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Projecting Your Startup Costs

Get real when it comes to accurately figuring out just what it'll cost you to get your business off the ground.

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This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Do you know how much it will cost to get your business off the ground? The SBA recently asked a group of entrepreneurs in the process of starting businesses exactly how much they expected to spend on startup. Solo entrepreneurs projected costs at $6,000 (the median), while team ventures projected $20,000.

Are those realistic estimates? It depends on your business, say the experts. To get the most realistic estimates of startup costs, start with a detailed business plan, says Tom Perkins, business coach, motivational speaker and founder of the Virtual Business Manager in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Categorize absolutely everything that will cost you money, from build-out costs and equipment leases to rent and utilities for office space. "A lot of times, people don't actually get a fair overview of what's really involved in the [startup] expenses," says Perkins.

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