I was scouring the internet this morning and I ran across an interesting article on the subject of startup expenses posted by The Silicon Valley Bank.
I took it upon myself to trust them as a reliable source of information since they have been a complete banking service provider for most of the successful and even unsuccessful startups in that area.
I must be quite frank right here if you are thinking about a startup business the odds are stacked against you from the moment you conceive the idea.
Here are some of the key takeaways that I learned about startups from The Silicon Valley Bank.
The #1 Mistake Nearly All Startups Make
This one is just about as simple as you could make it.
Most startups fail because they have no real idea of how much money it will take to turn an idea into a marketable product.
The SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) further simplifies this by saying that understanding the expenses you will face as you put your startup together is a critical component in the startup process.
Of course, that particular amount of money will vary greatly from industry to industry.
The #2 Mistake Nearly All Startups Make
You could have the most forward-thinking AI-enhanced new product that you are sure is going to change the way people live.
But unless there is a need and a market for this product you will probably not see your startup get past the 6-month mark.
Where you are going to be located is an essential startup element too. For example, a startup on the west coast is going to be inherently more expensive that a startup in the Midwest or Deep South!
Building Your Team
The amount of money it will take to pay everybody’s salary is going to account for over half of your startup expenses.
Building a team isn’t cheap.
For example, a qualified software engineer is going to cost you $154K per year (at the time of this writing that was the average salary for a software engineer) that will pan out to a monthly check for just a tick over 12K per month!
That being said, I cannot for the life of me figure out why most of the software engineers I know look like they haven’t had a shower in a few days, their wardrobe could be a bit better for that kind of money, and that bomb of a car they drive? Sheeesh!
That is Why Outsourcing is Sooo Popular Now!
Break down your product’s needs into bite-sized pieces!
Outsource someone to be your freelancer when it comes to any specific component of your startup that is going to be that pricey!
It is better to never hire someone as opposed to hiring them and firing them six months into your startup because you have made zero sales and yesterday’s lunch was the last bit of startup capital you had left!
Then There’s The Cosmetics
That physical stuff that you can look at and hold in your hand is not getting any cheaper.
Then factor in;
Utilities (water and electricity)
And a BIG BIG MISCELLANEOUS FUND!
A thoroughly planned monthly expense budget for your startup multiplied by 18 (for 18 months) is a good starting point for the amount of capital you need to raise before venturing out into the startup landscape.
That is Precisely Why I am a FREELANCE WRITER!
Remember the title of this article? Startup vs. Getting Started?
Just like those big fancy startups I too had a few lean months before I started gaining traction and selling ‘my goods and services.’
But I did not have any of that overhead to try and get my idea off the ground!
In fact, I bought a refurbished Dell Desktop that was built to my specs for writing (a stand-alone 1 terabyte hard drive for storage of all my work) for $120! That included a 24-inch flat-screen monitor, mouse, and keyboard!
Discount Computer Depot rocks and will never buy from any other big box retailer when it comes to buying computers! This Dell Optiplex 780 I use has been running 24/7/7365 for going on 4 years now without a single glitch!
I turned a small corner of my apartment into a home office, bought a printer, dry erase board and a few basic office supplies… for LESS THAN $200 I now make a comfortable 5 figure income working about 3–4 hours each day!
If I was approached by a startup wanting to do all of their website content, blog posts, product descriptions, and so on in-house I would respectfully decline their offer.
I have a thriving sustainable business that provides all three components of an online business;
Products: My Writing!
Goods: What I Bring to The Table
Services: I Will Write Anything, Anywhere, at Any Time!
FREELANCE WRITING….JUST GET STARTED! LET SILICON VALLEY HAVE THE STARTUPS!