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Starting Up: Evaluating Consulting Costs

 

Being able to work at home is a way to reduce expenses while making more time for taking care of family, but many mothers worry about the consulting costs that may be necessary when starting up a consulting business. There are many ways to get a consulting business started, but if the business is begun at home and run there, there will be minimal costs associated with the start up.

Equipment Costs and Consulting

When you start out in the consulting field, you will generally need to have a good computer and up-to-date software that can help you to manage your consulting and the business side of things. if you already have a reliable computer, your costs may be minimal or there may be no equipment costs at all. Over the years, however, you may incur the cost of replacing an outdated computer, compute repairs and new software. You will probably also need a fax machine, copy machine and a scanner. Getting a three-in-one machine will reduce your expenses and give you more space in your home office. 

Stationary Costs

Another ongoing cost that you will undoubtedly have is the stationary that you will need to advertise your business and to communicate with your consulting clients. This stationary will include your business cards, which will help you find clients and help them find you. You may also need paper with your own letterhead on it to help brand your business. You may also want envelopes, promotional materials like fliers and any other branded materials that will give your communications a professional look.

Transportation Costs

Unless all of your consulting is done online, you may find that you will have to attend meetings with clients as you assist them in your consulting capacity. You may have daily meetings or you may only have the occasional outside meeting, but in consulting it will come up if you take on local clients. You will need budget for fuel or for public transportation costs. 

Website Costs

Consulting costs generally include several costs surrounding their websites. You may need to hire a website designer, a copywriter and other website professionals to give your website a professional edge. You may also need to pay for your domain name and your site hosting. Depending on the complexity of your website, this may ultimately become your largest cost associated with your consulting business. 

Advertising Costs

To find your clients, you may need to advertise, at least for the first year. After that time you may do well through word of mouth, but to get a consulting business started, you must reach out to prospective clients and let them know what you do. You can advertise online or in the local newspaper. You can also post fliers, advertise in local magazines and market your website to let people know about the services that you offer.

Depending on the consulting services that you provide, you may need to continually advertise in order to find new clients in a changing marketplace. Or, you may find that your consulting costs diminish as clients begin to seek you out instead of the other way around.

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