marketing costs for start up business

How much does it cost to start a business? Part 2

How much does it cost to start a business? Part 2

by | Jul 8, 2021 | Business, Business Tips, Marketing

How much does it cost to start a business?



In part one of my ultimate guide, I outlined several of the marketing costs for a start-up business. These included a business plan, a marketing plan, branding and tone of voice, and website development. In this second part, I’ll outline further costs involved in starting a business and get you well on your way to planning and budgeting for success.




The ultimate guide to marketing costs for a start-up business – Part Two

If I had a dollar for every time a web designer has come to me and said “I have a client who needs copy for a site I’m creating, but they haven’t really allowed a budget for it…” I’d be writing this blog from somewhere exotic like Necker Island.

Graphic design

Graphic design is often seen as the ‘fun’ part of starting a new business. Why? Because this is where you can see your vision start to come to life and you imagine seeing your logo everywhere. And while it might be a while until that happens, you still need to consider how you want your brand to look visually, and how you want it perceived.

It’s important to understand that graphic design is more than just a logo. It’s almost all the visual elements of your brand. Think logo, fonts, brand colours, social media templates, and a brand style guide to make sure your brand integrity is maintained.

Expect to pay at least $1000 for a decent quality logo and brand guide (which will include a colour palette, fonts and how to use them).






Website content

Anyone know any good copywriters? Oh yeah, that’s me!

Website content is an often overlooked and/or last minute part of getting your business started.

If I had a dollar for every time a web designer has come to me and said “I have a client who needs copy for a site I’m creating, but they haven’t really allowed a budget for it…” I’d be writing this blog from somewhere exotic like Necker Island.

Your website content contains the words that tell your brand story. They tell people who you are, why you’re different, how you can make their life better, and exactly how easy it is to do business with you.

They’re the hardworking partner of your graphic and website design. A website without words would lose customers pretty quickly.

A website with poorly thought out words, no clear story and no content strategy? I hate to tell you, but it will lose customers just as quickly.

The good news is I can help you with website content. My prices start from $1500 for an SEO-optimised (meaning that with the right SEO strategy in place, people can find you on Google) 5-page website. Typically this would be something like Home, About, Services, FAQ and Contact.


Email marketing & customer communications

Capturing and nurturing leads is a crucial element of your marketing plan.

An email database is also a highly valuable business asset, and it’s one you should always be focused on growing.

But what do you do with all those email addresses? What do you talk to your list about? And how do you turn readers into clients or customers?

A copywriter can help with this. Get someone who can write a start-up or onboarding (bringing new clients into your business) email sequence for your customers.  As well as this, think of how you’ll use the often forgotten micro-copy too. That is, content for your invoices, thank you emails, welcome emails, store signage, etc.

Expect to pay from $500 for starting packages for this.


Marketing costs beyond starting up

These costs are all what you can expect to pay to get started.

But marketing isn’t a set and forget activity. It’s a constantly evolving and growing part of your business.

In your marketing plan you would have outlined the different ways you’re going to reach out or connect with your customers and generate leads. Think email marketing, social media, a lead magnet to download (usually a PDF), webinars, blogging, guest blogging – these will be ongoing costs unless you learn how to DIY.

DIY is a great option to minimise ongoing marketing expenses, and it means you can create content any time you want.

If you know that creating content is not your zone of genius and you want someone to do it for you, I can help with creating lead generating content.

Or, if you’re all set to DIY, I can help you map out a content plan so you know what to write and when. To get started, I recommend finding out where your ideal customers are hanging out/spending time online, and building up one social media platform at a time. Don’t spread yourself thin and waste precious business hours being on multiple platforms, just because you think you should.


Investments for efficiency

As well as marketing costs, there are a couple of other investments I think are worth budgeting for. While it’s fair to think these are things you can do later, setting yourself up for maximum efficiency right from the start will reap immediate benefits.

Setting up accounting software, like Xero, will streamline your financial admin, and help minimise the time you spend doing non-billable work. Xero is low-cost, extremely user-friendly, and integrates with a huge number of business software systems. If you want to step the financial efficiency up a notch, I recommend engaging a bookkeeper.

A bookkeeper will take care of your financial admin so you can focus your time on operations and marketing. They’ll provide financial transparency over your business. And they’ll help prevent potentially costly mistakes. A great bookkeeper can operate like a management accountant. They may even find holes that money might be leaking out of – and no one wants that!

And finally, getting yourself a virtual assistant (VA) or online business manager (OBM) will undeniably set you up for extreme efficiency. A VA will help you set up solid systems and processes, saving you duplication of effort and help avoid mistakes made through repetition or lack of automation. An OBM will offer that and more. They can help with things like project management, operations management, and people management (including people you outsource to). They are also online experts, and can help you navigate the potentially overwhelming world of online business.

Expect around $50 a month for Xero, from $40 p/h for a bookkeeper (allow around 10 hours a month), and offshore VAs can start as low as $20 p/h. OBMs are more experienced and you will be paying more for the expertise they bring to your business.


Starting a business is an exciting time. Energy is high, ideas consume you.

It’s also easy to get lost, distracted or confused about exactly what you need to do to generate leads and customers.

The tips I’ve shared in this guide will help keep you on track, and will help you understand the kinds of marketing costs you can expect to incur with a start-up business.

Got more questions about what it costs to start a business? Want to find out how I can help with your start-up marketing costs?

I invite you to book a free 15-minute consultation, and we can chat about how I can help.


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