Small Business

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Business in Atlanta?

Everything takes money so I couldn’t let this series end without talking about it! It’s serious and it needs to be said. Entrepreneurship is expensive. It takes extreme focus, dedication (for the nights when you want to give it all up and work at McDonald’s. I’ve been there, trust me) and it takes capital. If you are trying to start a business with zero dollars ready to be invested, you will have a longer and harder time to get up and running. If you have a job and are considering making your new business into a full time business, make sure you have at least three months income saved up before you leave, plus money to start the business on a full time basis. 

So, how much is enough? Well, of course that depends. If you have a service that you offer, your start up costs will be much less since you don’t have much inventory to buy right away. If you have a product, you’ve got to have the product, so figuring out how much product you need to start is a question for an accountant and a deep look at your own personal finances. 

Here are a few things I think you need to pay for to get ready for a successful launch or re-launch.

  • Purchase an LLC and business license from someplace like legal zoom or find your state’s secretary of state and follow the new business directions for your particular state. $100-$600 depending on your package wants.
  • Grab that domain name for the name of your business. Even if you aren’t ready to make a website, you need to get the domain before someone else does. (There are companies and people out there just thinking of names to grab, buying them and then reselling them at a high cost without making a business for that domain.) $2-$24 Try GoDaddy or something similar.
  •   Think about how your client intake will be: For services- 17hats. For products- Shopify. If you reference back to the first blog with my resources page you can explore those resources but expect to spend a yearly amount anywhere from $200-$700 depending on your business.
  • Website and Brand Development: This can get tricky because you don’t want to start your site without your branding being done. And you don’t want your branding to be different than what your site will be used for. Here’s the plug- The Caldwell Creative is designed just for that (Content Writing, Branding and Web Design) Your blog writing, newsletters/emails, complete branding and a website is done for you. Companies I’ve used myself in the past charge upwards of $7500 just for branding, no site, no blogs. My largest package is $4500 and is all inclusive. So your costs could range from $500 – $15000. It really depends on what message you want to send, what look you want and how much time it’ll take since most companies charge by the hour.
  • Small business attorney to review your contract and overall business practices. $250- $1000
  • Small business accountant to review and discuss financial planning and goal setting. $250- $1000
  • Office space to rent depends on where you’re located but most coworking spaces are about $200/month.
  • Don’t forget any costs associated with conducting your type of business. For example, I absolutely need a laptop, a business cell phone and an iPad. Some people will not. But whatever is specific to your industry and you need it in order to conduct business, add that in and don’t forget to let your accountant know so they can write that off on your business taxes. We also have an office space that has fees but along with that I have a break room that I fill with snacks. That’s in the budget! 
  • The last thing, most important thing and the thing I struggle with the most is marketing! Marketing budgets are so extensive that they are exhausting to look at but they have to be done. I heard in a seminar once that whatever your yearly budget is for the year, take that number and divide it in two. Spend one half on marketing solely and the rest on everything else. Marketing is the make or break line item in your budget. It’s also the most expensive but most necessary. There are several marketing firms out there but find one that not only will present you with facts but will implement and execute on your behalf at an all inclusive price. I’ve had a marketing firm on board and received an awesome plan. The only thing was that I am one person and implementing the plan was not a one person job. I needed help and for an added fee they would have done it but for the thousands I spent, it would have been nice to have help included. So, this marketing thing is a big one but you can go slow and steady initially, which is what I’ve been doing. You can also hire a firm for peace of mind and convenience. This can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands so I can’t pinpoint a proper number for you but I can say don’t spend more than you have. The core of your business and it’s operating costs have to be purchased first. The process of your business should be ironed out before you dive into hiring or handling marketing. If you don’t have a slightly well oiled machine, marketing can sabotage you when clients come in and their experience isn’t quite right. Word of mouth is still golden in every industry. Get your business together first and then market it like hell!

Once you have those things taken care of, you’ll have a good handle on launching. Again, it’s an investment but most of the costs to start are one time payments. Things like 17hats, Shopify or Calendly are monthly or yearly costs and you’ll need to add that in to your 5 year plan. I’m happy to chat you through it and work on your branding for you. If you’re on the email list then you got an awesome deal on my services. (*wink*) Prepare, be present and execute. You’ve got this!

All our love,

Niché + Shameka

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