Starting A Business: Where Do I Even Begin?
31 January 2020
Our Top 5 Tips For Success
You have a killer idea and the talent, passion and courage to leave the corporate world behind to finally open your own business, but the million-dollar question is, where do you begin? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than sixty percent of small businesses close within the first three years. To avoid becoming another statistic follow these simple steps.
1. Plan For Success
A business plan is your most crucial tool for success. Put simply, it is the blueprint for your business. Having a detailed plan ensures you go into your business with a clear understanding of your finances and armed with short and long term goals. This will ultimately keep you focussed and help you make decisions that align with your goals. Ready to get started? Try the business.gov.au comprehensive template.
2. Select A Great Business Name
Finding the right name for your business can be extremely important for your marketing and branding success. The wrong business name can fail to connect with customers and worse could result in legal issues.
- Don’t limit your growth – Amazon started as an online book store. Imagine if they branded themself as ‘Amazon Books’ instead of ‘Amazon’, and then had to create a whole new brand to expand into other industries? Avoid niching down your business name so you don’t limit your business to one specific product or location.
- Brainstorm online – Have no idea where to start? There are a number of online name brainstorming tools including:
• Shopify Business Name Generator
• Visual Thesaurus
- Research online – Once you have a shortlist of names it’s time to conduct a Google and Instagram search. More often than not you will find someone (somewhere) is already using your name. If so you need to consider this before proceeding.
- Get feedback – Now it’s time to run your shortlist by your family, friends and colleagues. Try to get as much feedback as you can from your target audience. Your name should be easy to say, memorable and unique.
- Register and secure the domain name – Before you start printing your business cards you might want to check that the name is available. For Australian businesses, you can do that here. Thinking of having a website? Head over to GoDaddy to ensure your domain name is available.
3. Build A Brand
Branding defines who you are as a business. The first steps in building your brand are:
- Selecting your colour pallet
- Creating your vision/slogan
- Designing your logo
- Designing your website
- Designing your business cards
- Setting up your social media accounts
While these might seem small decisions they can have a big impact on your brand recognition. Above all, you want your brand to look professional and cohesive. If you are looking at hiring a graphic designer or creative agency, look for one that can create all of the elements you need (you can get in touch with Liquid Creative Agency if you would like a zero obligation quote). For more information, read our blog post: What is branding and why is it important?
4. Legal Considerations
Make sure you are protected by getting all of the legal aspects out of the way early. A quick checklist of things to consider include:
- Determine your business structure (sole trader, company, partnership, trust)
- Register your business name
- Register for GST (Do I need to register for GST?)
- Register for all required licences and permits
- Open a business bank account
- Write or hire someone to write your contracts
5. Get The Right Software
Organisation and automation are your two new best friends. By investing in quality software your admin will run efficiently, allowing you to focus on developing and growing your business.
- Microsoft Office can take care of the bulk of your admin including Office applications, email, calendaring, file storage and online team meetings.
- Avoid headaches come tax time with reliable bookkeeping software. We recommend MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks.
- 59% of small businesses don’t have a website meaning they are missing out on connecting with and selling to a global audience. A website is a simple and effective solution to build trust between you and your potential clients. Try Shopify if you are a retail/e-commerce business, WordPress to showcase an advanced portfolio, blog or e-commerce business or Squarespace if you have a more basic portfolio, blog or business. Does the thought of online code and design cause your heart rate to quicken? Hire a professional. Get everything you want set up correctly from the beginning, on time and to a professional standard. There is nothing worse than a website that looks DIY. (Liquid Creative Agency can help bring your website to life!)
- We live in a cashless society so not having a Point Of Sale (POS) system can severely limit your profit margins. Shopify POS adds on to your online store to get your online shop up and running. While Square is great for tradies, the service industry, cafes and hospitality allowing you to accept card payments on your phone or tablet.
- Plan and manage your projects and tasks using Asana or Monday.
- Customer Relationship Management tools (CRM) is a system which helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. Think giant database! Well known and easy to use systems include Salesforce and Hubspot.
Starting a business is one of the most terrifying and exciting experiences. Ensure your business is a success by thoroughly planning, surrounding yourself with experts and investing in high-quality tools.