How much does it cost to launch your own startup in 2018?
Bootstrapping is a method of creating a company while using minimal financial resources. But how much exactly will you need to spend? Here’s a breakdown.
- Serial entrepreneur, Abdo Riani, wrote this awesome step-by-step guide to building your own self-funded startup.
- Looking for inspiration? Here are 35 successful startups that were built on cents.
- This list of money-saving tips will help you grow your own business on a shoestring.
Some of the biggest companies in the world today had a humble start. Apple was founded in the garage of Steve Jobs’ parents. Facebook was just a website designed to help Harvard students stay in touch. Craig Newmark turned a mailing list into Craigslist. These success stories are encouraging if you have limited startup capital. But how much is not a lot? We decided to investigate the startup costs for any new venture.
First, let’s look at the things you can’t do without.
You may already own or have access to a laptop and Wi-Fi. If not, that’s going on the bill. Something like the Lenovo Miix 630 ($799) could be a good option if you’re trying to conserve resources. This 2-in-1 convertible offers epic battery life and a touchscreen stylus — perfect for designing your logo.
With a laptop in your bag, it’s perfectly possible to work in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or even your local library. You may need to buy a coffee every so often ($0-$10 day), but you get free Wi-Fi and heating in return.
[tweet_box]Bootstrapping is a method of creating a company while using minimal financial resources. But how much exactly will you need to spend? [/tweet_box]
That said, these environments can be kinda distracting, so investing in some noise-canceling headphones might be a good move. These wireless cans from AO ($59.95) should do the trick.
When you’re just starting out, it’s possible to get a lot done without spending anything.
In fact, a regular Google account (free) offers some awesome tools. You can track dates in Calendar, sync files via Drive, and work on the go with Docs and Sheets. You will also want to sync your files via Dropbox (free) and schedule your social media updates with Buffer (free for two profiles).
We wouldn’t recommend using a free website builder, but Carrd ($19 / year) lets you create a nice single-page site. If you want to go bigger but don’t fancy self-hosting, grab yourself a WordPress.com site ($36 / year).
The boring stuff
Setting up a company is a little more complex than running a lemonade stall.
Firstly, you need to keep proper records. Freshbooks ($15 / month) lets you handle accounting, invoicing and tax in one app. If you have staff, you might prefer to handle your accounting via Quickbooks ($12.95 / month) and combine it with Intuit’s Online Payroll platform ($24 / month + $4 / employee).
As soon as possible, it’s a good idea to get a lawyer to draft your terms of service. But in the meantime, Formswift (free) should help.
If you can foresee any liability in your business, it’s worth applying for incorporation. The cost of going through this legal process varies from state to state ($100-$250). However, your choice will dictate what taxes you pay — so choose wisely.
Expand and grow
After a successful start, you will want to grow your startup. This means investing in both the business and yourself.
While Google Analytics (free) will help you understand your customers, the marketing courses on Udemy ($10 upwards) will help you strategize. You could also upgrade your technical skills on Codecademy (free).
As a bonus, check out this epic list at Growth Supply for more free tools.
What are your startup costs?
Probably less than you thought. By our calculations, you could easily get off the ground for under $1500 in your first year — and that’s assuming you need to buy a laptop.
Know of any great resources for bootstrapping founders? Share them in the comments!
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