One of the best parts about starting up a web design company is that, really, the costs are pretty minimal. If you do it right, you can probably start your design company for less than $5,000 – much less than this, in fact. The problem that many small business owners have is taking on too much debt as they start their new business. This, combined with the fact that the first year or two of a business startup is inevitably rough and tons of work, means that at least 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.
However, properly estimating your startup costs can go a long way towards ensuring your business’s success. Here’s what you need to know about estimating startup costs for your web design business:
Workspace costs for a web designer can vary from nothing to a considerable monthly fee, depending on where and how you work. If you’re working from home, you may not need to pay anything for workspace, though you may need a few office supplies to get your business up and running. On the other hand, working from the kitchen table can be difficult and distracting, so you may want to at least think about setting aside an office in your spare room to give yourself somewhere apart from the rest of the home to work.
If you need to work outside of the home, check out office costs in your area. Co-working spaces, which are becoming more popular among the telecommuting crowd, can be an affordable option, as can simply working from your local library. It’s probably better to leave the costly personal office space for when you’re really making big money as a designer.
Web design software is a must-have for a web designer, and this expense is two-fold. You need to not only have the software, but you also need to have a system that can effectively run the software on your computer. Whether you have a laptop or desktop, you need to make sure that your computer can support the latest design and web development software.
Design software like the Adobe Creative Suite can cost several hundred dollars, so this is likely to be your largest startup expense. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that most web development software companies offer a thirty-day free trial so that you can learn more about their products. If you aren’t already familiar with several different types of software, take advantage of these free trials. For one thing, you can get away with not paying for software for a while longer, and you’ll also be able to see which program you like best before spending the money on one.
Some designers use free alternatives like Gimp and Inkscape. While not as robust as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape allows designers to create vectors without draining the piggy bank.
Understand Your Liability and Insurance Costs
Liability, insurance, and tax costs will vary greatly from one web design startup to the next. If you have a spouse who can provide healthcare coverage, that can save you a fortune in annual costs. But if you’re on your own for this type of coverage, do your research to find a healthcare plan that will suit your needs, and work the first few months’ worth of healthcare premiums into your startup budget.
The best route here is to talk with a legal professional about what kind of protection you need for your business.
Obviously if you’re going to be a web designer, you’ll need to have a website. Your site will act as one example of your work, as a portfolio, and as a way for potential clients to contact you. You definitely don’t want to skimp on your web site, but you also don’t need to spend a fortune, either.
Platforms like WordPress offer lots of extensions and flexibility, and you can find hosting for a hundred bucks a year or less. As your site starts getting more traffic, you may need to pay for more expensive hosting, but in the beginning, basic shared server hosting from a reliable hosting company will be just fine for your needs.
While your website and blog will be the hub of your marketing for a web design business, you may need to pay for other aspects of marketing, including business cards, brochures, and even traditional marketing packages to mail to local businesses. While the internet gives you plenty of cost-effective marketing options, you’ll still need to think carefully about how and where you’ll spend money on your startup marketing campaign.
Finally, you should consider some of the ongoing costs of doing business. These may include your cell phone or internet bill, which you may or may not already be paying, as well as the cost of taxes that you must set aside each year. You can probably think of many of the ongoing costs of doing business yourself, but you may need to talk to a tax professional about tax costs before starting your business.
Footing the Bill
There are several financing options for small business owners who are looking to foot the bill for minimal startup costs. A business loan can offer you low interest rates and predictable monthly payments. Another option is a business credit card, which can offer a little more flexibility and possibly some rewards to help you further your business goals. You can follow up research at this site for the top business credit cards.
Remember, no matter how you finance your business startup, don’t get into more debt than you can handle. Even if this means that your business is growing slowly at first because you can’t afford to do much marketing, you’ll have more chance of business success if you aren’t drowning in debt from the get-go.
Starting your own web design business can lead to a fulfilling and lucrative career, but it can definitely be tough to begin, as well. Before you begin, think through all these business costs so that you have a realistic idea of how much your business start up will cost you.