Image by: Public Domain Pictures
By Dexter Lunde
When it comes to creating a start-up, it may be difficult to assess where you should begin. After all, you’re building something from the ground up. Once you have the funds to be able to start building…where do you even start?
Here are some suggestions for you to consider when you’re trying to figure out what to spend some of you start-up funds.
#1) Designing Your Logo & Brand
When it comes to the design elements of your business, spending money into designing your logo is a great way to spend some of that start-up money. Sure, a fancy website may be appealing but a white website with a good-looking logo on it will have a lot better of a response than a fancy website with too many bells and whistles and a cruddy logo to boot.
Your logo is a part of your brand. When people see your logo, they will think of their last experience with you and your business. They will tell their friends about it too. A good-looking, appealing, and well-designed logo will help you appear professional and will help you stand out from the crowd.
Remember that investing money into your brand is like investing money into your future. People will remember your brand – your logo – for a long time so put that extra money and effort into it.
When it comes to handling the funds, hiring an accountant isn’t a bad call to make – especially if you’re not too comfortable handling the money in the first place. After all, financial intellect isn’t something that comes naturally for all of us (just ask my wife).
In addition to handling payroll duties, you’ll also have to work out how your business will be taxed (and make the appropriate payments and turn in the appropriate forms on time), selling stocks, protection from personal liability, your business’s risks, etc.
There is a lot of behind the scenes work that we normally don’t consider when we’re considering starting our own business. So spending the money on hiring an accountant (or someone else to handle some of the financial issues) may come in handy.
#3) Registering Your Name & Site
You’re going to have to register your business name with a county clerk. If you have to, register it as fictitious or as an assumed business name if you’re truly a greenhorn. Also, you may have to register a federal or state trademark.
Don’t forget to register your business name as a domain name if you want to use it as your website. It doesn’t cost much to secure a domain name and address but it is something that you shouldn’t forget to do. Once that is done, look into who you’re going to get to build your site. Are you doing to do it yourself to save a little money or are you going to hire a designer and developer?
Think about what kind of paperwork you need as well. When you initially register your business, you may have to fork over a little extra money (it won’t cost as much to maintain, depending on what you choose). Look into the differences between partnerships, LLCs, C Corporations, and S Corporations. Don’t forget licenses and permits.
#4) Location, Location, Location
Are you working out of your own home? You’re going to have to get it certified (depending on your business). If you’re going to have a storefront, don’t forget the money that you will need if you are going to rent a place or if you’re going to buy a plot and build. It costs more than you think.
#5) Look Into Secondhand Shops and Close-Out Sales
When it comes to filling your storefront, look into second-hand shops and close-out sales to see if you can buy their fixtures. You can refurbish, clean-up, and repaint fixtures in order to suit your needs. These will count as business assets (shelves, tables, a cash register, etc.).
#6) Starting Assets
The easiest example of a business is a book store (for my purposes of explaining – not as a business in general). Starting assets for a bookstore would include the books that you would need to stock your shelves and the other materials that you would sell (magazines, paper, notebooks, etc.).
#7) Budget, Budget, Then Assess Your Budget Again
The great thing about an accountant is that he can keep your books for you. While you may find it easy to do it yourself and you may not want to spend that money on something that you’re perfectly capable of doing, you may find solace in talking with a financial adviser to set up a budget.
He can help you assess your expenses (starting assets, business assets, etc.) in order to find out how much you actually need to get started. Once you’ve raised those funds, it’s up to you to spend that money wisely.
Now it’s your turn. Do you own your own business? Where there any surprise expenses that you can share with us? Did you have an accountant or talk with a financial adviser? Do you feel as though that’s not necessary? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below.