5 tips on where to start with your small business
You’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. That’s great! But where do you start? It can be a confusing process knowing where to begin, so here are a few tips to get you started on the right track.
Decide on the legal structure
A business can be operated as a sole trader, partnership, company or trust. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks and comes with a unique set of requirements. Most businesses start out as a sole trader as it is generally the easiest and quickest method, however you should consider your own circumstances and requirements before you decide. Your accountant or lawyer can help you with this decision.
Choose a name
Before you decide on your business name, take the time to undertake some research. Think about:
- Domain name: is the .com or .com.au internet address available for your business name?
- Social media: conduct a search to see if the name already exists on any social media channels that you intend on using. Also consider using the same handle across multiple channels as it makes life easier for you and your potential clients.
- Uniqueness: Does the name already exist? Are there any similar names that are trademarked or used globally?
- Relevance: Does the name make sense to your potential clients? A name that you may think is clever or sentimental may not resonate with your audience. Think about whether someone would know what you do just by looking at your business name.
Make it official
Now that you have decided on your business name, you will need an Australian Business Number (ABN), which can be obtained through the Australian Business Register (ABR). The next step is to register your business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
If you have decided on a company as your business structure, you will need an Australian Company Number (ACN) prior to obtaining an ABN. Your ACN can also be obtained from ASIC.
Decide on a budget
New businesses are usually low on cash. Write a list of your expected startup expenses such as registering your domain name and business name, creating a logo, building a website and bookkeeping software. Once you have an idea of all your costs, you can determine which tasks are a necessity, which ones you can afford outsource to an expert and those that may need to wait until your cash flow is positive.
Who is your ideal client? Where will you find them? What marketing channels will you use? These are just some of the questions that you need to answer before leaping into the business world. Having a business plan in place will ensure that you are on the right track from the beginning. The Australian Government has a host of great tools and templates that you can use for this purpose.
Never give up
Connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs through Facebook groups, forums, associations and networking functions. Their support, knowledge and inspiration will be invaluable as you start on your new business journey.
Remember that there will be challenges along the way and things may not always go to plan. Try to be flexible and treat each of these obstacles as an opportunity to learn and grow. Above all, enjoy the ride! There is never a dull moment owning your own business.
Mel Daniels provides tailored solutions to help you build and love your business again. Her love – Meld Business Services - delivers specialised virtual assistant services including copy writing, administrative expertise, content and social media strategy. Connect with Meld Business Services on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.