Running Costs for a Business: Monthly Expenses in the UK

Running Costs for a Business: Monthly Expenses in the UK

Running a business can be a complex and challenging task, with numerous factors to consider. One of the most important aspects of running a shop is the cost involved, which can vary greatly depending on a range of factors.

According to estimates, the cost of running a shop can include a license fee of anywhere between £400 to £2,900, as well as expenses such as worker wages, utilities, rent, and product costs. These expenses can quickly add up, making it essential for business owners to carefully manage their finances and plan for any future expansions or changes.

Shop Size and Type

The size of the shop is a crucial factor that affects the pricing and costs of the business. The bigger the shop, the higher the rent and utilities will be. Additionally, larger shops may require more employees to operate efficiently. Therefore, it is essential to consider the size of the shop when creating a budget plan.

The type of shop is equally important to consider when starting a business. The type of shop determines the product that the business will specialize in purchasing, creating, and selling. It is crucial to ensure that the product is well thought out and has the potential to attract customers and investors. Additionally, the business must have all the necessary licenses to operate legally.

Overall, choosing the right size and type of shop is critical to the success of the business. It is essential to carefully consider these factors when creating a budget plan and deciding on the direction of the business.

Renting versus Owning

When starting a business, the decision to rent or own the property is a crucial one. Renting a space to run a business requires a thorough understanding of the rental market in the area. The landlord’s charges depend on various factors such as the location, size of the shop, and the rules of the area. Unlike renting an apartment, renting a commercial space comes with different options and rules to consider.

The annual rental cost varies from city to city in the UK, with London being the most expensive at £14,355 per year. On the other hand, smaller cities have lower rental costs, with an average of £1,030 per year. The rental cost depends on the location, building type, and landlord’s preferences. It is essential to research the acceptable rental rates in the area and compare them with other building owners’ charges.

Owning the property and building space is a more stable option since it eliminates issues that may arise with landlords. Most commercial properties in the UK start at £150,000, including a down payment. However, the cost of owning the property varies depending on the size and location. If the business can afford to buy the property outright, it might be worth it in the end.

In conclusion, renting and owning a commercial space have their advantages and disadvantages. Business owners must consider their financial capabilities and long-term goals before making a decision.



When hiring employees in the UK, it is important to take into account the minimum wage, which is approximately £9.50. Business owners are advised to pay their employees more than the minimum wage to retain them for longer periods. Paying a living wage, particularly when it is difficult for employees to find a job that pays more, can help to keep employees for years rather than months.

Providing additional benefits as the business grows, such as subsidised health insurance or pension schemes, can also help to retain employees and establish a reputation as a reputable business. However, when starting a business, it is important to set a reasonable wage for employees and factor this into the expected retention from profits.

Overall, paying employees a fair wage and providing additional benefits can help to establish a positive reputation and retain employees for longer, contributing to the success of the business.


Running a shop requires paying for utilities such as gas, electricity, and water bills. These are essential to ensure the shop is well-lit, heated or cooled, and has functional sinks and toilets. A comfortable environment will make the shop more appealing to customers and employees.

Shop owners should allocate a budget of around £115-£200 per month for utilities. This amount should be sufficient to cover fluctuations in bills, as most utility companies charge based on average monthly usage. If the shop is heated by gas, the gas bill will also need to be factored into the budget.

To ensure the shop maintains a professional and inviting atmosphere, it is important to invest in good quality lighting, and heating or cooling systems. A well-maintained bathroom with functional sinks and good water pressure is also important. By allocating a budget for utilities, shop owners can ensure that their shop remains comfortable and appealing to customers and employees alike.


When running a business, it is important to keep all aspects of the store in good condition. Maintenance is a key factor in ensuring that the store is well-maintained and presentable to customers. Customers are less likely to enter a store that looks poorly maintained.

There is no way to predict when or where something might need maintenance, so it is essential to stash away a good amount of money to be used for maintenance as necessary. This might look like setting aside £300 to £500 for smaller, emergency maintenance and then drawing from the regular profit if the maintenance will require more to complete repairs.

The contracts pertaining to maintenance and other construction should be carefully reviewed before renting a building space. Depending on the contract with the landlord, maintenance could range from plumbing to electrical to working on smaller things like windows. If the shop and the location are physically owned by the business owner, those maintenance fees will have to be paid by the store owner.

