Tips for Starting a Small Business

Are you a potential entrepreneur? Starting a successful business comes from extensive planning, research and measurable execution.

Sometimes the most successful businesses are built on the smallest and simplest of ideas. Richard Branson says business is a “gut feeling”. Have you got an idea or passion that could become a profitable enterprise? With a bit of dedication, being your own boss may not be as unachievable as you think. According to Forbes, entrepreneurs are made, not born.

Before starting a new business, it is recommended that you should seek financial advice from a financial planner but here are some basic things to consider to get you started with your new venture:

Research Your Idea

Get to know the market for your product or service. Start researching your competitors, reports and statistics from governments and industry publications.

To get you started, here are some questions you can ask yourself about your competitors:

  • Who are they?
  • How successful are they and why?
  • What is the strength of their business model and what are the weaknesses?
  • What would you do better or why would a customer choose your business over the competition?
  • How do the competitors market their services?

Create a Business Plan

The first step for every business, no matter how big or small is to create a business plan. To develop a plan, keep it simple. Start with a one page document that includes what you’re selling or offering, detailing who your target market is or people who are likely to be interested in your product/service. Review how much you will charge and what requirements the business may need to get started, such as an office or retail space. As ideas start to eventuate or opportunities arise, you can flesh out the plan with more detail.

What’s in a Name?

The name of your business can have big impact on the future of your company and the marketing strategies/ potential of your brand. Consider your competitors and the names they have used for their products and brands and choose a name that will set you apart. Think about your goals and how the name is reflected as a brand? Choose a name that is easily remembered, spelt and if going international, is easy to pronounce and translate. Shortlists a top 3 possible names, and brainstorm them with other friends and family to get their thoughts and reactions.

Government Support

The Australian Government has many tips on how to start up your own business and the different elements to consider before you do, including any legal requirements and resources you may need. With a business there are things to consider like registering the business name, acquiring a trade mark, ABNs, GST and other tax. When researching your business venture, go to business.gov.au where there is much material including advice for choosing a business name or writing a marketing plan.

To Market to Market

Now that you’ve done your research, got a business plan, ironed out any legal requirements, it’s time for the fun part. There are plenty of ways to advertise a great product or service to your target audience, and if you have a great product you really want as many people as possible to know about your business. According to business.gov.au “a good marketing plan sets clear, realistic and measurable objectives, includes deadlines, provides a budget and allocates responsibilities.” You can also refer to business.gov.au for some great ideas on growing your business.

Do your research and always consider what is important to you and the crucial selling points of your product or service. With these tips and some careful planning you could explore your passion and become your own boss. It’s important to remember that being your own boss comes with added responsibility and limited financial protection if you were to suffer a serious illness or injury, so it’s a good idea to contact an insurance provider who can help you compare income protection policies to cover you for these unforeseen circumstances.

These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.