the main expenses of being a start-up entrepreneur
If you’re reading this blog, you’ve either taken the plunge to start your own business, or you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur. Firstly, congratulations! We know it’s a scary step even to consider, and the fact that you’re here means you’re already braver than most people. Secondly, we’d love to help out! Dawning Digital started as a small one-person agency that Sol, our founder, built from the ground up. This means we’ve got experience creating something new. We know how to help you optimize your initial start-up expenditure.
So let’s get down to start-up business. What is starting a business actually going to cost you? We’ve compiled a list of start-up costs that we think you might encounter. Some of these may not apply to you, depending on the business you’re growing, but you can take a deeper look at the ones that do!
1. YOUR WEBSITE: $15/YEAR
Your website is the home where your brand identity lives, so it’s essential to label it recognizably! You do this by registering a “domain,” which you could consider your website’s name. Ours is “dawningdigital.com.” To register your domain will cost about $15 a year. If you want to compare domain registration pricing options, the pros at WebsiteSetup have created this list of the best domain registrar options available in 2022.
2. WEBSITE HOSTING: $150/YEAR
For the website registered at your business’s domain to be accessible on the internet, it needs to “live” somewhere. This means that the data that makes up your page needs to be stored in a physical place, called a “server.” To plug into the worldwide web, you can pay companies who run these servers to “host” your website. The team over at CNet has compiled a list of hosting companies you should look into this year. When browsing these service providers, it’s crucial to consider the individual needs of your website. Will you be doing a load of updates? Will you be running an eCommerce store? What sort of traffic are you anticipating? When choosing the right web host for your brand, bear these questions in mind.
3. BRAND IDENTITY: FREE DIY OR $1 750 ONCE-OFF FROM DAWNING DIGITAL.
The key to a successful brand in 2022? It’s effective marketing. And the key to effective marketing? It’s a consistent, memorable brand identity. You want your customers to immediately recognize your branding, whether it’s on your website, marketing materials, or products. Brand recognition breeds loyalty, which, in turn, creates repeated conversions and engagement. Your brand identity communicates the message behind what made you passionate enough to start a business in the first place. If you’d like to get started on your own brand identity, try using our Branding Starter Kit freebie! It will help you define the “why” behind your branding and allow you to develop a solid foundational company aesthetic. However, if you’d like the expertise of a team of creative strategists, graphic designers, social media experts, and web developers behind you, we are excited to help! The Dawning Digital team can assist you in creating a timeless, authentic brand identity that represents you precisely as you’d like to be seen. Please schedule a consultation call with our team to find out more.
4. GMAIL FOR BUSINESS: $8 PER USER/MONTH
Nothing shatters customer trust faster than dodgy-looking correspondence. Ensuring a customized email address is the first step in securing your customer-facing conversation doesn’t feel like a scam. For example, our team’s email addresses are “email@example.com.” To get your firstname.lastname@example.org email set up, start using Gmail for Business here.
5. CANVA PRO: $109.99/YEAR
By now, you’ve probably figured out that you’re going to need some graphic design to show off your offerings in the digital marketplace adequately. Even if your last attempt at creating on a computer was a stickman in Microsoft Paint, Canva is here to equip you with the tools to make professional-looking content while drawing inspiration from thousands of trendy templates. It’s also much more intuitive than industry design software and easy to use online! You can use this software to design physical ads, like flyers or banners, as well as videos, stories, interactive posts, and exciting graphics. If you are doing your design in-house, we suggest purchasing a subscription to Canva Pro. This will unlock a full range of templates, fonts, and functionalities and allow you to create collaboratively within a team. If this all sounds like too much for you, you can enlist the help of the Dawning Digital team to design all your content for you! Take a look at our social media services page to get an idea of how we can help.
6. EMAIL MARKETING PLAFORM: FREE TO $100/MONTH
By consistently communicating with your customers, you’re keeping your brand front of mind. That way, when they need a service or product in your industry, the first company they’ll reach for will be yours. A cost-effective and non-intrusive way to keep up steady correspondence is via email marketing. You can send weekly updates, special deal alerts, and engaging content via email. Now, mailing each customer individually isn’t a viable long-term solution. This is where email marketing platforms shine. Use an email marketing platform to automate your emailing process with forms in your website, procedures in your store, or triggers from advertisements you’ve launched. There are tons of factors to consider when choosing which email marketing platform will suit your needs best, but thankfully, the folks over at Influencer Marketing Hub have whittled down their top picks for 2022 in this useful shortlist!
7. INCORPORATING AN LLC: FROM $150 – OVER $500 ONCE-OFF
Now comes the scary, legal stuff… For tax purposes, you’re going to need to register your business. As a start-up entrepreneur, we recommend registering as an LLC. According to Lawyer Monthly, an LLC (or limited liability company) is “a type of business structure that combines the features of a corporation and a partnership.” This means that LLCs are ideal for small businesses “that want the liability protection of a corporation without having to go through all the formalities of setting up a corporation.” You get the safety net of registering as a corporation without having to jump through the hoops of that process. Neat, huh? To help get you started with registration, we recommend looking at LegalZoom. Their consultants can provide you with online legal counsel and business registration advice. Their standard LLC packages start at $79 and take approximately 20 days to complete.
8. ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE: FREE TO $50/MONTH
You probably don’t want to hear this if you’re anything like us, but accounting is IMPORTANT! You need to keep track of the money you’re making and spending to a) file your taxes correctly and b) streamline your business process to maximize your profit. One of the wonders of the 21st century (not including cloud storage!) is the development of automated accounting software. You can automate and sync your accounting processes, so your ducks are all in a row with minimal effort. It would be best to start by building your online conversion system the right way. SoftwareWorld has compiled the best accounting software programs you can use to keep your bookkeeping in check-in 2022. Go on, give it a browse!
9. ANNUAL OR QUARTERLY ACCOUNTING: FROM $150 TO THOUSANDS A YEAR!
In life, two things are inevitable: unnecessarily long YouTube midroll ads and taxes! At some point, whether quarterly or annually, your business will have to file taxes. It’s crucial that you factor this into your start-up budget, so you’re not left completely surprised when the taxman comes calling to collect what you owe the state. The amount you file for is contingent on the type and size of your business. Still, there are ways to make sure you’re operating as efficiently as possible to ensure you’re not paying more than you need to. For some helpful advice, check out Stilt’s guide on how to LEGALLY reduce how much you owe the IRS.
10. HIRING A MARKETING TEAM: CUSTOM PACKAGES AVAILABLE
As you can see from this list, you’ve got a lot on your plate as a start-up business owner. The Dawning Digital team would love to take some of that pressure off and take care of the marketing side of what you’re building. We’re passionate about creating and illuminating meaningful brands, and we’re excited to grow with you as you take this new step in your journey. If you’d like to find out how to get us on your team, schedule a consultation call with us! We can’t wait to meet you!