So you’re thinking of starting your own small business, huh? Congrats! Being a small business owner is exciting, rewarding and ambitious. But before you start popping the bubbly and diving straight in, it’s important to look at your budget and expected expenses to ensure you’re not splurging on the areas of your business where you could be saving.
Splurge on: A good accountant
You’ll never hear a small business owner say they regret spending money on an accountant to oversee their finances. While it’s always important to know what’s happening with your money, having an expert manage your finances and handle everything from expenses to taxes is worth its weight in gold. Speak to peers within your industry for a reference – you’ll want someone who understands the type of work you do and the legalities around your field.
Save on: Office space
Having a space to call your own is the dream for most small business owners, but in big cities where rental fees and utility costs can run sky-high, having a bricks and mortar office can be a huge hit to your budget. If you have a small team, consider a home office to cut costs or perhaps a shared workspace – you may be able to find a remote working facility that allows you to become a member and gain access to everything from a hot desk to a dedicated boardroom for a fraction of the cost.
Splurge on: Branding
First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to your business. Before you launch your online shop or open the doors to your new cafe, hire a freelance branding specialist to create your visual identity – what people see when they view your website, social media or advertising. Your logo and aesthetic is what draws people in and defines who you are as a business, and good branding is often what keeps them engaged. It’s a one-time payment that has lasting rewards.
Splurge on: Digital marketing
Once you have your branding done and a great website to showcase your business, spend some money on driving traffic to it. Search ads, influencer marketing, boosted social media posts – all of these things will get your business into the right customers’ faces. Find a freelance digital specialist who can help you with the above, but that can also set you up with good search engine optimization (SEO) so your business is showing up on the first page of search engines when people search for something within your field.
Save on: Staffing
Most small businesses start out with one or two employees (that’s you!), then grow and reach that inevitable point of, “Should I hire more staff?” Instead of immediately hiring a full-time employee and dedicating budget to salary, benefits, and expenses, consider what tasks can be outsourced to a contractor or freelancer. Work like web development or copywriting doesn’t always require full-time hours, and you’ll likely be able to hire a more experienced freelancer for less than the cost of a full-time junior employee.