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Nine Costs That Startup Owners Should Never Skimp On

If you’re an entrepreneur or startup owner, you’ve always got one eye on the balance sheet. Sometimes, it can feel like throwing money into a black hole. That’s why making the most of every cent is crucial when you’re getting a business off the ground.

There’s a natural tendency to skimp and save on every little cost. Sometimes, this is absolutely the right thing to do. You definitely don’t need to max out your budget on a penthouse office, for example. And no you don’t need a foosball table for the break room, no matter how cool it is.

But, there are some costs that entrepreneurs should not compromise on. As tempting as it might be to save a little extra money, sometimes it pays to invest in the best.

Here Are 9 Examples Where Paying A Little Extra Is Worth The Cost.

1. Design Services

The design elements of your business – whether it’s a website, business card or physical material – is more important than you think.

People say they “never judge a book by its cover.” But they do.

The way you present your business says a lot about the company. It makes that crucial first impression and tells a client or customer everything they need to know.

Paying for a good design can often be the difference between looking amateur and professional. A professional design inspires trust – an essential quality for any new business.

 

2. A Bulletproof Backup System

What would you do if your website was hacked? Or if you lost all your customer’s details? What if all your hard work disappeared in an instant?

Almost half of all cyber attacks now target small business and startups. It’s very real threat, and it can cripple a fledgling company.

Ensure your website and all your data is backed up using a reliable cloud system. Backup platforms can cost as little as $10 per year, and you’ll thank yourself for taking the extra precaution.

3. A Good Web Host

Most people choose the cheapest web host they find. Or they buy it from the same platform as their domain name.

This might be the easiest and fastest way to get a website online, but it’s not always the best move for your business. In fact, your web host matters a lot more than you think.

It dictates everything from the speed of your site to its security. Some are tailored to e-commerce, while others are better for media sites.

Of course, the most expensive options are often overkilled. As a startup, you might not need the biggest capacity web host. However, take your time to read web hosting reviews to find the right middle ground. Shop around for the most appropriate and efficient web host for you.

4. Customer Service

Most entrepreneurs have their eyes firmly fixed on the horizon. They’re planning the next steps and pushing forward.

So dealing with customer service can often feel like a distraction. It takes time and effort to respond and it pulls your attention away from driving the company. But, customer service should be one of your top priorities. If a customer or client cares enough to get in touch, they are a customer worth keeping. Do everything in your power to satisfy them.

Apple is a fantastic example of this. Their customer service is phenomenal, and it actively turns complainers into promoters.

Invest in customer service. It’s one of the best things you can do for your business.

5. Legal Advice

Legal fees are expensive. No doubt about it, and no way around it!

It’s easy to keep putting this one off, but it might come back to bite you on the ass. You might not think your startup will get sued, but it does happen. And more often than you might think.

In particular, copyright “sharks” actively target small companies. They’re looking to cripple promising startups before they get started.

You don’t need to keep a lawyer on retainer but invest in a few hours of consultation to make sure your contracts and copyright are airtight.

6. A Whiteboard

All the best ideas were created on a whiteboard. Every startup needs one.

7. People

The biggest cost for any company is its payroll. Hiring employees can seem like an enormous cost, but it’s an essential part of growing your business.

One successful entrepreneur once told me that his first investment is always people. Look for those with different skills to you. Look for talents that complement yours and will drive your company forward.

Even if you’re not in a position to hire full-time employees, consider outsourcing work to contractors. Learning to delegate, even if it costs a little money, will free up your time.

8. Tax And Bookkeeping

Accounting can feel like another huge unnecessary expense when you’re getting started. But the peace of mind of knowing your books are in order is priceless.

A good accountant can actually save you money. Often more than you’re paying them. Just by making sensible financial decisions and filing your tax returns correctly.

Again, you needn’t hire a full-time accountant. Most will work on a reasonable hourly rate or you can invest in bookkeeping software.

9. A Good Coffee Machine

I’m sorry, but instant coffee just isn’t going to cut it when you need a caffeine kick!

Even when costs are tight, it’s a good idea to indulge in one or two luxuries. It’s the little things that help boost morale. A good coffee machine is one way to inspire your employees – especially first thing in the morning!

You can substitute this for any perks you think your workers might enjoy. Maybe its free pastries in the morning or beers on a Friday afternoon.

Don’t waste all your money on perks and extras, but a little will go a long way towards employee loyalty and productivity.

Before You Go…

As the old saying goes, “you’ve got to spend money to make money.”

Don’t get me wrong, clever money management is essential for every entrepreneur, there are some occasions where it doesn’t pay to skimp!

Image Credit: Alexas Fotos

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Jeremy Webb

Chief technologi.st & Adventurer about.me/jeremy.webb

Jeremy WebbNine Costs That Startup Owners Should Never Skimp On

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