There are so many costs to consider when you start up a business. Things like premises, stock, staff and equipment costs are obvious- but there are some other things too that are easier to overlook. Don’t let these common costs catch you out!
You need insurances to protect your staff and the public from any harm that could come from your business. This includes everything from workplace slips and trips, to faulty products or a customer having an accident on your premises. For example, did you realise that if someone slips on snow or wet ground outside of your property (not even inside the building) you could be held liable and taken to court? Insurance covers your back just in case the worst were to happen, even if you’re careful you just never know.
You need licenses for much more than you might realise in business- everything from hanging signs outside your premises, to playing background music in your shop. Get this wrong and you could end up massively out of pocket where you can be fined for your mistake. They’re not difficult to get, usually it’s just a form filled in and the payment made to cover the license each year. But it’s definitely not something to overlook.
If you’re a business that will be selling products, have you looked into shipping costs properly? If they’re too high, customers won’t want to pay them but set them too low and it will be you footing the bill. Companies like Parcel2Go can help to keep these costs down, but you’ll need to run quotes and find a company that can offer what you need and within your budget. Along with shipping costs, consider warehousing and picking/ packing costs with staff. You might even choose to outsource to a fulfilment company who can cover all of this for you in one place.
Marketing simply cannot be just an afterthought, its something you need to consider and budget for from the very start. Marketing these days is complex, you can’t just hand out a few flyers and expect the custom to come rolling in. You need an expert who can promote in the right way across social media, use blogger outreach, organic markerting like SEO and paid techniques like SEM. You’ll need to account for these costs and know you can afford them, or there’s no point opening a business in the first place. With so much competition out there, it’s marketing that will push your brand out there to people who are likely to be interested so they can choose you over your competitors.
Business owners – what costs surprised you or caught you out when you first opened your company?
*This is a contributed post