Most people who start a small business may be aware of the general costs of incorporating their business, buying initial inventory, and securing a location. Then they start looking into the everyday operational and organisational costs. But there always seem to be categories that people either forget or downplay. When they start to add up, however, they will affect your bottom line and you’ll be forced to make adjustments if you want to remain competitive. Let’s take a look at some of the common costs of running a business that are overlooked.


There’s a lot of insurance the average business has to worry about. You have to get insurance for the contents of your factory or storefront as well as for the space itself. You also have to get liability insurance. Errors and omission insurance will also be needed if you’re manufacturing a product. These are all things you’ll need to look over with an expert who’ll be able to show you the full scope of coverage that you need.


Water Bills

Most business owners will try to keep their gas and electricity bills in check, but many will overlook their water bills. They will assume that there isn’t much that they can do to change their water consumption or that the results won’t be worth the effort. However, you’d be surprised at how much money you could save if you simply shopped around.

You are totally free to look around and negotiate a better deal on business water. Many services will allow you to make a business water rates comparison and find a deal that will be tailormade for your needs. There is absolutely no point in staying with the same provider when you have so many choices, so take advantage of it.


Permits and Licences

This is another area a lot of business owners aren’t prepared for when starting up. You need to have a full compliance rundown of every permit and licence you will need to operate your business lawfully. These might be for you or your employees. They also usually have to be renewed often, so you have to factor in the recurring costs as well.

If you want to keep your costs to a minimum, we suggest you become a member of a few professional organisations in your sector. These will not only allow you to stay abreast of the most recent regulation changes in the industry, but they usually offer all sorts of discounts on things such as loans, credit cards, insurance, and more. You have to make sure to be selective, however, as membership can end up costing in the hundreds of pounds.



Office space comes at a premium and some equate the idea of having a business with having a spacious office. This is all fine and well, but do you need all that space? It is apparent now that the world is much better prepared than we imagined for remote working, so how much square footage do you really need?

There are cases where you’ll absolutely need space to work. In this case, you need to calculate how much space you need now and how much you expect to need in the future as you expand. You could also try using temporary office spaces until you can assess your needs and move into a permanent space.

Small Equipment

We also tend to overlook less important equipment like furniture and other things like electrical cords, routers, network adapters, phones, etc. This is why you need to find ways to save if possible, without sacrificing comfort and quality.

So, buy used when you can, and since you’re going for office furniture and equipment, look for any office trying to unload some of their equipment or furniture in your area. This could allow you to save by buying in bulk and you could get your hands on some items that were barely used for pennies on the pounds.

You have to be careful with buying second-hand equipment, however. This is because maintenance costs are rarely factored in. You might need to buy an expensive part at a certain point. This could come sooner rather than later as well, as many sellers will sell knowing that certain parts are due for replacement. So, before you buy an important piece of equipment second hand, make sure that you’re aware of the major issues with it and how much it will cost to service them.


Another thing a lot of business owners overlook when calculating wages is the benefits that they’re going to offer employees. You have to consider major things such as additional insurance and holiday leave as well as smaller things such as free beverages or wellness programmes. These essentials are not only for compliance in some cases, but also for the wellbeing of your employees,

The worst thing you could do is cut back too much on the benefits in an attempt to save. This will create a hostile and unproductive environment in your company, which will eventually affect your bottom line. Not only that, but you can expect your turnover rates to skyrocket. Make sure that your employees are happy and that your benefits packages are at least up to par with the rest of the competition.

These are just a few examples of business expenses that are often overlooked. Make sure that they are all kept in check if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises.