Monday, July 2, 2012

Online Bookkeeping Services and Dealing with Startup Costs

Startup costs and losing them to failure may be the scariest things about launching a new small business. Some businesses begin by accident with a person selling something small that they make and then increasing their volume of production, but startup investment costs still pose a challenge in this scenario. Besides having a good idea, business bookkeeping and planning are some of the most important things you can do when you're starting a business. Part of that requires finding the right accounting software to help you stick to your plan and minimize accounting costs. There are few categories of costs that you can expect before you even begin using online bookkeeping services, making planning your startup investment easier.

You can identify a number of costs based on what your business will do. There are a few costs that every business needs to consider. Writing a business plan to pitch to investors, forming and official entity if you will be incorporated, and obtaining the necessary state and municipal business licenses are common. Some service industries also require certification to protect customers. These costs vary a great deal depending on the entity so you'll need to do some research. Many of these tasks also require professional services from an attorney, especially if you'll have to enter a business contract, and those costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

For sales businesses, the single biggest cost of launch is purchasing inventory. If you are going to have a storefront, you'll need to plan on a down payment, getting the storefront ready, and setting up utilities. This is true whether your business is retail or providing a service. Online businesses will have the initial cost of setting up their sales portal and potentially getting an online merchant account. This could be as simple as the membership fee for Etsy, as free as joining Paypal, or as complex as finding a credit card payment processor that has online eCommerce software.

If the business is service-based or you'll have employees, you need to plan on training costs, insurance, and possibly uniforms and equipment for the service. Similarly, if you're going to be selling something that you make, you'll have to buy your materials. Lastly, you should try to include reserve cash to cover the expenses of at least the first month or two in case your business is slow to start. You don't want a great idea to die because you didn't plan for the startup period.

Once you have these costs estimated you can start to use online bookkeeping services and your available startup capital to plan a budget and figure out what your operating cash flow will be during the first weeks of the startup. These calculations are important even if you will be the only employee of your business and your expenses will be minimal, as they are the only way you can plan ahead and minimize the risks of failure.

Startup Costs Are Daunting for New Businesses. Online Bookkeeping Services Can Help You Plan Ahead to Control the Associated Risks of Starting Out. Learn More at

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