So you're thinking of starting a business – fantastic! At SavvySME we have hundreds of great resources to help you learn the skills you need to succeed in your new venture or connect with the professionals who can push you to the next level. Before you start your own small business, it's important to make a plan and ensure you are starting off on the right foot.
What do I need to know before starting my business?
Of course, the very first thing you need to do is decide what type of product or service you will be offering. Chances are you already have a good idea of what it is your business will do, so it's wise to take a look around at your competitors and make sure that you are confident you can match or beat their offering in some way. That's how you will attract customers and clients away from their existing providers.
Once you know what you are going to do, there are a few steps you'll need to take which are common to all business types:
Choose your business structure
Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN)
Register your business name and any relevant trademarks
Register a website domain name
Register for any relevant taxes
Determine and register for any necessary licenses and permits
Register for an Australian Business Account to manage your licenses and permits
Buy or lease a business premises (if appropriate)
Arrange insurance for your business
Starting a business can be incredibly exciting, but it can also be stressful and time-consuming. We strongly recommend seeking the advice of an accountant and a lawyer in the early stages of starting your business, especially if this is your first foray into the world of entrepreneurship.
What do I need to do once my business is properly set up?
You need to start selling! Getting your first customers or clients can be tough for new businesses, but if you focus on providing fantastic value and you take your role seriously, you are bound to succeed. There is no feeling quite like making your first sale on a business which is entirely your own.
How do I go about finding clients and customers?
There are many options available to
you to get people to your doorstep. In the early stages, you may choose to take an approach that limits your spending, as many new businesses start with only limited capital. Many entrepreneurs get their start by cold-calling and door knocking, introducing themselves to the people they think are most likely to need their product or services and trying to convince them to buy. If you're comfortable investing some capital into your business, it's usually a good idea to get a web designer and developer to build you a fantastic website which you can direct people to using online advertising, SEO and search engine marketing, sales and marketing techniques, and traditional advertising. If you haven't already, conducting some market research is the best way to find out which method of customer acquisition is right for your business.
What questions should I be asking when starting my business?
How does my offering compare to my competitors?
What can I do better than everyone else?
Who are my core customers likely to be?
Where am I likely to find them?
What problem am I solving for them or what benefit am I offering them?
Have I become familiar with my legal, tax and reporting obligations?
Do I have all the necessary licenses and permits to operate my business?
Am I comfortable with the bookkeeping and accounting requirements of my business?
How will I handle growth as I gain new customers and clients?
What is my plan for the first 100 days?
Do I need to hire any staff, contractors or consultants to ensure my business runs smoothly?
Do I have the necessary budget to market my business effectively?
There are many, many considerations that go into starting a new business, if you are at all unsure about the best way to succeed in your industry, consider talking to a business coach who can assist you in setting and achieving realistic goals.
SavvySME can connect you with all of the professionals you will need to start, run and grow your business, and on this website you will find valuable advice to do-it-yourself if you prefer. If you have just started your business or think you will soon, we wish you the best of luck!