Unexpected Expenses Startups Don’t See Coming
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Budgeting and allocating finances are crucial for any startup. Although your business plan may have been edited and improved upon over time, you still may run into expenses you just didn’t see coming. Here are seven unexpected expenses that you might want to prepare for:
1. Employee Reimbursement
Don’t overlook the cost of reimbursing your employees when calculating salaries. If your business requires your team to travel or purchase supplies, you might want to set a budget aside for reimbursements. This cost either sneaks up on business owners or runs higher than initially estimated. A good rule of thumb is to include a thorough and detailed section in your business plan to avoid going over budget.
As a startup founder, you will take some L’s — it is just a part of the industry. Whether due to theft or product that just won’t sell, shrinkage is a reality. According to The 2016 National Retail Security Survey, the average shrink rate of 1.38 percent, costs the overall U.S. retail economy $45.2 billion in 2015. Even if your startup isn’t in the retail industry, you still need to anticipate shrinkage of some sort.
3. Legal Fees
Although you hope your company doesn’t face any legal issues, to be on the safe side, set up a legal fee fund just in case. The last problem you want to have is running into legal problems and not being able to afford proper legal advice or representation. It might be wise to have a lawyer on retainer from the start to avoid any ignorant missteps that will result in lawsuits or legal disputes.
4. Contractor Fees
When calculating employee salaries, don’t forget to include any fees for contractors. Setting aside money for one time or temporary partnerships can be beneficial when having to hire a graphic designer to create a logo or videographer to edit footage. Including this expense also comes in handy when spontaneous opportunities for collaboration pop up. You wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity that could benefit your startup only because you didn’t have the funds.
5. Late Payments
Ouch! This unexpected expense can do damage, so its best to prepare for it. You don’t want your cash flow to be interpreted because of late payments. Delayed payments due to payroll systems crashing or simple failure to pay may happen often. Don’t let an inconvenience stop your show. Having a little cushion could save the day.
6. Credit Card Fees
We live in a plastic society where debit and credit card transactions far surpass cash exchanges, especially if your startup is web-based. Be sure to account for the percent that will be deducted per credit card transaction. To better assess how much this will cost your business, research how much your merchant will charge per transaction, then budget accordingly.
Although time isn’t a direct monetary quantifier, we all know that time is money. For startup founders, there are what seems to be a million things to do. To avoid spending too much time on things that won’t make you money, consider delegating small tasks. Having a strategy to combat wasting time will behoove your company in the long run, and free up the time needed to concentrate on more important things that need your attention.