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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 off the ground? The 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, 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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