It starts with an idea.
You woke at 3:00 am with a wonderful business idea swirling around in your head. What’s more, you managed to grasp it before it disappeared down the black hole of your rapidly departing slumbers.
You knew you’re not going to get any rest until you’ve built your empire or your enthusiasm has been stripped bare by the cold light of day.
So you wrote it down and now you’re wondering:
Our first words of advice:
Don’t pay anything online to start your business other than to ASIC for business name registration. You may not even need to do that.
If you’re thinking of starting a business or you have recently started one, if you are asking yourself any of these questions, take the pressure off and ask us instead.
Let US help YOU with:
- Guidance on market research, product and market testing;
- Business structure selection;
- ABN (Australian Business Number), tax and Business Name Registrations
- Dealing with red tape, simplifying compliance, overcoming hurdles and cutting through the babble and noise.
Our next advice will depend on the needs of your enterprise.
Some need business plans, some don’t.
Some need cashflow forecasts, some don’t.
Some need licences or intellectual property protection, some don’t.
We don’t pretend to know everything but we’re proud of our record when it comes to helping businesses find what THEY need.
Useful links for starting up:
Other Useful Information
The New Business Checklist
Ben Franklin said if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail and when it comes to starting your new business, we couldn’t agree more (as long as you plan proactively).
Assuming you have a tried and tested product that you are now going to build a new business around to launch your product, these are the some of the important things you need to think about.
The New Business Checklist
- Do your research
- Do you have an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and do you have a healthy target market?
- What is the best way to get that MVP out there and develop it into something more?
- Choose your business structure
- Look ahead, do you see yourself employing people or is your business sustainable without other employees?
- Conduct a business license search
- What red tape do you need to cut through to get up and going with full support of your local councils and other authorities
- Get an ABN if you don’t have one
- The goal is for people to give you money in exchange for your product right? Get an ABN so you can do that legally
- Make sure no one else is already using the business name you want to use
- Don’t become an inadvertent marketing channel for other businesses
- Have a look online, in your local directory, on social media and in the phone book. If no-one is already using the name you want, claim that name across the board: register it, create websites and social media pages with it (and make sure your customers can clearly identify and differentiate it from others that are similar).
- Get your digital eco-system sorted out
- What digital channels are going to be most effective in reaching your customers?
- What is the best media format you can use to showcase your product? And what platform is best for sharing that? e.g. YouTube for videos, Instagram for pictures.
- Check if you need to register for TAX. Book in with your accountant and double check
- You will work hard for your money, so please make sure you do the right thing to keep your money and your freedom. You’re too pretty to go to jail and you can’t run your new business from the inside.
- Do you need to protect any of your intellectual property (IP)?
- So you’ve got this big idea, and if you want to keep it as yours then please speak to an IP lawyer and get your legal ducks in a row
- What insurances do you need and who is going to offering the most suitable cover?
- Insurance = something that can help you keep your business afloat come hell or high water (sometimes literally) and it is also something you can rely on to keep whoopsie daisies as whoopsie daisies, not end of days calamity crisis level issues. Make sure you shop around, get multiple quotes and get the appropriate cover. BizCover is a great place to start.
- Build your old business skills to match your new business needs
- Your business needs to grow and so do you. What online or in-town resources can you rely on? Are there any free workshops in town or learning sessions?
- Shameless plug: please check with Business Great Southern if we are running any workshops or info sessions on things you need to know more about. Even if we don’t have that workshop up on our Facebook event page yet, you may be the last expression of interest we are in need of to get that workshop up and going. Don’t be shy, drop us a line!
For a more detailed version of this new business checklist, you can download the SBDC booklet.
So you’ve got a new business idea…What next?
Are you being kept awake at 2am by potential business ideas swirling around in your brain? Well, write them down, go back to bed and then in the morning answer these six questions:
Can you expand on the idea you wrote down?
It doesn’t matter if you do it one sentence, four words or with a mind map. Get the idea out of your head and onto paper. Give it a ‘number name’ i.e. Project 46 so you can focus on the mechanics of the idea instead of getting stuck on a name. Don’t let the indecision and doubt of what to name your project overflow to the rest of your thought flow.
What is your USP?
Your USP is a unique selling point: the thing that sets you apart from others and motivates customers to use your product or service over anyone else’s. USP’s come in all shapes and sizes and it most definitely is not confined to your product. It could hiding in an element of your supply chain, customer service or customer communication.
Who is your ideal customer?
Nowadays, there are just as many teenagers crocheting up a storm as there are retirees. This means that using psychographics to identify your ideal customer is more proactive then using demographics. Psychographics are the psychological attributes of an individual, group or community such as the kind of personality they have, what their values, opinions, interests and attitudes are. Using psychographics means you can build an ideal customer that you can relate to i.e. young extroverted men who enjoy camping, fishing and barbecuing but don’t particularly enjoy cleaning the windows or going to the shops (unless its BCF).
What is the best way to reach your customer?
How are you going to bring awareness of your product or service to your customer and how can they engage or buy from you? Identify where your ideal customer is hanging out (online and offline) and see if you can get your information into their space (without breaking the law or getting arrested). You can reach out to them via social media, print media, community radio, TV or going to their businesses and giving demos (if this fits with your product).
How are you going to deliver Project 46 to your customer?
Think about how your ideal customer receives similar products and services and see if that will work for you. Are they competent, equipped and comfortable with the delivery method you would like to use? If you are posting it, do you need to offer insurance? If it’s a digital service or product does your customer have the tools they need to receive it?
What is your post sale strategy?
Having this mapped could be the difference between your customer becoming a part of your community AKA repeat customer and them being a once off buyer. Are you going to send them an email to check they got your product in the post or that they were satisfied with your service? Do they get a discount on their next purchase or do you need to follow up with them on the second installment of their journey with you?
Find a brains trust and talk to them.
Find a group of trusted individuals who you know will give you honest, un-biased and thought provoking responses to you when you pitch them your idea and discuss possible challenges. Talking it out can help you see things from new perspectives and it can also give you a good idea of whether you are onto a good thing! Otherwise, come in and have a chat with us. We could help you fill in the blanks or put you in touch with possible collaborators or other fonts of knowledge that could help you along the way. Give us a call on (08)9841 8477 if you’d like to come in otherwise you can hang out with us on Facebook if you aren’t in Albany/Mt Barker/Denmark or we can book in a Skype session!