Small business owners start their business with an average of $10,000, reports Wells Fargo. This money must support the business’s opening inventory, initial marketing and cover the supplies needed to open. While starting on such a small scale can be good for business as it allows you to make rookie mistakes when you don’t have a lot at stake, it can be stressful too. Take the path to success by investing your opening supplies budget on items that will serve you as you grow.
Starting off on the right foot
While some small business supplies do depend on your niche, many opening expenses are common across the board. Along with any specialized equipment or business licenses you may need, make your wish list by covering these bases:
- Website – A website is a must these days. Pay for your own domain at the outset, instead of using a free website service.
- Marketing – Business cards, brochures, postcards, direct mailing, paid advertising: All of these can help you spread the word about your business. Since you’ll want to have these materials on hand when you open, plan ahead and prepare to dedicate some of your opening budget to marketing.
- Inventory management – If you plan to open an e-commerce store, you’ll need equipment to manage your inventory. You may start by using a spreadsheet program, but you’ll also need to think about where you will store your inventory or whether you want to work with a fulfillment company. Unless you have a spare bedroom or garage, think critically about organization before you turn your home into a warehouse.
- Office – Perhaps you plan to work from home and use your personal laptop computer for the business. While that’s a fine place to start, consider what office equipment you’ll need. Find inexpensive, all-in-one printer/copier/scanner/fax machines at your local office supply store, and stock up on printer paper, general office supplies and storage units. During the early days of your business and throughout, being organized will help you grow.
Supplies you need
The above categories should help you brainstorm your supplies list. Don’t forget about these common items:
- Packaging and shipping items – packing tape, bubble wrap, air mailers and more. Buying in bulk is often cheaper than buying individually, so invest in these to start off without a headache.
- Postage supplies – Consider investing in small business postage machines , which offer both built-in scales and metered postage. This way, you don’t need to go to the post office to pick up stamps or mail packages and mail won’t be returned due to insufficient postage.
- Business boosting kit – StartupNation recommends making small business boosting kits for your business. These may consist of brochures and sales specs if commerce is your main concern or press releases and media materials if you’re hoping to gain PR.
If your budget cannot cover all of the needed items, start with the most critical of these and purchase additional items as your budget allows. At the outset, expect to put much of your profit back into the business to grow your capacity.
Kevin Norvell, Web Project Manager