Throughout the ages people have regularly bemoaned the fact there are some things you simply need to pay for. Maybe all you need is love. Maybe money doesn't grow on trees. But money does start businesses, and when you're getting started there are things you simply need to pay for – but hopefully not too much. So here are ten things you need to spend money on to make your business dreams an affordable reality.

1) Registering a company name.

Once you've got an idea or a plan in place it's important to safeguard it. Think about patents or trademarking for your idea. Ultimately, your business name will be vital. Also, registering your company name is required under law. It's simpler than you think but it will cost you anything from £15 upwards.

2) Buying a domain name.

This is another vital name to buy. Getting the right .com address can make your website and branding that much more special and memorable. Some domains can cost as little as a few pennies, going up to much higher costs for the more desirable ones. Spend wisely; think carefully about what it sounds like. Once the name is in place building the website could be hundreds for a simple site and thousands for a more detailed one.

3) Get a bank account.

Business banking isn't often free these days. Some banks may offer you a cost free period, but expect charges to commence for transactions, statements, payments, and often for holding an account in the first place. Take some time to compare your options, and choose wisely.

4) Finding a workspace.

Most businesses need a front door. If this is at home you'll need to create a space to work from. If an office, there's rent or purchase. Alternatively hire a desk at a Business centre. Again you can cut costs with comparison and flexibility.

5) Furniture and fittings.

Something to sit on, a desk to work from, phones, computers, and all the other office trappings. Kit out your office sensibly and think about how it feels to the visitor if clients will be coming to your door.

6) Market research.

A good business has to understand its market. Who's your competition? What do your clients want ? Market research can cost anywhere from a few hundred pounds to a few million, depending on your budget and the size of your operation.

7) Finding people to help.

Who's working with you? Many start-ups are one person operations, but soon you may want to think about staff, or hiring consultants. Who the person you hire is, is as important as what they do. Make sure you find a good team.

8) Good payroll software.

The moment you think of staff then you need to think payroll. How can you manage the tax and NI for employees? How can you keep track of the costs of consultants or the provision of one-off services? With next tax legislation in the UK, companies need to provide information month on month and good software is vital. Make space to spend a few hundred on the initial payroll software package, and then allow a smaller amount for upgrades. If you spend wisely it will be a few hundred pounds well spent.
 

9) Making a splash.

How will you launch and what will people learn about you? It's worth investing in a product launch or an event to get yourself known. Organise a lunch, hire a bar for drinks, and give an explanation of who you are; create a stunt which attracts attention. Advertising may then start to kick in and costs can rise surprisingly. Think how you can reach your clients with the message you want to send and how to do so in an affordable, effective way.

10) Getting your product to market.

With everything set up and ready to go, your last investment will be in the product or services you're selling. The idea is there, it's been prototyped and launched, and people are buying it. How can you grow production and get the goods to market in bigger numbers? Will you be ready when a massive order comes in? Investment here, in production or in training others to provide your service, will create an infrastructure able to cope with growth.

 

Starting a business is never easy. It's often one person stretched to the limit. But a budget which is aware of costs and ready to commit money when it's needed will be successful.

Written by James Sheehan, on behalf of SnowdropKCS.

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