When you are drafting your business plan and figuring out just how much money you will need to get your company off the ground, some expenses come readily to mind. There are the costs associated with renting or buying property, with the products or services you plan to sell, and with the equipment you will need to run your enterprise.
In addition, there are several not-so-apparent expenses that you need to be aware of before they sneak up on you and unexpectedly take away vital capital.
If you have property, products or a reputation to protect, purchasing business insurance needs to be one of your priorities. Even if you are running your enterprise out of your bedroom, you may still need at home business insurance to supplement the coverage you are already getting through your homeowner’s policy. If you are operating out of your house, be sure to talk to your insurance agent about what you are doing. You may need to add endorsements onto your existing policy.
Whether you have several large locations, one storefront or just a room, it is important that you protect yourself against property damage, theft, injury to a third party and even the consequences of an error or omission that you or an employee make. That’s what insurance is all about.
You can have the best idea on the block and offer one-of-a-kind products that have the potential to change the world, but all of this will come to nothing if no one knows you exist. Advertising can take place in multiple ways: print, TV, in person and online.
These days, platforms such as social media and customer review sites are some of the best ways to get the word out about what you’re doing, and best of all, much of it is free. However, you may find that you are so busy with your day-to-day operations that you don’t have the time to start and maintain a multi-pronged marketing campaign. If this is the case, investing in a employee who can take on this burden can be some of the best money you ever spend.
Even if you’re just starting out, Uncle Sam will probably still take a piece of your small earnings. You may even be charged a self-employment tax. If numbers make your head spin and you fear the prospect of being audited, you should also seriously consider paying a CPA to do your taxes for you. Furthermore, investing in software that tracks your finances throughout the year can make tax time a great deal less stressful.
Anything that’s worth doing is not easy, and often it does not come quickly. As much as you love the business you are growing, you will soon discover that it is a real time hog. You will spend countless hours doing administrative jobs that you may not love. You will get up earlier, stay later and work harder than you ever imagined. One inevitable casualty of owning a business is that your personal time is curtailed. Knowing this in advance and coming up with strategies that will ensure that you don’t burn out are as important parts of your business plan as is the discussion of your products and services.
When you own a business, you are in it for the long haul. With your eyes open about the true costs, you can make an informed commitment to your enterprise and to yourself. Ultimately, that will lead to better customer service, happier employees and, perhaps most important, a happier you.