Make sure you spend some time researching what platform is going to work best for you.  Are you going to need to use specific software that works better on one platform or the other? Are you going to be using your cell phone a lot and would it be helpful for that to tie into your desktop? What type of printer will you want to use? If you tie yourself to the cheaper option now instead of what you actually want/need you might pay in frustrated hours and when you start wasting your time on computer issues.

Don’t be like Suzy Cheap who bought a $400 PC when she needed a $1,000 Mac to make her whatsits easily.  Instead, she now had to spend $900 paying someone else to do it for her.  Her total spend: $1,300.    Could have saved $300 and just bought the Mac in the first place, and of course, she now will go out and buy a Mac so her total spend is: $2,300.

There are always used and refurbished items that are cheaper to start with.  Be sure to do it right to start.
Free Software: 
Ever heard the phrase nothing in life is ever free?   This is very true when it comes to software.  Free software is awesome if you are sure you know what you are doing with it.  Don’t just choose free because of the lack of cost.  Choose free because it is a good choice for you, do I expect free to be the best choice? No, not usually but it can be a decent choice.  But here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating the software.

How hard will it be to setup? How many hours will it take you to learn and get it working for your business?

How many hours a day/week will you have to spend on making this software work for you?
How will you migrate off of the software?

Don’t be like Chepo Bob uses free software to run a major component for his business when he could have chosen a $5 a month option instead that was much better. Has to hire a developer to customize “free” software.  Has to hire a support team to support “free” software.  And then when he outgrows it has to hire a migration team to move “free” software into the new system manually.  Total spend on FREE software? $60,000 over a 5 year period.  If he would have gone with the $5 a month option for 5 years: $300 + migration costs = $1,500

Do you actually like working with the software? If you hate using it, then you will not keep up with that area of your business.
Branding is not just your logo and website.  Branding is so much more.  Make sure you understand and invest in not only your business brand but for your personal brand as well.  When you are a small business your personal brand is almost if not just as important as your business one.  This can affect how your posts look on social media and your overall Voice online and in person.  After all your Brand is how you stand out from the crowd and create your own Realm in the online world.

Brandy didn’t spend anything on her branding at all when she started, she knew she could do it all on her own. She has lots of blog posts, lots of posts on Instagram and Twitter a Business Facebook page and she spends all day in Facebook groups trying to get people to notice her, but she has been kicked out of so many that she is now down to just a few that aren’t very effective.  It’s been 3 years and she is sick of trying to get her name out there and get noticed.  She sees something on a Facebook group about personal branding and decides to get a last-ditch loan to fix what is broken with her business.  People she now has to hire to fix everything: Business Branding and Person Branding Experts, Copywriter, Graphic artist and possibly a business coach.

The total cost to fix something that has gone wrong in a 3-year-old established business= $1000-$6000
Branding expert to start with: $500-$1000
 Business Registration: 
Are you going to just operate under a DBA or go out and become an LLC or S Corp? Do you know the difference?  While this is something that can be done on your own.  Make sure to ask lots of questions, before you decide.  Facebook Groups are a great place to ask these questions on.
Lee decided she didn’t want to deal with registering an LLC so she just got her DBA.  She was working for a client one day and broke a major piece of equipment while taking pictures of this $5million dollar gadget for a trade show publication.  The client gets very upset and sues Lee.  Lee has no protection because she is a DBA and loses everything, her home, her business, all her camera equipment and will be in all-consuming debt for the rest of her life trying to pay the client back for damages.

If Lee would have registered her business properly she may have been able to recover her business eventually and not lost all her personal assets too.
We all know we want to save every dime we can when we are starting out.  Yes, we can learn on our own, but is it truly worth it?  YES, at first do it all on our own but also keep in mind that your time is precious and you need to delegate where you can.  Once you know how your business runs in each area, start considering how you will streamline everything.  Time is money after all.  Knowing how your business work is very important to know how to delegate to someone else.  After all, if you don’t know what you need how are you supposed to communicate that to someone else.  Not knowing how to do something is different than not know what it is you need.
Hire a Coach or a Consultant.  Figure out which is best for you and hire one at least for a couple sessions so they can help you make some important business decisions.

Hire a VA to do some of your social media posting for you, they will be more effective than you will be, because it is their job to be.  This will also free you up to concentrate on more important things.

Hire a Marketing & Sales Strategist to help you design your growth to the next level. You could spend 1000’s of hours trying to do it on your own or just a few hours of consulting time to get it done for you.

Website Design doesn’t waste hours/days/weeks trying to set up your own website.  There are experts at this out there save your time and your sanity and hire them!

There are so many more areas that you can save time and money on.  Look for ways to be more efficient.  Saving sometime today might just save you lots of time and money later.
Starting a business is hard there are so many decisions to make.  Hopefully, this guide will take some of the pain out of the process.