Starting a business is an ambitious undertaking. The stakes are high, and it’s not easy to make a name for yourself. The costs will pile up fast, and you may feel tempted to cut corners. It’s possible to go bare bones, but there are things you just can’t live without, and you can risk your business falling apart if you don’t make the necessary investments for your success. These are the seven business expenses essential for success.
How are you going to link everyone together? Where is your software going to go, and how do you plan to keep track of facts and figures? Creating a server room is an expensive and complicated process, so go for cloud computing. That will allow your employees to work remotely, and the pay-as-you-go model offered by most cloud service providers may be a more budget-friendly option, while simultaneously offering maximum flexibility.
2. Legal Help
Don’t wait until you have a problem. Preventative care goes a long way. Have a lawyer look over your documents, file the appropriate copyrights and patents, and make sure you’re going about things the right way from the get-go. A legal problem is very costly to solve, better to prevent them instead.
How will you make your business known? What are you doing to make yourself stand out from your competitors? Invest in a brand strategy, a great business name and an awesome logo design. These assets will help you understand how to present yourself in a consistent and professional manner. It’s never too early to invest in branding as it is the foundation of your marketing, and you need to include branding in your startup costs.
4. An Accountant
Get a very good accountant or bookkeeper and think about using cloud-based accounting software to help you manage your business finances and tax. You have a lot going on when you start a business, and if this is your first time, making all the numbers work can become overwhelming. Invest in professional help. Create a financial plan with some room for error, and avoid mistakes that can lead you straight to bankruptcy.
5. Travel and Networking
In any industry, there are many successful people and if you can tap into what they are doing and learn from them, it can make a huge difference. Follow them on LinkedIn and join professional groups and associations. Make a point of attending industry events, training and seminars so you can network and ask for advice or find inspiration that will help you with your own business.
6. Good IT Support
If you experience a technical disaster, and don’t have a backup, the outlook is bleak. Almost half of businesses fold after a major disaster, and you don’t want to become a statistic. Invest in good IT support to manage your systems and create efficient backups. Don’t leave technical support in the hands of one of your staff on a part-time basis – especially if they’re not an expert. For a more budget friendly option, consider outsourcing IT support instead of hiring an in-house solution.
7. Current Technology
Technology changes at a rapid pace. If you’re buying old model computers or other equipment to save money, they’re going to become outdated very quickly. It’s worth spending a few extra dollars to make sure the technology you invest in is going to last – at least until you have available funds to expand and upgrade everything.
Starting a business is not cheap, especially when you start from scratch instead of buying a going concern. The key is to invest wisely – spend money on the areas that are important, where you will really see the benefit of your investments.