Start up costs

Providing it doesn't restrict your business operations, keep your start-up costs to a minimum, or you'll have pressure to generate more money quicker.

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Purchasing

When 'company doctors' are called in to save businesses, the first step is often to renegotiate all the supply contracts, which often works.

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Negotiation

If you spend 15 minutes knocking £500 off the price of a piece of equipment, you effectively earn your business £2,000 an hour so it's not a chore.

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How to negotiate a purchase

Checklist on negotiation a purchase: Decide how much you want the deal; identify how much it is worth to you and what alternatives you have.

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How to control costs

Cost control: Identify your major costs, such as staff, raw materials, premises, utilities, travel, transport, capital expenditure and financing.

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Start up costs calculator

Visit the bplans.co.uk website to use an online calculator that could help you work out your start up costs before you launch your business.

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Q&A: Calculating start-up costs

Martin Dunne of Sayers Butterworth chartered accountants explains how to work out how much starting a new business will cost from the outset.