Calculating Startup Costs

Focus on building your business, and focus on people and culture, advises entrepreneur James Bodenstedt. Target these growth factors and the result is an accomplishment you can be proud of.

In the world of business (big or small), money talks. Your investors are going to want to know how much of it you’re planning to spend to get things started — and when you expect to see solid profits. Save money, secure loans, and set yourself up to create wealth by tallying your expenses in preparation for your business’ launch.

Identifying Expenses 

Brick and mortar. E-commerce. Service provider. These are the three main types of businesses. While there will be expenses that are directly related to your unique venture, most new businesses share the following standard startup costs and capital expenditures:

  • Office space
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture, equipment, and supplies
  • Utilities
  • Insurance and permit fees
  • Lawyers, accountants, and professional consultants
  • Inventory
  • Employee salaries
  • Market research
  • Physical marketing materials
  • Website and logo design
With your list of expenses outlined, it’s time to start estimating how much each one will cost. The costs of some expenses (like permits) are established and known to the public, but you’ll have to do some research of your own to determine prices for the rest. Search online or reach out to advisors and vendors directly for information on what similar companies expend.
Get organized and arrange your expenses (and their costs) into two groups: Preliminary one-time expenses you’ll use to start your business, and the ongoing expenses you’ll pay regularly to maintain operations.

One-Time Expenses
  • Major equipment purchases
  • Hiring graphics and UX designers
  • Legally registering your business
  • Printed marketing materials and signs
Ongoing Expenses
  • Facility rentals
  • website hosting and domain fees
  • employee salaries
  • utility bills
Most initial startup expenses are tax-deductible, but some long-term assets that don’t qualify can be written off through depreciation. Don’t forget to monitor these costs carefully, so you have detailed information to discuss with your accountant come tax filing season.

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