Even when you carefully budget, unexpected expenses likely will pop up as you run your business. Savvy business owners plan for surprise costs by keeping an emergency fund on the side.
However, small expenses, such as credit card processing fees, also can sneak up and eat away at your profits. These expenses can escape your notice and mess with your financial forecasts.
Uschamber.com recommends being aware of the following common sneaky costs for small-business owners.
Shipping costs. Shipping is a broad cost category, and it is easy to underestimate how much your business spends on shipping. A package’s shipping cost can vary depending on packaging material, dimensional weight, shipping method, the carrier and insurance. Choose your shipping options wisely and work with multiple carriers to find the most economical partner.
Taxes. Track your tax liability during the year to keep this cost from sneaking up on you. Small costs can also contribute to lowering your tax bill, so keep track of payments for expenses such as educational resources so you can claim deductions and lower your overall bill.
Subscriptions. Software is a small expense that can add up quickly. Subscription software packages can cost a few hundred dollars per month or more.
Employee expenses. These include small expenses such as office supplies, break room coffee and snacks, travel reimbursements and other expenses that come up while your employees complete their daily tasks.
Insurance. Insurance is an expense worth paying to help cope with a future emergency. Many business owners explore a combination of general liability insurance, commercial property insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
Transaction fees. Credit card processing fees vary depending on the platform and flexibility available to businesses.
Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity expenses do not always fall into one category and easily can be overlooked. There are subscription fees for password management tools, firewalls and other software; one-time fees associated with consultants or IT experts who set up your system; and insurance policies that cover certain cyber events. It can be helpful to merge all cybersecurity costs into one budget category.