Starting your own business is a very exciting and stressful time, full of things you need to accomplish. You need to find your market, streamline your product or service, and work out lots of logistics. Money is a huge consideration, and having a strong handle on your budget will help you get off to the best start you possibly can.
When starting your own business, you have to decide whether working from home is for you. If it isn’t, then you’ll need to rent office space somewhere. If you do decide to work from home, having a separate area from which to conduct your business is the best idea. Budget for office supplies and anything else you’ll need to create a comfortable workspace for yourself.
Technology and Tools
Plan on your business having its own phone line, whether that be cellular or landline. Also invest in a fast Internet connection, and a computer that fits all of your particular needs. Depending on the kind of business you’re starting, you’ll also need certain tools, hardware, and software to make your product or offer your service. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of printing business cards, sending mail, and processing payments.
While a lot of advertising and marketing can be done for free via social media, you’ll likely need to invest in some advertising, too. Depending on your potential client base, you might want to buy ad space online, on local television, or in the newspaper. You can also consider printing materials to be distributed at networking events or conferences.
To attract clients, you’ll need a strong web presence. Your website should be clean, readable, and professional, so hiring someone to create and maintain it may be a consideration to factor into your budget, depending on whether you feel comfortable building, maintaining, and updating a site on your own.
You’ll want to purchase a URL, and you’ll also want to set up an email account for your business. A social media presence is also a good idea; hit all the main sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In terms of social media, you’re budgeting for time. Don’t spend too much time updating, but don’t neglect your web presence all together, either.
Many of the most successful small businesses are always learning more about their fields. So keep part of your budget open to attending seminars, classes, and conferences. Not only will you have the chance to network with other individuals in similar areas, you’ll keep your ideas fresh and your products or services current. It’s also a good idea to attend general business classes or seminars, because you can always learn more about operating a business. You might even consider getting an education from the best online MBA program to really hone your skills and help your business grow.
You already have to worry about your personal taxes. But starting a business means you’ll have to file taxes for your business, too. You might want to purchase software to help you keep track of all your expenses and deductibles. Or, you might want to include some funds in your budget to hire an accountant to take care of business taxes for you.
You need a tax identification number– in some cities and counties you’ll need a business license to conduct certain kinds of businesses you need special licenses. You can find this information out via your local government. Whether you need it to operate your business in your city, many larger businesses will want to see your license before doing business with you, so having one is a good idea.
The list of things to consider is long when starting a business. From taxes and advertising to the tools you’ll need, figuring out how to use your money and where to invest it may seem daunting. But creating a budget both for starting up and for continued operation will help you manage your expenses without forgetting any small detail.
Alexandra Shostak is a freelance writer and graphic designer.