There are more than 2.3 million active businesses in Australia, many of which are startups. Starting your own business is an exciting experience, but you also need to make sure you set your company up for success from the very beginning.
Besides the actual products or services you want to offer, there are dozens of different elements you need to take in mind before setting up your company. Below, we’ll discuss 10 essential tips that every entrepreneur should know before opening a small business.
Here are some tips to help set up your new venture for success.
Whether it’s wacky diapers of sustainable shot glasses, you need to survey the market and make sure there’s an audience that’s interested in your product. You also need to ensure that the industry isn’t saturated and potentially find a niche that you can specialise in.
The main objective of all companies is to stay profitable. But, you should create a set of non-financial objectives that you’d like to achieve. Consumers are becoming more and more conscious about social responsibility, so having goals that are not related to your company’s revenue will help you steer in the right direction.
Before even creating a budget, create a blueprint of your company. You should decide how many departments, employees, services, and products you can offer with limited resources while still maintaining a good financial outlook.
Besides operations, look at the logistics and survey the office spaces you have in your area. If you are thinking of working from home you should also note it in your plans and make sure you take advantage of any potential tax benefits
The good thing about modern businesses is that you usually don’t have to come up with all the money upfront. You can find options like financing or investors that help you get your project off the ground. Come up with a few alternatives just in case the first one or two don’t come through.
Also, keep in mind that most companies don’t break even until after the first 12 months. You should assume the same for your venture and make sure you have the financial stability to plug the leaks for the next few months.
In Australia, the four most common types of business structures are partnerships, trusts companies, and sole traders. All of these have different benefits and limitations, so explore each option and decide which is the best one for your small business.
Keep in mind that the structures above are not the only ones available. If you want to learn more about the different options you have available, you can learn more here.
A few decades ago, the name of your company had to relate to your industry somehow. Today, modern businesses can get away with abstract names that are not connected to their vertical. Not sure about this point? Just ask Apple, Ikea, or The Boring Company.
Once you find a name you like, find a web domain and purchase it right away. This will come in handy later on when it’s time to create a business website. If your preferred URL is taken, you can play around with acronyms, short phrases, or alternative extensions such as .oi, .net, or .co just to name a few.
The legal part of opening a small company is always important, so look at licenses, permits, and other paperwork you need to obtain before inaugurating your business. Working with a professional attorney can help save a lot of time and hassle, but many business owners decide to take on this part by themselves.
Aside from acquiring your licenses and permits, you should also make sure you abide by their limitations and keep an eye on their expiry date. If you continue operating without renewing a permit or you start offering products that need a special license, you may get in trouble with the authorities.
Despite the fact that some companies are one-person shows, chances are you’ll need a supporting cast. You can choose from the pool of local talent or opt for remote freelancers that can help fill the gaps.
If you opt to work with local talent, you’ll be able to collaborate on a daily basis and carry out activities together. Remote workers may be a bit more challenging to connect with, but you can still stay up to date through video conferencing and save a significant amount of money by working with freelancers that provide their own tools.
One of the most important steps for any startup is to establish an online presence. The average consumer turns to his or her phone constantly to find local shops, so building a digital storefront will help you connect with your potential audience when they are searching for small businesses in your area.
Having a responsive website that has all of your contact information and can be easily found on search engines will help build a strong connection with your potential customers.
Marketing is not only left to big companies with unlimited resources anymore. Even small businesses that have a limited budget need to pay attention to their advertising efforts. Digital marketing is one of the most popular alternatives as it has a low cost and it can help reach your target audience like never before.
The tips above should help you hit the ground running and increase your chances of success. Just make sure you take your time and explore your options before deciding on a particular business model, team, or funding source.
If you need to find a reliable web developer for your site, contact us today and our team will be glad to help.
Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for PK Simpson.
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