Whatever you do, and however hard you try to keep your spending down, there are certain costs that you’ll simply have to account for if you’re going to make your business a success. In this post, we’re going to list some of the most important — so if you’re planning to start a business in the near future, set aside the budget to cover these.
Every once in a while, it’s nice to stop and smell the roses when it comes to technological development. We can get so lost in the doom and gloom — a pandemic savaging the world, ecological disaster looming over the horizon, geopolitical instability — that we forget about all the things worth celebrating, such as the incredible resource that is the modern internet.
For entrepreneurial types, the online world is a bonanza of free advice (this site being an example), templates, guides, tools, and services. If you’re savvy and willing to put in the time and effort to do some research, you can accomplish remarkable things without spending anything at all — but you can’t outright launch a business without any money to spend.
Whatever you do, and however hard you try to keep your spending down, there are certain costs that you’ll simply have to account for if you’re going to make your business a success. In this post, we’re going to list some of the most important — so if you’re planning to start a business in the near future, set aside the budget to cover these:
Essential business software
Every modern company needs a strong digital foundation upon which to build. This was true before a pandemic broke out and turned remote working into the new standard, and it’s true now that things have changed so extensively. And the key to that is choosing the right software systems to invest in — after all, broad business-level software isn’t going to be free.
The cheapest and easiest way to proceed is to route software sourcing through a cloud solution distributor, that being a company that purchases software licenses from developers and sells them to you along with technical and general guidance (for example, intY, a Scan Source Company, has extensive expertise in the Microsoft cloud). This will avoid a frustrating setup process and ensure that you know how to make best use of the tools available to you.
Reliable website hosting
Business software is key for your internal operations, but your website will serve as the public face of your company, so it needs to be good. And while there are plenty of ways in which you can get free websites (just as you can use some business tools for free), you can’t afford to be so thrifty in this area. Free websites are low-quality, slow, and riddled with third-party branding.
The good news is that good website hosting isn’t expensive at all. You don’t even need to pay for an expensive content management system (CMS): you can just use WordPress, which is free, and pay a small monthly sum to keep your site running quickly.
Any necessary equipment
While it’s true that business has moved heavily into the virtual realm, operating more and more at a distance, that doesn’t mean that it’s no longer necessary to load up on equipment before getting anywhere. Take computer hardware for the most obvious example. At a minimum, you’re going to need a decent laptop for getting your workload done — and if you hire any employees, you’ll need more machines for those people.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may need various other things. After all, a basic print-on-demand company can’t get very far without printers, inks, and fabrics. But it’s that core of computer equipment and office supplies (a desk, a big display, suitable peripherals, etc.) that demands investment, because you can’t exactly get by using just a pen and paper.
A lot of time (if only yours)
Lastly, many of the biggest unavoidable costs involved in starting a business are opportunity costs, because you have to sacrifice your time to turn your dream into a reality — and your time is valuable. Even if you only intend to create a side business that provides supplemental income, you’ll likely find that it grows over time to take up more of your week.
As you work on your business, you’ll have less time for your personal life, other professional pursuits, self-improvement, intellectual pursuits… In short, you must understand and accept that starting a business will come to dominate your life for a spell, because the pressure can easily overwhelm you if you’re not fully prepared for it.
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