Many people decide to start a business simply because they don’t like working in a 9-5 job. They think with their own business they can choose hours that suit them or take time off whenever they like. This could not be further than the truth. Starting your own business is time-consuming and the buck stops with you.
If you are not there to see that everything is done on time or properly, your business will head very quickly to failure. That said, there is something about running a business that gets into the blood. The challenges and the frustrations are all part of the fun. Here is a checklist for starting up a business that can help smooth the way.
- Make sure you have a great idea that you are passionate about. If you don’t care greatly for your business idea you are likely to abandon it more easily when the going gets tough. And you won’t give it your all in a way that makes success surer.
- Analyse the sector your business idea is in to see if it is in a growth period or stagnant.
- Assess likely risks and work out a plan for minimising them.
- Develop a professional business plan. If you know nothing about this topic, learn or have a professional do it for you.
- Work out your costs and whether you have the finances to start up on your own. If not, find out where you can get backing.
- Choose a business structure that suits you and your business idea. It could be a partnership, a trust, a company, a sole trader or a cooperative. It is important to choose the right one because it will affect important things like the amount of tax and asset protection.
- You must also register a trading name and apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN). Find out what other registrations you will need, to be legal. You may also need permits and licences, depending on your business model.
- Get the right kind of insurance. Operating without this protection is foolhardy as you stand to lose everything in a natural disaster. The three main categories are revenue/assets, liability and employees. The latter is compulsory.
- Choose a location and lease it. Make sure your customer demographic can access your location easily. For instance, if you are selling products to help older people cope at home it makes sense to be on the ground floor, not up a steep flight of stairs with no lift access.
- Hire employees. You can’t do everything yourself.
- Find suppliers if needed for your business model.
- Get your support team. No one should go into a business start-up alone. At the least you will need a lawyer, accountant and maybe even a business mentor or coach.
- Do some marketing/advertising. It doesn’t always need to be paid advertising. You may want to advertise on a social media platform, by word of mouth or by using a free blog. That said, paid advertising often gives a better result. There are many ways to advertise your business and these days it is not hard to create and print your own flyers or brochures. These can be put into letterboxes, or into the waiting room of a friendly business.