One of the things new business owners fail to anticipate is how much sticker shock they are in for. They believe they have counted the costs and are ready for the adventure of a lifetime. But the adventure of a lifetime produces a bill of a lifetime that they didn’t see coming. It is an extremely common thing for new business owners to find themselves having to go right back to the bank for a fresh infusion of cash soon after the first one. To their dismay, they find that the second loan is not nearly as easy to get as the first one.
Rather than suffer dejection after your rejection, keep looking. Companies like Western Finance are there to fill the gaps left by unexpected costs and a traditional banking system that is not there to support you as much as you thought. Each company has slightly different offerings and requirements. You should be able to find the right offering for you even if you have less than perfect credit. The key is to learn from past mistakes and be better prepared for what lies ahead. If this is your first run at your own business, here are a few costs that could take you by surprise:
Among the things they don’t tell you about starting a business is that personal health insurance is a lot more expensive than you thought was legal. If you have spent your working life laboring for a big company, you have gotten spoiled by good, cheap insurance. Once you get out of the company and into your own business, you are hit with an extremely harsh reality: Insurance is really, really expensive. And your former job was paying you a lot more than you thought.
If you have some preexisting conditions (and everyone does) you are going to have to pay even more for your insurance. And that’s if you qualify for it at all. If you are a smoker, it is even tougher. If you also have to insure a family, your payments are going to be through the roof.
A lot of business owners either go without insurance, which is really a bad idea, or they opt for one of those plans that has a high deductible and only covers emergencies. Those plans come with their own unexpected costs because you find out in a hurry just how much a doctor’s appointment really costs. Specialists can be three to four times as much. If you have health concerns and a family to cover, hold off on starting your business until you know how the insurance situation is going to work out.
There is a good reason that many people use staffing services as opposed to hiring. It is really expensive to hire even one person. That cost goes up exponentially when you need to fill a call center. You will be unpleasantly surprised at how much you have to set aside for things like workers comp and other fees.
Perhaps the biggest surprise expense with regard to employees is getting the work done when they take a day off. They call in sick but the work still has to be done. Either you have to do it yourself or you have to overload the plate of other employees who did bother to show up.
The most likely outcome is that work just doesn’t get done. The more workers you have, the more days off you have to deal with. Workers are not machines and you can’t treat them like machines. That realization really bites into the bottom line.
Negative Word of Mouth
A lot of new business owners believe they can skimp on marketing and just live on word of mouth. But word of mouth is a two-way sword. It used to be said that it took six positive comments to overcome a single negative comment. That math might not still be accurate. But if anything, the situation is worse. It can take a long time and be very costly to overcome damage to the reputation of your business. You might want to set a little bit aside in the contingency fund.
The worst thing you can do as a new business owner is ask for too small of a loan and run out of money before you can make the turn. You might be ready for a lot of the common issues that will arise. But don’t forget about the expense of insurance, employees, and reputational repair.