As you plan a small business, think of it as an iceberg: there’s so much more going on below the surface. Every enterprise has its expenses, and small businesses are no exception. In fact, there are costs involved that the average entrepreneur may not think about. Here are four costs to keep in mind when starting a small business. Take a few notes so that they don’t catch you off-guard!
You found the right space. Now you must outfit it with the right furniture. You’re probably already familiar with the specific tools of your trade, but what about the tables, chairs, couches, lighting, and other implements that give a workspace a professional veneer? Generally, most businesses put about 10 percent of their budget toward furnishings.
Stick to your budget, and don’t go overboard. Find the sweet spot and buy furniture that’s affordable without sacrificing appearance or durability. Cheap furniture quickly breaks, forcing you to replace it again and again. Find a seller that offers a warranty, free installation, and delivery if you can. Those extra costs add up.
Take Out the Trash
Every business generates trash, and that means every business needs waste management services to handle it. For a basic office setup, contracting a licensed waste hauler to provide a receptacle and take away your trash may be your only step. Restaurants and other merchants who sell food and drink may require composting and grease recycling services. If you deal with any sort of hazardous waste, look up local and state guidelines on their proper removal and consult with a licensed company that provides safe waste disposal.
Add Advertising to the Mix
Steuart Henderson Britt, a wise old marketing professor, once said, “Doing business without advertising is like winking in the dark. You know you’re doing it, but no one else does.” While the free exposure of social media is hard to beat, you still need to invest in some local advertising. On average, small businesses should devote 3 to 7 percent of their revenue to print advertising. Be sure to budget for ads in local newspapers, magazines, and other publications. Print up banners and fliers to spread across town and bring customers to your space.
Always on the Move
If you want to get anywhere, you need to keep moving. The last of the four costs to keep in mind when starting a small business is transportation. This means the gas, oil, insurance, and other car expenses required to drive to lunchtime meetings, visit clients, and attend events. Those costs multiply when you have a fleet of vehicles delivering your products and services as well. Look down the road, so to speak, and determine your budget for travel and transport.