Investing in a Business – Start Up Costs and How to Know If You’re Ready

If you are doing something to make a profit and are doing it yourself, consider it your business. At the end of the day, your decisions ultimately decide how successful you are. Part of that is knowing when to invest your money and how to do it.

Technically I have two businesses. (I haven’t really made much money this year on them due to medical issues, but virtual assisting and being a novelist are each their own venture.) However I don’t have a boss for those jobs. This means that I decide the future of what happens.

However, money is important.

What most people do not understand is that to make money you have to put some into the business. You cannot start a business for free. Well, you can, but it wouldn’t be good. Anyone can start a free venture but what would they offer? How would they pay for overhead and for costs if they have to hire on help? These are things that should be taken into consideration.

 

How do you know if you have enough money to start a business?

Think about the items you may need vs. what you already have.

Some things to consider getting for a new business are:

  • Business cards
  • Computer
  • Website with your own domain name. You’ll gain more credibility than if you’re on a site with yahoo or gmail.com .
  • Smartphone: I say this for a personal preference since I am on the go with a full time job. I respond to emails faster than phone calls because I do overnight work. Also a great way to keep up on webinars that pertain to your business and the community of whatever niche you do.
  • Word processing applications. You will need this at some point)
  • Telephone line: You’ll want one that isn’t linked to your cell phone. Skype is good for this or using the one from an internet provider if you have Comcast or something of that nature.

If you don’t have enough money for these basics, you should not consider starting a business right now. If you do, great! Here are some other points to consider.

 

Do you have money set aside for tools for your business?

Tools are things that you need to do your daily job, not just your daily functions. Everyone has a personal preference they use in reference to their job. An example I have is I use a laptop but I have another keyboard hooked up that ergonomic. I find it hard to use a laptop keyboard without a number pad and that doesn’t accommodate my cyst in the left wrist.

You’ll also need some funds to buy software and things online such as a nice WordPress site you can customize (if you’re into that sort of thing) and perhaps some emergency funds in case something happens to your equipment. I know for my ventures, my computer is everything. If something happens to that, I can’t do my job.

 

Have you thought about taxes?

Unfortunately, Uncle Sam wants a cut of your money, so you’ll want to set up an account with EFTPS where you can pay your taxes quarterly if you live in the United States. This also applies if you have dual citizenship and you live in another country. Anytime you are a US citizen, you’re required to pay Uncle Sam.

Failure to do so will result in a fine at the end of the year since you are considered self employed. Also, you’ll make it easier on yourself at the end of the year.

By law, you are required to report to report on any money made after $600 is earned.

 

Are you prepared for emergencies or time you may need to take off work?

These things do happen. I was out of work for three months due to medical and it took me two months of solid work to catch back up on bills and my mortgage payment. You’ll have to squirrel away some savings to make it through those times.

 

While all this sounds scary, it’s really not that hard to do if you know what you’re doing. It takes plenty of self discipline and hard work to succeed.

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