Combating the Hidden Costs of Running a Local Small Business
Running a local business involves costs that aren’t always obvious at the outset.
You may already be familiar with one or more of the following hidden costs – if you aren’t, you may be facing them soon. Don’t let these hidden costs derail your business, instead combat them with the tips we’ll share in this post!
Common Hidden Costs:
Permits and Licenses
Different types of businesses are subject to different local laws and ordinances. If you run a restaurant that serves alcohol, for example, you need a liquor license before opening your doors.
Foodservice establishments, car repair shops and other service businesses might be required to undergo regular inspections to remain in compliance.
Facilities and Amenities
Local businesses get a lot of foot traffic, which means keeping the bathroom stocked with toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap.
Coffee shops and restaurants where people tend to sit for long periods of time are also expected to be Wi-Fi hotspots. However, to get people to come inside in the first place, you need a location with an eye-catching exterior.
Finally, securing a prominent place on the main street could mean spending a significant amount on rent depending on the economy of the area.
Equipment and Repairs
An initial investment in equipment is expected when opening a business, but you also need to budget for any repairs that may be required once you’re up and running.
Being a small business that relies on local traffic means that you can’t afford to shut down because of equipment failure. Investing in regular service plans for your machinery gives you access to quick service and could save you money in the long run.
Credit Card Processing
All credit card processors charge a fee per transaction, and this can add up fast if many of your customers use plastic to pay for even the smallest purchases.
In order to accept credit cards at all, you need point-of-sale equipment that can handle the new cards with chips.
If you don’t, you could get socked with hefty penalties in the event of a data breach. You probably don’t have to worry about being able to process near-field communications payments such as Apple Pay just yet, but it is another potential expense to consider as these types of transactions become more common in the future.
To succeed in the local market, your business has to be highly visible and promoted with a solid marketing campaign to bring in customers.
There are particular challenges related to location-based marketing, including researching and optimizing for local keywords online and choosing the right print publications to reach your target market.
Finally, prominent outdoor signage is often necessary to catch the attention of people passing by. Some local businesses also benefit from tabling at local events, most of which require you to pay a fee for the space.
Combating Hidden Costs:
Flex-Pay Working Capital Loan:
Many small business owners need cash to take on new renovation projects, to upgrade equipment or order inventory in bulk at a discount. While working capital loans are a great option, if the payback period starts before the project is complete or before the business has time to sell new inventory, keeping cash flow positive can be an issue.
After over a decade of working with small business owners we understand this pain point and have begun offering a Flex Pay Loan. Flex Pay allows you to defer 25% of your loan principal into the future resulting in significantly lower payments now. This allows business owners to complete the task at hand and start generating revenue before the principal needs to be repaid.
Learn more about Flex Pay and the different repayment options we offer to make the deferral disappear once you start reaping the benefits from your new project!
Business Line of Credit:
Business opportunities can come out of no where, but they often have a price tag attached to them. Being able to tap a pre-approved business line of credit is one excellent way to ensure you never miss out.
At ARF Financial we can put up to $725,000 at your disposal with no collateral required. You’ll have next-day access to five separate loan drafts over a four month period with no application, maintenance or access fees.
Check out our loan calculator to find out how much you qualify for. Then use our online quote form to receive a free, no obligation quote! One of our seasoned loan officers is always available to help you through the entire process, providing the insight you need to make the best decisions for your specific circumstances.