Think it can’t be done? Think again! With a few creative solutions and the right resources, you can get your professional business up and running for just under four figures. Even if you don’t follow all of these suggestions to a “T”, looking at these resources can help you save a great deal of money when starting your business. The cost savings will help your business become profitable more quickly.
Register as a sole proprietorship
As a sole proprietor you’ll only need a local business license in order to get started. You’ll generally file with your city of residence. There is a flat filing fee you’ll need to pay which can range from $50 to $150 depending on your city and business type. Total cost: $100 average
File a fictitious business name statement
This is only necessary if you are doing business under a name different than your own. A fictitious business name statement often called a DBA, is filed with your county of residence. In addition to the filing fee, you’ll also need to pay to have your statement published in a local newspaper. Total cost: $80 average
Set up your business office
Working from home makes this step virtually cost-free. When you work from home, there is no overhead. You’ll also be able to write off a portion of your housing costs because they are being used for business purposes. Total cost: Free!
Use a Virtual Office
Just because you work at home doesn’t mean you have to look like you are working from home. With a virtual office and live answering services, you can have a professional address, a friendly receptionist to answer your calls, and even a physical location where you can meet with clients. Virtual offices can help you make your mark in your field without paying high office leasing rates. Total cost: $150 average (monthly)
Without a logo, your business is forgettable. Although letterhead traditionally isn’t used anymore, you’ll need your logo for your business cards and eventually for your website. You can get logo work done from a graphic designer at one of the many freelance bidding sites (like Elance.com or Guru.com). Post your bid request and providers will compete to give you their best deal. Total cost: $150 average
You can’t do business without business cards, but fortunately, there are many options for the budget-conscious entrepreneur. Printing your own cards on your inkjet printer can cost as little as $20 plus the cost of ink. If you want to get a more polished look, you can get them printed at an online print shop for as little as $14.99 per 100 cards, plus shipping. Total cost: $25 average.
Computer with Home Office Suite
You can find inexpensive desktop computers for as little as $400 and use a free home office package like OpenOffice.org to provide you with the tools you need to get started. Alternatively, you can lease a computer or laptop from a company for $150 to $250 per month. Total cost: $300 average
Grand total: $805
Of course, your costs will vary depending on your local filing fees and your technical needs. But as you can see, money doesn’t have to be a barrier to starting your own business. You don’t need a business loan to get started…you just need the right resources.