordPress or other user friendly CMS. In terms of marketing, you may do better and lower cost by getting a SEO advisor from the beginning and planning your website and marketing strategy so it also provides long term organic traffic to your website, instead of trying to add it after the website is ready.
Legal and Start-up Costs
Remember budgeting for things such as legally registering your business, any copyright and licensing needed and permits for the type of activity you intend to do if necessary. While registering a business in the UK is very quick, permits can take quite a bit longer unless you pay extra to have the process fast-tracked, so consider getting it out of the way even before you register. You can claim this kind of costs as business expenses under the header pre-trading expenses, even if they happened before your company was legally an entity. It’s also worth considering investing on professional advice to create a business plan, as that can make all the different between getting that grant or loan from the bank and being rejected. A professional business plan will also help you estimate your first year costs and potential revenue, and act as a guide when you are unsure about where your business is going.