In any business venture, there is some investment you will make up front to make sure you are starting off strong. While this can be a deterrent for some people, I prefer to think of it as an investment in yourself and a confidence that you will make that money back and then continue to grow. Being able to start a virtual business like sleep consulting can be appealing as there are no brick-and-mortar costs to worry about. But as you begin planning and crafting your business plan, there are some investments you will need to make. Here’s a breakdown of the most common costs needed to start your sleep consulting business.
Once you decide on a business name, it’s useful to register that name and form an LLC in your state. This offers some general protections and stops anyone from using your name in the future. Costs vary by state, but can start with a $25 filing fee and similar ranges of registration costs.
One of the most important things you can do to begin your business is set up an easy-to-use, visually appealing website tied to your personal domain. The domain name will be the bulk of this cost, though if you can find one that has not been used, they can be as little as $12 on a website like GoDaddy. These will require yearly payments in order to keep ownership.
For building the website, you can use free options to start out with. Something like Webnode is user friendly and can make a simple website easily. If you want to add in more complex features, options like SquareSpace are popular and can be as little as $18 per month.
If you do not feel equipped to create even a basic website, you can always outsource with a service like UpWork.
A website built with good search engine optimization can go a long way in terms of marketing without costing you anything additional. Social media accounts are also free to use and promote yourself with, which means you could begin marketing with almost no cost.
If you do want to invest in marketing, determine the best way to spend that money for your business. A primarily virtual offering is best served by paid advertisements, rather than traditional materials like flyers or business cards.
One of the best ways to make your business look legitimate and be prepared to help clients is to invest in the right certification program. This will be your largest startup cost, but with a program like the one offered through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management, the benefit will continue throughout your career. With ongoing access to a community of other sleep consultants and updated data and lessons, the training provides you both a foundation and ongoing professional development.
CPSM will also teach you the basics of running your business and making it successful, including ways to invest and how to get the best return on those investments. And if you ever need advice, our Facebook group is there for you to brainstorm with your peers!