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Startup costs

Startup costs

Startup costs

From everyone's experience, how much would you advise I need for start up costs for a one-(wo)man structural consulting business for licencing fees, software, reference materials, etc. I will work from a home office with very little furniture, rent expenses...  I have a pretty good library, but will need some new reference materials...  Obviously there will be alot of variability in these answers, but I would appreciate any advice.

RE: Startup costs

While I can't speak for what costs will be involved for your industry-specific software, licensing, etc., I will suggest at least two years worth of living expenses in savings.  I've seen suggestions as low as 6 months, but that's just playing with fire.

When I started off, I already had a decent computer and all of the software I would need.  Rent was by far the largest money drain, though other sundries such as internet access, phone, electric, etc. added up to a hefty chunk each month.  Your mileage may vary.

If you work your butt off (which you should if you're serious about starting your own business), you should have a reasonably steady flow of money by that time... if not, you may want to reconsider the business plan.

Go Gators! smile

Dan - Owner

RE: Startup costs

this site has some nifty spreadsheets and lists
look under the "Business Tools" tab.  Years ago I scavenged some Excel spreadsheet templates from here for everything one needs to start playing with the idea of starting a business.  It'll give you good practice, then you can move on to heavier stuff if need be.

It used to be free, it appears to require registration now.

Blue Technik LLC
Advanced Robotics & Automation Engineering

RE: Startup costs

A new Skidmore-Wilhelm will run about $3,000...

RE: Startup costs

I mostly agree with macgyvers2000.  As stated, he's being conservative.  I had 1+ year of salary available to me via a home equity line that I procured before I quit my day job(much harder to get a loan approved without a job).  I was working from a home office, and spent comparatively little (<$10k) on work related computers/software/etc.


RE: Startup costs

I'm in computer science, not structural engineering, so I'm not really sure what software packages structural engineers need.

That being said, my suggestion would be $10k for your computer and business expenses, plus 18 months of living expenses, adding 10% to account for unforseen expenses and inflation.

Also, before you start your business, make sure that you know how you plan to go about getting work. Do you have sales experience? If not, you should find a few customers, polish up on your sales skills, or find a business partner with sales and marketing experience.


RE: Startup costs

When I went off on my own 21 years ago, I previously had 5 years to accumulate what I needed, to include clients and a network.  After Reagan got in, I could see the writing on the wall, so I planned for it.  *()& I'm good! bigsmile

I would hate to have to start cold turkey.  That would be a bummer for me.  Very stressful.  If youchose to do this though, I can see 5 to 10 K in office expenses, depending what you are doing and what market you are in, plus a minimum of 6 months to develop your network and a reliable clientelle.  You should have savings to cover this time.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Startup costs

Thanks to everyone for their helpful advice!

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