Start-Up Costs for a Retail Store

Many of us dream of opening our own shop and filling it with beautiful things,but not many of us take the plunge and go as far as putting plans into place.Even fewer people consider the harsh financial risk of opening up a retail store. You need a business plan and a financial budget that includes everything from shopfitters, rent, and licensing to marketing costs, inventory maintenance,and a high-speed internet connection. So, if you’re lacking inspiration to get your financials in order, require more information, or just simply need a kick in the pants to get you on your way, here is a list of start-up costs to consider when constructing your financial budget.

retail store

Location Costs

The fundamental group of costs to consider include rent, leasing costs, and bond requirements for the location of your store, whether it be in a commercial shopping precinct or a local convenience hub. The only case where this wouldn’t be a primary cost to keep in mind is if you were operating an online-only store.

Shopfitters

shopfitters
Shopfittersare crucial to the budget because they establish the look, feel and flow of your retail space. Look to specialist shopfitters such as TU Projects to get your space customised, fixtures installed, and floor plan tailored exactly how you imagined it.

Inventory Costs

Costs involved in sourcing, securing and receiving your inventory stock can add up, especially if you have merchandise coming from international suppliers or very obscure places. Always make sure you are able to make a profit on the product once the store opens.

Operating Costs

 Operating costs including office supplies, coat hangers, general cleaning equipment, banking fees, and a registered postal address are everyday costs that the business will require to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.

Professional Fees

Take into account professional fees, including licenses, business registration, legal fees, and accountancy charges.

Staff

Your staff must be hired and trained before the store’s opening and employment benefits that an employer is required to provide need to be accounted for.

Equipment

Telcom and IT equipment, such as a computer, printer, cordless phone, high-speed internet connection, domain registration, and POS software need to be purchased.

Marketing Costs

marketing costs
Marketing and budgets need to include interior and exterior signage, styling, décor, business cards, promotional printing, public relations, social media campaigns, and more.

The Launch

Opening your store with a launch event is an important part of the journey as it marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Great launch parties often involve food and beverages, goody bags, promotional materials, entertainment, an exclusive shopping experience, and crucial media coverage.

While every scenario is different depending on the type of store, location, and target market, these are the major start-up costs to consider before opening a retail store. And, while they may equate to tens of thousands of dollars, you will be able to see your shop come to life and flourish as a result of your hard work and dedication. Once considered and accounted for, each of the above costs work to benefit the business and secure a return on your investment.

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Five Things to Do Before Investing in Property

Investing in property can be quite an exciting time if you’re ready for it. The process does not have to be too difficult if you’ve done all of your homework. Investing can significantly enhance your finance portfolio, andthe best investors are those who understand the market and where they can fit into it. Here are a few tips to think about before you get started.

investing in property

1. Do Your Homework

Know what to invest in and what the current market is like. Take everything into consideration,including location, type of property, and value. By doing your homework and understanding as much about the market and your needs as possible, you will save yourself time and energy in the long run. Consider the pros and cons of every option that is available to you. Who are you looking to rent to? What types of amenities will they be interested in? Knowing the answers before you begin your investment journey is an important first step.

2. Study Your Finances

investment property
Investing in a property is a long-term commitment that might not provide any returns for quite some time. Look at your finances and consider your options. Maintaining and servicing a loan on an investment property could be relatively inexpensive because you are receiving rental payments. But, even so, you want to make sure you are financially stable in your accounts so that you do not have to sell your rental property before you are ready. Develop a budget so that you can effectively balance your income with your expenses.

3. Do a Property Check

Many companies offer property checks prior to any investment. These checks can provide information on a particular parcel of land, such as land titles, contaminated land, and current ownerships to name a few. Companies like GlobalX offer property checks that are useful if you are considering purchasing a plot of land or if you are researching a property to purchase in a particular area.

4. Create a Plan

Creating a plan includes both financial knowledge and market knowledge. Sit down and map out both long-term and short-term strategies so you will be ready to take the investment leap. Investing in property must be a long-term commitment, so make sure you can afford to commit to a property for quite a while. Set up a plan that includes a benchmark financial position, market research, and personal preferences. Decide what goals you want to achieve by investing in a property and develop steps in your plan that will help you reach them.

5. Be Ready

investing in property

Once you have created your plan, done your research, and achieved financial stability,look at other aspects of your life and decide whether you are able to take on the responsibility of an investment property and all that it entails. While being a landlord to tenants might be a hands-off role, owning and maintaining a property is still a full-time consideration.

What lessons have you learned while preparing to invest in property? Have any tips you could share with other prospective property investors? Leave your comments below.

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5 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Real estate is simply one of the best financial investments you can make. Apart from providing you with a sense of ‘home,’ your property can generate a huge profit. If you’re looking to sell in the near future, here are five cost-effective ways to add value to your home, get a quick sale,and maximise your returns.

