Running a business requires hard work and dedication, but with an abundance of information on the Internet and new technologies available, starting a business has never been easier.
Do some research
Being highly motivated and passionate about your work is not enough for developing a successful enterprise. In order for a company to be profitable, it needs a lot of customers. In this stage, you need to recognize your customers and competition, but also decide where you want to concentrate your business efforts for the highest gains.
Find a mentor
Experienced business people will not only help you avoid common pitfalls of first steps but also point out the problems that can harm your business later on.
In that respect, you might want to connect with professional organizations and attend workshops or classes at your local university or community college.
Write a business plan
Once you know what kind of business you are going to start, you need to write a business plan. It is essential if you are planning to acquire a loan from a bank or investment venture capitalist. Even if you are planning to fund your business with your own money or by borrowing from your family, you need a business plan. It will help you stay on track, spot any potential weak points and focus on your goals.
Choose a company name
Clearly, your business name will tell your potential customers who you are and what you do. Many start-up owners make mistakes when they name their companies, like using a cliché or allowing a “committee” to make a decision. On the other hand, while words with a special meaning are great for telling the story of your company, some business names are obscure enough to turn away any potential customers. Choose wisely- make it simple and catchy but not too vague.
Decide on a business structure
The size of your business, the type, and the participants determine what business structure will work best for it. This is where you establish the legal form of your business – incorporate, limited liability, partnership or sole proprietorship. This decision will affect legal and tax implications. Therefore, don’t hesitate to consult a tax accountant or attorney and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of every structure.
Register your business
All business owners in Australia must register before starting any business activities. Apart from registering a business name, you may have to pay various taxes depending on your company structure. These include an Australian Business Number (ABN), the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a Tax File Number (TFN) and Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding. There are also other obligations, like registering a domain name or registering a trademark. A different registration process applies for a different business structure.
Every company has to comply with the government’s licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice and standards. The licence or permit that you need will depend on the product or service you are providing. Licences and permits also differ from state to territory. If you are starting a business for the first time, you will find the Australian Business Licence and Information service (ABLIS) website helpful in many ways.
Choose the location
Unless you are planning on running your business from home, you will need a separate office or retail space. It needs to accommodate the equipment or furniture and be easily accessible to suppliers and utility providers. Security requirements should include burglar-proof doors and windows, security monitoring and Kensington locks on desktops and laptops.
Before you add your company to a number of thriving start-ups, you need to lay its track. Apart from legal requirements, a good business plan and careful customer research are vital for any business success.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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