Emergency funds should be set aside for larger maintenance issues such as if a pipe bursts or the heating/cooling system fails on a day with extreme heat. These things might appear small, but having the funds set aside, either from the profits of the shop or from the startup funds, will make these eventualities a lot less stressful for the owner and the budget.


Renovations can be a great way for shop owners to make their space their own and create an environment that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. However, if the shop owner is renting the space, it is important to communicate with the landlord to ensure that any renovations are allowed and do not breach the rental contract.

The cost of renovations can vary depending on whether the shop owner decides to do the work themselves or hire a professional. Additionally, the price of materials, the complexity of the design, and the extent of the changes needed will all impact the cost. If the renovations are structural, the cost will likely be significantly higher. Most construction and renovation companies will provide quotes based on the specific circumstances and requirements of the job, rather than a fixed price or hourly rate. Contracts should be discussed and agreed upon before any work begins.

One aspect of renovations that is particularly important for shops is the shop front. The cost of a shop front can range from very expensive to more cost-efficient options. The design and quality of the shop front can have a significant impact on whether potential customers are drawn into the shop and make purchases. Like other renovations, the cost of a shop front will depend on the shop owner’s vision and requirements.

The types of materials used for both interior and exterior renovations will also impact the overall cost. Shop owners should budget a few thousand pounds to be able to afford renovations that meet their needs and preferences while still being within their means. Negotiations may be necessary to ensure that the renovations are affordable and feasible.

Overall, renovations can be a worthwhile investment for shop owners looking to create a space that is both functional and visually appealing. However, it is important to carefully consider the costs and communicate with any necessary parties before beginning any work.

License and Insurance

Running a shop requires obtaining certain licenses and insurance. For food-based businesses, there are specific licenses that must be acquired to ensure safe food practices are in place and the food being sold is safe for consumption. The cost of obtaining a license will vary depending on the type of business and products being sold. The fees for obtaining a license can range from £40 to £2,900, and additional fees may be charged by the authority issuing the license.

It is important for shop owners to research the necessary licenses required to legally operate their business. While there are tools available online, it is recommended to check with local legal departments to ensure all appropriate licenses are obtained before opening a shop.

In addition to licenses, insurance is also an important factor in the cost of running a shop. The cost of insurance will depend on the type of business and coverage required. Shop owners should consider obtaining insurance to protect against potential liability claims and property damage.

Overall, obtaining the necessary licenses and insurance is crucial for the success and legal operation of a shop. Shop owners should factor in these costs when budgeting for their business.

Marketing Efforts

marketing costMarketing efforts for a shop can vary widely depending on the resources available. The cost of marketing is influenced by the type of marketing, the products being sold, and the location of the marketing.

In the modern age, there are many marketing options available, including purchasing a site domain to create a website for the shop. A website can be used to process online orders and track inventory.

The appearance of the shop is also an important part of marketing efforts. A well-designed shop front can attract potential customers and create intrigue. One way to catch the attention of potential customers is by creating a logo and displaying it on the windows of the shop. However, vinyl logos can be expensive. Another option for clothing shops is to feature their best items on mannequins in the shop front windows.

There are many other creative ways to attract an audience, but unfortunately, a price tag cannot always be placed on them. Therefore, it is important to consider the budget when planning marketing efforts.

Overall, marketing efforts should be tailored to the specific shop and its target audience. By considering the available resources and budget, a shop owner can create effective marketing strategies that will attract customers and increase sales.

Legal and Finance Options

Running a shop comes with various legal and financial responsibilities that business owners must consider. Seeking the advice of a professional financial advisor is highly recommended to help manage the finances of the shop. The cost of hiring a financial advisor may range from £75 to £350 per hour. However, the benefits of their services could lead to greater profits, better resources, better products, and an overall handle on the finances of the shop.

In addition to financial responsibilities, legal proceedings may also arise. It is important for business owners to seek professional advice on how to handle any potential legal issues. As the business grows, it may be necessary to hire someone to help with the negotiations of legal contracts, as contract negotiations can be tricky.

Another option for shop owners is to seek financing from a third party. This option can be beneficial for those who lack financial expertise. However, finding a suitable financier may be challenging and could come at a high cost.

Overall, it is important for shop owners to be aware of the legal and financial responsibilities that come with running a business. Seeking professional advice and hiring experts in these fields can help ensure the success and growth of the business.