Do you have a business idea?
The hardest, but more rewarding part of any business is thinking of your idea to pursue. Luckily, the internet and working from home has enabled many people to start a new business that offers an improvement on a current idea. This can include improvements such as offering a cheaper cost alternative or offering a more customer focused approach.
Think about the current offerings and focus on how you can create something better, cheaper or faster.
What do you need to get started?
If you’re starting a new business is very important to keep your costs low. In some instances it can take a few years before the business generates enough income to pay for itself and to provide you with a wage. Therefore I recommend having enough savings so that you can support yourself for a year if needed.
Having a separate part time job can be a great source of supplement income and also provide a necessary distraction from the loneliness that can accompany being self-employed. I also found a part time job can lead you to more customers and be a great source of marketing material (if the secondary job is in a complementary field).
You also need to address any licensing or regulatory requirements for your industry. For example, do you need a degree or additional licensing or industry memberships?
Get some independent feedback.
It’s good to get started so that people can interact with your product or service and see what they think of it. A fresh set of eyes can help point out a problem you might have missed. Plus, these people can become your first customers, especially if you listen to their feedback and adapt your offering accordingly.
You need to be open to both positive and negative feedback and be able to incorporate it back into your business effectively.
Register your business
You need to ensure you select the correct business structure from the onset. If you are starting a small business it can be good to simply register an Australian Business Number (ABN) in your personal name because this is a cheaper and easier approach during start-up.
Once your business has signs of growth then you should consider registering a private company (Pty Ltd) or setting up a family trust. This is a more expensive option but it will provide considerable income tax advantages and provide the necessary asset protection. For example, if you own your own home then a company structure can help protect that home in the event that anything goes wrong with your business.
You should also consider registering a business name, trademark and website.
Grow your business.
Whether your buy an existing business or start a small business you will need to expand the sales base and make it more profitable.
As an accountant I have found that working with people in key industries can be great. For example, I found and made friends with a business bankers, a good financial planner, and commercial lawyers as we can refer each other customers. Building personal relationships alongside business relationship meant that people will always think of you and be happy to refer you customers.
Using social media effectively through organic, influencer or paid campaigns can also help build your business and retain customers. You need to provide useful information in a format that people will want to read.