1. Street Appeal

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What is the first thing people see when they come to view your property? It’s the exterior package of your home. Not just the building itself, but the gardens, lawn, fence, and even the letterbox. You would know yourself that when you’ve gone to inspect a property to buy or rent, the ‘drive-by’ is the first thing you do. If you don’t like what you see from the street level, you keep driving. Take a look at your home from this perspective and identify and address obvious issues. The aim here is to make it as visually appealing as possible. Get some tips from local real estate agents on what buyers are looking for and maybe even take a drive around your suburb to see what other homeowners have done to make their place look great from the outside.

2. Space

space

Once inside your home, the fastest way to scare off prospective buyers is by presenting a cluttered property. A home doesn’t have to be messy in order to be cluttered. Oversized furniture, loads of decorations, and ‘busy’ designs on carpet and curtains can all create a sense of chaos. When people walk through that front door, they want to be greeted by clean and spacious rooms. If you’ve outgrown your home and simply have too much stuff, get yourself some packing boxes and store your excess things in a garage, shed, or self storage facility such as Fort Knox Storage. Check out their self storage page here. This will instantly transform your property and give you a blank canvas to start your pre-sale styling.

3. Fresh Paint

fresh paint

This is a very effective way to add value to your home quickly, easily and relatively cheaply. Fresh paint suggests a home has been well maintained and increases apotential buyer’s perception of the cleanliness of a property. For the purposes of selling, it’s probably best to play it safe and go for a neutral colour scheme.

4. Outdoor Living

outdoor living

This has almost become a pre-requisite for homes now. If you already have an outdoor entertainment area, make sure it’s beautifully presented. Add comfortable and colourful cushions to chairs, have some potted plants, and organise some intimate lighting to create ambience. The best time of day to photograph and show a property is at twilight, so you may even want to invest in some lamps and candles.

5. Garden

garden

Tying in with outdoor living, neat and nicely presented gardens are a big ticket item when it comes to adding value to your home. While most people love being outdoors, gardens can be a lot of work to keep well maintained. By presenting your gardens well, buyers get a lovely, tranquil feeling. Long grass and overgrown garden beds scream “you’ve got heaps of work to do here” and are a major turn off for most people.

There are many ways to increase the value of your home, but don’t spend more than you’ll get by selling. If you’re about to sell, apply some of the cost-effective tips above to increase your chances of a fast sale and a great price.

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Guide to Project Cost Management

Sticking to a set budget is a necessity whether in business or in personal affairs. For projects that are intended to make profits, it is all the more necessary to keep within budgets. To avoid having to request for additional funding, prudent project cost management is a must.

project cost management

Project cost management starts before the onset of any project. It should be part of the planning stage. When you pitch the budget, you need to have a good idea of how much the entire project would cost. A lot of research and leg work would be required for those projects with heavy logistic requirements or those that involve third party suppliers and service providers.

Price movements could happen between the project proposal pitch and the actual project implementation. This can be addressed by putting in a little bit of an allowance or a provision for price fluctuations. The project managers need to have a keen sense of the kind of industry environment he is working in to be able to accurately estimate these provisions. It is also a good tip to try to negotiate with suppliers and service providers for a rate guarantee.

Once the project is underway, the project manager will have to ensure that the budget is being spent according to the approved expense lines. Spending money allocated for specific expense lines for other items is not a good practice. Especially for long-term projects, it is important to ensure that funding will be available to see the entire project though to the end.

It is highly recommended that cash movements are properly documented. This will provide an audit trail that can be used to track errors or issues in the future. It is also a good idea to have a finance expert on top of cost management tasks. This expert will be able to devise policies and procedures to ensure that the entire project does not go over budget.

It should be noted, however, that going below budget is also not always recommended. This could mean that you are not maximizing your resources and could cause you to miss out on more profits as well. The key to successful project cost management is to wisely spend the money based on allocation and to ensure that they result to as much profits as could be generated.

Techie Tools for Better Financial Management

It’s the computer age and there is no reason why you should be stuck peering over rows and rows of figures on ledgers that are too big to fit on your desk. With advances in technology, there are now quick and more convenient tools for you to use for better financial management. Even if you do not want to outsource your finance functions, you can make use of these tools right on your home or office computer.

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There are a lot of software that can be bought and downloaded online for businesses of all sizes and industries. What’s great about these software is that most of them have interfaces that can easily be understood and used by even those without accounting backgrounds. Here are some of the technologically advanced tools that lead to better financial management:

Accounting Software. With a reliable accounting software, you do not need an entire department of accountants to do your books and prepare your financial statements. This type of software is easy enough to use not only by your accounting personnel but by other key personnel in the company as well. This system can be integrated with other frontend systems that could feed it with the data it needs to churn out the company’s financial statements.

Cash Management Software. Managing and monitoring cash flow is easier with the use of cash management software. The income and expenses of your business are properly tracked with this software. Various company accounts can also be linked and cross referenced with the use of this software. Pulling up the data for reports is likewise more convenient.

Billing Software. Managing receivables is one of the hurdles of most businesses. For timely billing and collections, a billing software can be very useful. This software can be used to generate and to send out billing and collection notices to clients. It does away with the physical tasks involved in having to mail out the notices. Bigger companies like HMOs and logistics companies make use of this software for better financial management. There are billing software packages that are tailor-fit to smaller businesses as well.