Starting a new business is an exciting and empowering experience, it can get a little daunting or even confusing at times though, so here’s some basic steps to get you started.
1 Choose and register your business name
Sounds pretty simple right? And you may already have chosen your business name, but before locking anything in, we suggest asking yourself the following:
- Is it easy to spell and pronounce? (there’s nothing worse than trying to “google” a business name when you can’t spell it correctly)
- Is it memorable?
- Is it available? (both the business name itself through ASIC and the domain i.e. www.yourbusinessname.com.au)
Even if you don’t plan on getting a website straight away, it’s a good idea to lock in the domain name anyway so you have it ready to go. It’s also a good idea to “google” any potential business names to make sure there isn’t something similar out there already that you don’t want to be associated with or that might cause confusion.
It would also be prudent to do a Trademark search and consider if it is something you may want for your business. If someone else has already registered a Trademark and is providing similar goods and services, it is irrelevant if you have registered the business name with ASIC and you could be breaching trademark rights.
2. Choose a Business structure
The four main business structures used by small businesses are; Sole traders, Partnerships, Trusts and Companies.
There are advantages and disadvantages for each so we recommend conducting some research of your own to understand them and which would best suit your business. We also highly recommend finding yourself a good accountant and seeking their advice as to which structure they would recommend for your business from a taxation point of view.
There is a wealth of information on business structures and types within the business.gov.au website.
3. Do the research and have a plan
Before investing a tonne of time and money, we recommend getting in and doing the hard yards with both research and planning. Believe me it will pay off in the long run and possibly save yourself some heartache.
I’m going to assume you’re already well educated in whatever product or service you plan to provide but have you done any market research?
Not only do you need to know all about your potential customers; what they want, where you will find them and how to convert them to existing customers; but you also need to know your competitors as well.
Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What point of difference are you going to offer to separate yourself from the competition?
Keep in mind that marketing is essential to any business, so it’s important to make it part of your ongoing business plan.
So what about the business plan – If you’re groaning I totally understand, writing them is tedious and a lot of work but they do help you to identify your goals and therefore figure out how you are going to attain them. Your business will grow and evolve over time so it’s also wise to revise your plan accordingly.
“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” -Richard Cushing
Here’s another great resource from the business.gov website on how to write a business plan.
4. Branding and Getting Online
Now comes the fun part, sorting out your branding and getting online!
Branding is more than just a logo, it’s how your customer’s identify and experience your business. Your branding can literally end up everywhere; on your business card, website, uniforms, print materials and more, so getting the concept, quality and impression you want to make right to begin with is pretty important. Again, pre-planning and putting some thought into your initial brand and logo design is important and will save you time and headaches in the long run; re-branding is a major task and one you want to avoid.
Getting Online – No matter what business you’re in, having a website these days is a must; more and more consumers are using the internet as the first place to look for the products and services they need so if you’re not online, you don’t exist! There are 3 primary types of websites, html, CMS (such as WordPress) and E-Commerce and you need to decide which type you need. There are pros and cons for each so do some research and speak to your web designer about what would work best for you and your business.
5. Be persistent, be prepared, be adaptable!
Initially it’s pretty exciting starting a new business, then the reality of how hard it can be kicks in and it can be overwhelming but if you can push through it, it can also be very rewarding!
So here are our final tips:
Be persistent – passion is not enough, you need to work your ass off. Success won’t happen instantly, you need to work for it, and keep trying.
Be prepared – there will be bumps and setbacks along the way but don’t look at them as failures, use them as a learning experience and stay positive.
Be Adaptable – Always be thinking of ways to evolve your business; how can you do better? How can you embrace new trends and technology? Never stop re-evaluating, there is always room to improve and grow.
- Riverina Business Enterprise Centre – The aim of Riverina BEC Wagga Wagga is to assist new businesses to succeed. Our supportive environment of low overheads, low start-up costs, flexible leasing terms, networking opportunities and business support on hand will assist in promoting the growth of your business.
- Wagga Wagga Business Chamber – As the leading advocate for business the Chamber is proud to be a vital part of the Wagga Wagga community and is a strong campaigner for its broad and diverse member businesses to help build a climate of growth and success that benefit the whole community. From the moment you join, you can increase your networking opportunities and take advantage of the many benefits of being a Chamber Member.