22 Steps to starting a business

Starting and then running a business is hard work and it can be the most satisfactory thing that you have ever done. It may also be the hardest work you have ever done with the longest hours, no holidays and no off switch.


1) Who could I ask for Advice?

Do you have an adviser or mentor that could help, paid or free options? www.mysassybusiness.com is happy to help. Have any of your friends or relatives been in business and can they help you with advice? Remember that people will offer advice regardless, so be cautious to not take everything on board as not everyone will have your best interests at heart.

2) Will I have a hobby or an actual business?

In simple terms, if you are planning to undertake certain tasks on a regular basis and change people in return for your product or service, chances are it is a business. You must be in that mindset of aiming to be profitable so that you can succeed well into the future.

3) What plans have I made so far?

Grab yourself a simple business planning template (1 page 1 Day) and start making some notes

4) Will I need any finance?

You will probably use your savings as a starting point but you may need finance for equipment or similar in the future. This should all be a part of your business plan.

5) What business structures are there?

Are you going to be a sole trader, partnership, company or trust? Speak to your accountant if you are unsure.

6) Will I contract to others?

Perhaps you will work over specific periods for other businesses, like a lone plumber may contract to a large plumbing business.

7) What registrations? ABN, GST, registrations or licences?

If you are planning to turn over more than $75K PA, you must register for GST.

Prior to this, you will need to register for an ABN, some businesses require other registration and licences. www.ato.gov.au and www.abr.gov.au and www.business.gov.au/licences

8) Choosing and registering a Business name

You should look for a unique name and do a name search online to check on availability. www.connectonline.asic.gov.au

Ideally, your business name should be easy to say, easy to spell and somewhat relevant to your business.


Starting & Running

9) Legal – Trademarks, etc.

You can trademark your business name and logo so that you officially hold ownership. www.ipaustralia.gov.au

10) Where will you run the business – home or office?

If you will work from home you need to check with your local council and if you are renting a space or buying again you may need local council approvals.

11) What are your tax requirements?

Speak to your accountant or you can look at www.ato.gov.au/taxready

12) How will I keep records?

You can use a simple spreadsheet or perhaps you would like to use a program like MYOB or XERO. Using software for your accounting will save you time and make things that much easier as your business grows, plus with software like Xero and MYOB, your accountant can log in and work on your accounts as needed.

13) What insurance do I need?

The easiest thing to do is to contact an insurance broker as they will be able to help you with what you will need for your specific business.

14) Will I have employees?

From day one you may need to hire or in the future. Visit www.fairwork.gov.au for more information. Hiring people can be a minefield if you don’t do things correctly so do your research and make sure you do things correct for the beginning.

15) Are any grants available?

Very few businesses can gain government grants but if you are doing something innovative it may be work looking into. Just do some simple searches yourself. www.business.gov.au/grants

16) Will I do business online?

Every business should have a website, what type will you have, how big or small etc. Don’t skimp as the website is your storefront and customers will judge your business based on how professional your website comes across.

17) Should I look at buying a business or franchise?

Sometimes this option works well for people. Buying a business can see you earning from day one and being part of a franchise can give you exposure and reputation based on their brand image.

Make sure you get professional advice from a lawyer and/or accountant.

18) How to run a business?

What do you need to do each day?

How will you find customers?

How long will it be until you have money coming in?

All of this needs to be in your business plan and naturally, if you need help, make sure you contact My Sassy Business as we can offer you advice on all aspects of your small business.

19) What are my work health and safety requirements?

www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au will have all the relevant information for your type of business. All businesses require policies of some description regarding safety while working.

20) Does my business import or export?

Have you looked into what is required? www.austrade.gov.au & www.customs.gov.au are your go-to sites.

21) Will there be tenders or contracts I can apply for?

www.tenders.gov.au has a list of available tenders, perhaps your business is well suited to applying for something and in return, it delivers you a regular work level and income to grow your business.

22) Are there any risks

Going into business has many risks, one you may not have thought of is being affected by natural disasters. If this might be the case for you, have you got a plan?

In conclusion – Small business is hard work but it is also incredibly rewarding.

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Are you a solopreneur

Are you a solopreneur