Regardless of the type of business, you’re planning for; there are going to be expenses that most people overlook. You don’t want to be unprepared. This article will help to ensure that you don’t miss anything.
It’s impossible to create a complete budget for your business if you’re not accounting for all expenses. This is not an all-inclusive guide, and you might face other costs based on the specifics of your business. This mini-guide covers the most common areas that entrepreneurs fail to financially plan for.
In today’s digital world, all businesses need a website. While there are lots of free site building tools available, in most situations, you’ll want something more custom. Consumers are smarter than you think, they are able to spot unprofessional websites easily.
If you want to stand out, you’ll want to invest in the services of a professional web designer. Here are a few things you’ll want to make sure your website includes:
- Well-written product or service descriptions and high-quality photos
- Your business’s contact details
- Customer service information or a live chat option
- A backstory or ‘about me’ page to detail your experience or explain your brand’s history
You could have the best services or products in the world, but you’ll struggle with sales if potential customers don’t know your business exists. To have cohesive and consistent efforts that produce results, you’ll have to develop an advanced marketing strategy. Having a plan is essential to your success, especially if you’ve decided to go it alone and not hire a marketing agency.
For the best results, focus on these things first:
- Identify your target market
- Targeted social media ads
- Email list marketing
- SEO for your website
Growing your team
Expanding your business is the primary reason for growing your team. You may not need to start hiring employees right away but there will come a time in the future when you’ll be ready to grow and will need a few additional hands. Before you start hiring full-time employees, consider the costs involved: advertising costs for open positions, time spent reviewing applications and interviewing candidates, training and development, weekly salary expense, and benefits – it can all add up fast. Take the time to calculate the potential costs of growing your team before taking on more than your business is ready to handle.
Maintenance and improvements
If you have a physical location or hardware/equipment, you will have to pay for maintenance and improvements from time to time. Make sure you have a line item in your budget for these expenses, that way you’re always prepared. You’ll have even more risk if your business has to meet safety standards or code enforcement.
For example, if you’re in the property renovation business you will be paying for the labor and materials to improve the property. Do your research. Get more information about the condition of the property and potential repairs needed by having a home inspection completed. While it’s impossible to know exactly how much you’ll spend on each property; you want to be as informed as possible. Even then, it’s in your best interest to overestimate and set aside contingency funds for your investment.
There are many different legal matters that could affect your business over time. It’s impossible to list them all here without knowing the ins and outs of your particular brand. However, you’ll want to build a relationship with a reputable business lawyer as soon as possible. That way, you will have someone ready to swing into action whenever issues arise.
Don’t think this applies to your business? Some of the most common reasons entrepreneurs require legal support include:
- Patent & Trademark infringements
- Employment disputes
When it comes to selecting the right representation, read online testimonials and reviews. If a lawyer makes mistakes, is unscrupulous, or doesn’t perform as their clients expect; you can guarantee someone will write about it online. Do your research and save yourself a headache.
All entrepreneurs and business owners need to think about the cost of insurance when doing budget planning. Depending on your industry, you may have additional (more specific) coverages to consider. However, the following list is applicable to most businesses:
- General liability
- Product liability
- Professional Liability
- Property coverage
- Worker’s Compensation (once you have a team)
- Commercial Auto (if you have company vehicles)
Business insurance works the same as personal coverages in that, you’ll want to shop around to find the most coverage for the best price.
*this is a contributor written post