1. Get Your Legal Affairs in Order
Firstly you’ll need to decide what business structure you’ll have, whether a sole trader, partnership, company or trust. Secondly you’ll need to register an ABN (Australian Business Number), register a business name and trademark that name and potentially your product/s and service. Depending on the scale of your start up you may need to hire a lawyer (preferably a known start up lawyer) to make sure you have everything in order.
2. Money Matters
To begin with you’ll need to set up at least a bank account in your companies name and from there keep an accurate and entirely up to date account of all of your finances. When the business begins to grow you may consider hiring an accountant or bookkeeper for this task. But make sure your business has all its finances and accounts in order right from the get go to make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises or difficulties later on.
3. What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You
Hopefully if you’re wanting to create your own start up, you’ve already realised that your start up needs to be in direct relation to your own skills and knowledge. You’ll need practical, industry-related experience in your start up field to succeed. A great plan and idea simply won’t cut it. If you don’t have the necessary experience, get it. Volunteer, do your research or get a senior role in your chosen field before progressing. If all else fails, bring on a co-founder with the necessary experience.
4. Technology Construction
At the centre of all start ups you find the website, usually incorporating all required information and of course it’s usually the means for customers to purchase the company’s products and/or services. First you’ll need to purchase a domain name, a .com.au address is usually best as it lets Australian buyers know you’re local. Next you’ll need to host your website, you should spend some time researching what host will work best for you and your needs, whether requiring a simple static site or large ecommerce design.
5. Digital Designs
If you don’t already possess great design skills, you’ll need to outsource a good designer to create a professional logo for your start up. You can also hire them to create images for your website, including headers, banners, buttons, social media icons, etc. They can also help you to create business cards, incorporating your branding and logo. If you haven’t already put together your website, your designer can create mock ups for you or your tech guru.
6. Blogging Begins
After you’ve set up your main website you should set up a company blog. Blogging will help you gain potential customers and will show the world and of course search engines that you’re alive and well. You should start blogging as early as possible and write at least 2 posts per week with company news, industry goss, etc. This will keep your customers interested and updated and will help to bring new potential customers to your site through internet searches and links to posts.
7. Establish a Viral Component
Your start up needs a viral component, that is, the spread of your service or product without relying solely on advertisements and promotions. A simple share button is great but shouldn’t be seen as your only viral service. An email company, for example, could have a line at the bottom of every email linking back to the company, meaning that every user becomes an active promoter of the service.
8. Test Marketing
Before you truly commence your start up, you’ll need to do a lot of market research. You can test your market with services such as AYTM (Ask Your Target Market) to survey your target market and run a series of advertisements to establish the propositions and keywords that resonate with your potential customers. Now you’ll have the market research to integrate into your site for SEO purposes and initial leads.
9. Survey Your Customers
Once your product or service starts to sell, survey your customers with services such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to learn more about your buyers, what drives them, what their interests are and what they did and didn’t like about your product and service. This will help you to create a better online service, functionality and of course product for your existing and future customers.
10. Start Up Success in Australia
According to Google Australia and PwC, “The Australian tech startup sector has the potential to contribute $109 billion or 4% of GDP to the Australian economy and 540,000 jobs by 2033.”
However, according to Dean McEvoy, the Entrepreneur behind Spreets, which was sold to Yahoo! For $40 Million, “Australia is not the best country in the world when it comes to government support for start ups, but just get on with things, its good enough. Be successful in spite of it.”