When it comes to starting a small business, every penny counts – especially in these tough economic times. However, there are certain things that are definitely worth spending on in business. The key is to find the balance between spending and saving, and ensure that you’re investing in the right areas of your business.
When to Save
Business Plans and Advice
There are so many fantastic sources of information online that there’s no need for you to pay for business advice or professional help with a business plan – after all, who is going to know your business idea better than you? Head to Gov.UK for lots of start up advice and business plan templates.
A business bank account is a good idea, as it will help keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. However, with many banks offering free business facilities for up to 18 months, there’s no need to pay for this until your business is well established.
Do you really need that swanky office space from the get go? Can you work from home or hire a ‘hot desk’ while getting your business off the ground instead?
Same goes for equipment. You may want the latest computer, phone and other gadgetry but, if cheaper options will work just as well, you should resist this temptation for the sake of your cash flow.
If you need to employ staff make sure that every member serves an essential purpose and that you’re getting the best possible value for money. Wage bills are likely to be a big proportion of your outgoings so make sure that you don’t over-hire and that you get the hiring that you need to do right.
When to Spend
A good accountant will pay for his or herself by saving you tax in the long run. Unless you’re a whizz with numbers you’ll also find keeping your own books to be a time-consuming false economy.
Having the right insurances in place is essential from the very start of any business, to protect you, your business and those that you are working with. Liability insurance is a must if you’re working with clients – for example, if they are relying on your professional advice or service – so one of the first things you should do is get a liability insurance quote, to see how the cost of this fits into your business plan. Don’t be tempted to skimp on your insurances. Liability insurance from Hiscox is a trusted, good value option, but if it’s an outgoing that you can’t afford then it’s likely that you need to reconsider your business.
Good employees will enable your business to thrive, and, when you invest wisely, are likely to be one of the best investments you can make. Don’t be afraid to spend on the staff that you need, in order to get the best person for the job.
Knowing when to spend and when to save is an essential skill in business. Spend wisely from the start and invest in your business to the very best effect.