Start Me Up: Online Business Budget PlanningPosted by Celeste
Online businesses are great for bootstrappers, but even if you plan to be completely lean in your start up and do all of the work yourself, you will have to spend money to make money. The question is which items to include and which to omit in your online business budget.
You will need to get your paperwork in order. This is something that you can do yourself, or you can pay someone to do for you. The cost of registering your business with the government, starting a business bank account, and obtaining any necessary licenses will depend on whether you elect to do it yourself or pay a professional such as a lawyer or accountant to do it for you. As time goes on, you will need to keep records and do things like remit taxes. Once again, the cost will depend on how much you do yourself.
Depending on whether or not your business is completely virtual, you may have to budget for physical space. There are many different ways you can do this, and for online businesses that are just starting out, shared space may be the way to go. Services such as the hive that rent out inexpensive work and meeting space on an as needed basis are a flexible option that doesn’t require a lot of capital up front. Computer equipment is an obvious physical expense, but many forget to budget for software. There are many cloud computing solutions out there that are very reasonably priced, so set aside funds for the right solution for your company. Web hosting is vital. If the public cannot access your website, they cannot give you money. Shop around for the best service you can afford.
Whether you need help with writing a business plan to get lending, or are simply looking for someone to help with the volume of work that you have to tackle on a day to day basis, you can hire a freelancer or a firm to assist you. If you are hoping to make a big splash with your new company, you might also consider budgeting for a PR firm or some help with branding and marketing. Paying the right web design team at the outset can save you money in the long run. Money carefully spent on professionals can pay great dividends. As you are putting together your business plan, take into consideration what these services will cost and what the return will be.
What surprise budget items did you encounter with your online start up?
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