Whether you’re starting a new business or trying to get your current operation off the ground, it’s essential to look at your expenses and create a budget. There are the obvious costs to consider — employee salaries, rent, utilities. However, what are some of the less-obvious expenses to keep in mind?
1. Employee Training
In 2016, organizations spent an average of $1,252 on each employee for training and development purposes. Much of this money goes toward outsourced or external activities, while some businesses choose to incorporate instructor-led classroom education.
It’s essential to consider training costs when you configure your budget. The more employees you have, the more you will spend on development. Likewise, if you have a high turnover rate, your costs in this area will skyrocket.
2. Permits and Licenses
Most businesses will need a combination of state and federal permits and licenses to operate — paperwork you will need to renew, and pay for, regularly. The fees will vary based on your business type, location and government regulations.
You should also factor in the dues for any professional or networking associations you’re a part of. Participation in groups of this nature can offer better exposure, access to well-reviewed vendors and knowledge of the latest industry news and updates. However, annual memberships can easily cost hundreds of dollars.
3. Insurance Policies
As a business, you’ll need to maintain several types of insurance. For starters, you’ll want some liability insurance, which provides legal defense and covers damages if a customer sues. These types of policies typically take care of the destruction of property and bodily harm.
If you own a building, you’ll want property insurance to protect against fires, theft, vandalism and other types of loss. If you have any business vehicles, you’ll need to adopt a commercial auto policy. Plus, if you hire employees, you’ll require worker’s compensation, which covers anyone who gets injured on the clock.
4. Repairs and Upkeep
You’ve likely thought about the cost of purchasing equipment and tools for your business. While the initial buy is a one-off cost, you should also consider repairs and upkeep in your budget.
Everything, from vehicles to computers to your building, will get worn down over time. Some things will need routine maintenance, while others may need replacing. Don’t forget to account for the downtime and reduced productivity, too, as you await a solution. To save money on repairs, choose a contractor recommended by other business owners and with a history of successful jobs.
5. Credit Card Fees
Many of today’s consumers don’t carry cash. Instead, they prefer to make payments via credit card. While you want to cater to this inclination, you’ll need to consider credit card vendor fees.
Many credit card vendors charge 3% of the total charges in fees. For instance, if a customer pays $100 with their card, you’ll get charged a $3 fee. Each vendor’s prices are a little different, so do some research to find the best rates. You can also offer customers a discount for using cash, allowing you to avoid the fees altogether.
6. Quarterly Taxes
While you might see the cash growing in your checking account, don’t forget about the amount you’ll need to pay in annual and quarterly taxes. Beyond income tax, you’ll also need to consider payroll tax payments and, if you sell physical goods, sales tax.
You don’t want to end up in debt to the IRS. Work with an accountant to save as much as possible and develop a budget for your expected payments. You can also learn how to reduce your taxes through initiatives like offering employees a 401(k) plan or health savings account.
Take These Expenses Into Account When Crafting Your Budget
A budget is an essential part of any business plan. You need to know precisely how much money you’re bringing in and how much goes out due to bills. To make sure your budget is as accurate as possible, keep the above expenses in mind.