Whatever stage your business is at, the following tips and suggestions may help you on your journey to success.Before applying for business finance, it helps to be prepared.
Where to start
So you’ve made a decision to start your own business, you’ve got a good idea of what you want to achieve, and you might even have the perfect business name picked out – so where to next?
It may be tempting to jump in and get started straight away, but it’s important to make sure you take the time to consider a few key areas before setting out on your journey.
Take your time
The idea of starting or growing your own business is an exciting one and it will be important for you to take the time to think through your plans. There are many areas that you will need to consider, not just in getting your business off the ground, but also in the level of support, experience, skills and knowledge that will be required to give your business every chance of success.
You will of course gain valuable experience in actually operating your own business but here are a few questions that are worthy of consideration prior to starting a new business:
• Does your business idea fulfil an existing opportunity in the market?
• Have you got the relevant skills and experience to run a business?
• Do you have a good understanding and knowledge of your relevant industry?
• Have you got sufficient financial support to cover both business and personal expenses while establishing your business?
• Have you established a network of professionals you can talk to and learn from?
• Do you have an existing revenue stream or customer base ready to order before you start?
Your business plan
Once you have made the decision to further research the opportunity of starting your own business, it will be important to look at developing your Business Plan. Your business plan is like a blueprint for your business and will cover all of the important aspects of your business – such as your vision for the future, your goals, and how you plan to achieve them.
To get started, have a look at our tips and suggestions for developing your own business plan.
Understanding your finances
It’s important to understand how much capital you’ll need to get your business started, as well as your day-to-day running costs such as rent, wages, marketing, overheads and your all-important break-even point.
Once you have determined the amount of capital you will require to either start or grow your existing business, you will need to consider how this is to be funded. Your initial capital may come from a variety of sources such as a business loan, personal savings, contributions from equity and investments partners, or even from a government small business grant if you’re eligible.
Having the initial capital to get your business started is one thing, but having a strong book keeping system in place is equally important. You will be required to keep financial records relating to areas such as your income tax, GST, payments to employees, superannuation contributions, fringe benefit tax, business payments etc. as well as being able to monitor the financial health of your business.
There are a number of options available to you in developing your book keeping system, some of which can also support you with your financial reporting and forecasts. There are various software packages available on the market as well as web based and traditional spreadsheet options. It can be difficult to set up or develop your own system without a book keeping/financial background and may be worth considering seeking professional help from your accountant, book keeper or professional advisor.
The red tape
It is important that you determine the appropriate business structure and type of business that you will be operating before you register your business. Obtaining legal or other professional advice can help you understand your own particular circumstances.
There are many areas that you will need to consider including your legal requirements, business registrations and licences, insurance, professional and public liability cover, workers compensation insurance, tax obligations and of course the environmental considerations to name just a few.
To help you cover off on all of these important considerations, you may find the link below useful.
For more information, and to download a handy checklist for starting your business, visit the Australian Government Business website*.
Promoting your business
A big part of business growth is ensuring potential customers know all about the great work you’re doing. Whilst positive word-of-mouth from happy customers who have had a good experience with your business will go a long way to helping build your customer base, you’ll also need to think about other ways to bring new customers into your business. That’s where good marketing can help your business to grow.
A good place to start is having an online presence for your business. This can be through your own website, social media accounts (like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) or even a blog. When creating a website, it could be a good idea to ask your web designer to include a content management system. This means you can upload your own content, edit pages and add images more easily.
While the idea of creating a blockbuster television advertisement might be out of reach when starting out, there are lots of easy, cost-effective ways to promote your business such as:
• Running you own blog or e-newsletter
• Press Releases
• Enter local business awards
• Radio advertising.
Growing your business
As a business owner, there’s nothing more exciting than watching your business thrive. However, business growth doesn’t come easily. It requires having the right team in place, the right business structures and of course, a lot of hard work.
When it comes to ensuring that you have the right finances in place to support the growth of your business, we can help. We offer a range of business services, including:
• Merchant facilities
• Business solutions
• Investment Accounts
We're here to help
We love talking business and can help to achieve your business goals, whatever they might be. To find out more, drop into your local branch and chat with one of our team today, or call us on 13 19 87.