You’ve decided to start your own business, but the initial costs can be overwhelming. Startup costs depend on the kind of business you’re launching but there are some things that all small business owners can benefit from having, and don’t cost a great deal.
First of all, you’ll need a way to spread the word about your business. Business cards are a very efficient way to do this. Because they’re small and only cost pennies, you can have several in your purse or wallet and hand them out in natural moments in the conversation. If appropriate, you will also want to print up nice-looking flyers or brochures that you
can hang around town in public bulletin boards (sometimes located in stores, coffee shops or libraries). These can be printed on your own, at an office store, or from one of many different online stationery printing services. You’ll also need presence on the Internet, which is a great way to reach potential customers. Do your research to find web hosting providers for free or low cost.
It will also be very helpful to have a dedicated space for your business. Depending on your business and your living situation, this may not be large, but at a minimum, try for a file drawer dedicated just to business, office supplies and paperwork. Don’t fall prey to disorganization – misplacing invoices, overlooking a payment and not keeping track of your inventory can add up to lost dollars. Staying organized keeps you on top of things and ultimately helps you save money.
Use What You Have
Another great way to save on startup costs is to focus on intangible items; for example, word-of-mouth is a wonderful (and free) tool. When you’re starting up, make sure that you let friends and family know what business you’re in, so they can let people know who need those services that you’re available. You could even consider referral credits for your current clients who refer someone else. Courage, determination, and flexibility are also vital to the success of a start-up.
Invest in reliable anti-virus protection. This keeps all of your documents confidential, secure and free of viruses. Buying backup software can also save you in the long run. A computer crash can be costly – and in some cases, deadly – to a small business owner. Taking the necessary precautions is imperative to staying on budget.
Organize Your Paperwork
Finally, come tax time, you’ll need to have the proper paperwork. Even if you haven’t set up your business as a separate entity (if you’re just making extra money tutoring from your home, for example), you need to declare the income and expenses on your tax forms, so consult your tax professional for details depending how you have your business set up. Also, if your business involves selling goods, be sure to comply with local laws regarding sales tax. Keeping track of the necessary paperwork can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run! Develop good habits at the start of your business and keep them as you get more successful.
Post contributed by Bekah Jorgensen of Motherhood Moment.