Yep, there's definitely some expenses running a digital business! The tools of my trade may not be power tools or fancy ovens, but they can sometimes be equally (or more) expensive.
Overall, my biggest advice to any business owner or freelancer would be to make sure your pricing covers the monthly cost of running your business.
My Service Packages need to be priced so that I can continue to run a profitable business. Sometimes I'm fully booked, and sometimes I'm not so that's also something to consider. This is also really helpful to showcase to clients why I charge what I charge, and also why I say no when someone asks for a discount.
All of the below prices are in AUD.
Depending on where you are based in the world, you'll have to pay taxes.
In Australia, one of my biggest expenses is my yearly tax bill. Typically from every job that I do, I need to put 30% of my earnings aside for the taxman. So if I charge a client $1,000 for a project, $300 of that needs to be put aside.
I'm not currently registered for GST under my ABN, but once I hit a certain threshold of yearly earnings, I'll also need to be collecting GST and giving that to the tax man also.
Laptop: Apple MacBook Pro - $4,399
My laptop is the tool of my trade. Without it, I can't do any work. So it's important I have a really good one that doesn't lag. What I love about having Apple products is the support, as well as the ability to access my iCloud files via my smartphone when I'm out and about.
Dual screen: Philips large monitor screen + HDMI cord to connect to my MacBook $400
I have an extra screen connected to my laptop which is SO GOOD. But, it's an extra cost that isn't needed when first starting out. But it definitely makes working easier!
Tablet: Wacom Intuos Pro - $488
I thought this would be a game-changer for when I do illustrations, but unfortunately, I just don't use it enough to justify the cost.
Apple accessories: $400
Apple mouse, extra chords, AirPods.
Laptop Bag: $100
A good protective laptop bag is a must.
Adobe Creative Cloud: starts at $77 per month.
This is super important, I couldn't do my trade without access to the Adobe Suite. I mainly use Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Photoshop. They do have discounts if you're a student.
Yep, this is an ongoing cost that's pretty expensive. It's not like the old days where you used to buy software on a CD disc and install it, and then have to do updates. The great thing about using cloud software is that it's easy to update.
Dubsado: $405 for the first year, depending if you use a discount code or not
Dubsado is a kick-ass CRM cloud platform that helps me manage all my projects and clients. It allows me to get contracts signed, create invoices with payment plans and setup automation for my onboarding process. It's an awesome platform that I use to manage all my projects. If you're interested in 20% off as a first-time user, use my affiliate code bro and click here.
Canva Pro: $17.99 per month
I create templates for my clients in Canva, which is accessible and user-friendly for non-designers. This allows them to continue to use their brand, and maintain brand consistency. If you're interested in signing up, sign up with this link to earn credit (it's my refer a friend link).
Freepik: $12 per month
I use Freepik to get .psd mockups to showcase my designs.
Xero: $50 per month
Bookkeeping software so I can track my income/expenses.
Web Hosting: approx $400 per year
Email Hosting: approx $40 per year
Domain Hosting: approx $100 per year
Apple: iCloud Storage $4.99 per month
Whenever I use service providers, I try to hire local women in business who are also running their own business that way I'm supporting them and growing my network.
Lawyer: approx $1,300
Dubsado Specialist: approx $1,300
Dubsado is such a good tool but I knew I needed help setting it up. I've hired Amy from Hart VS who is a Dubsado Specialist, and she is making my life so much easier by getting it set up properly. Amy is also a Virtual Assistant so she's amazing at other stuff too. If you get in touch with her, let her know I referred you.
Professional Learning & Development: $3,000 this year so far
I'm apart of a mastermind group for women in business, and I've also previously worked with a coach who has helped me grow as a business owner. Investing in yourself is investing in your business.
Bookkeeper: approx $120 per month
It really depends on how much activity you have going on in your business bank accounts as to how much a bookkeeper will charge to reconcile. I use Fuel Business Consulting; Marlaina has been amazing and each month reports back with my profit and loss for the month. She's also going to be helping me prep for when I need to register for GST as well as put together my documents for my yearly tax return.
Accountant: $200 per tax return
It will depend on your financial situation as to how much your tax return will cost. I'm a sole-trader who is not yet registered for GST so my tax return is fairly simple.
Photographer: $480 this year so far
Investing in your business with professional branding photos is super important. Not only do I use these photos on my social media, but I also use them on my website and advertising to showcase who I am and who they'll be working with. I get so much more engagement with potential clients when they see who I am, and when I show up on my social media as myself.
Wow, sometimes it's a bit daunting to realise the cost of running my business...but I wouldn't change it for the world. If you're a freelance Graphic Designer, I'd love to hear from you if you have any comments or questions!
Thanks so much for reading