Industry sector: Consumer services

Aerial installer: Capital expenditure

Once you've given some thought to exactly how your aerial services business will operate, you might like to check your estimates of capital costs to make sure you've identified all of the items you'll need and any other capital costs you'll incur.

When you estimate the cost of tools and equipment, bear in mind that professional quality tools are considerably more expensive than DIY ones. Although the two often look similar, you can expect a professional quality tool to outlast a DIY 'equivalent' many times over. It will probably also perform better. It's this superior build quality that you are paying for - the tool will be designed to be used hard every day, rather than just once in a while. Of course, you could decide to buy cheap and replace frequently, but remember that it's your valuable time that will be wasted when a crucial tool packs up on a job.

Don't forget to include any expenditure such as having your logo and livery put on your vehicles, and perhaps making signs to put up at sites where you're working.

If you're paying cash for all the items you're buying for your business, enter the amounts - including VAT - in the months when you expect to pay for them.

If you decide to buy some items on hire purchase, or with a loan, enter the deposit and the monthly payments in the months when you will pay them. These payments will be made up of both capital and interest. Enter the capital here and the interest under 'Bank/finance charges and interest' in your cash flow. The agreement will identify the amount of interest payable annually - if you deduct this from the total amount you have to pay each year the balance is the capital.