Although most people dream of being their own bosses, only a handful decides to chase after that dream. On one hand, you are excited about the prospects, while on the other hand, you are dreading that the obligations they might have could be just a bit too much to handle.
While these mixed feelings are natural, especially for a first-time business owner, once you start your business, you will feel more invigorated and ready to tackle most obstacles, knowing that the first phase has been completed properly. With the aim of facilitating this first phase, here is a 5-step guide to starting your small business.
Set short and long-term goals
The first step before you sail the waters of Australian entrepreneurship is to reinforce your motivation. This voyage usually doesn’t have one final goal but many smaller and larger stations which are all shaped around your business vision.
Setting your goals will help you write a business plan later on so it is recommendable for them to be as precise as possible. For example, your short-term plan can be to add two new products in the first three years of your business, while one of the long-term goals could be to reach a certain amount of revenue in the next five years. Besides practical reasons, goals serve as a stimulation, especially when the going gets tough.
Decide on a business structure
The business structure you choose will shape many subsequent decisions that you make. It will define elements such as the level of control that you have over your business, your regulatory obligations, as well as the amount of tax you will be paying.
If you opt for being a sole trader in Australia, you will be the sole owner of your small business which means that you will bear all legal responsibility. Establishing a company as a structure would mean that shareholders share legal obligations. A partnership means that more people run a business and that if one is held accountable, others are as well. Setting up a trust involves a trustee who carries out the business on behalf of members of the trust.
Devise a business plan
A business plan offers necessary support to your business and in times of crisis represents the basis you can go back to when in doubt what to do next. For that reason, it’s advisable for it to be as detailed as possible but again not too strict so that you can adapt it if there is a need for a change as opposed to re-writing it completely.
There are a number of online resources and templates to help you write it properly and for the sake of being coherent and brief, it is best if you first write a summary. However, if you are feeling insecure about the legal side of it, you can always consult with an expert. You can also hire them to write it for you after extensive consultation on your goals, ideas, finances, etc.
Register your business
Registering represents an essential step in founding your small business since it gives the legal framework to your idea. For some, this is the most complicated part since they are not always certain about the document and the information which might be necessary for the application.
Luckily, the Internet has simplified this procedure so you can now register a business in Australia online in just 15 minutes. All that you are required to fill in is the business name you opted for, the registered office and business address(es) as well as personal information of you and the shareholder, providing that you have any. These online applications are transparent even when it comes to total costs, so online is the most hassle-free manner to approach registering your small business.
Choosing your funding
Although the basis of any successful business must lie in a good idea, it’s the finances that keep the things going. This is why you need to approach this step with dedication and research all possible funding options since borrowing money from your friends and family has been known to ruin many strong amicable relationships.
If you want to go for the most commonly used option in Australia, it would be a bank loan in which case, your business plan would be dissected and it might take some time for all check-ups to be completed to make sure you can pay back the money. A crowdfunding campaign might be just the opposite of the bank loan in terms that the system is less rigid – you post your idea online and if people are moved by it or find it interesting, they will chip in to get you started. Finding a venture capitalist can also be a good strategy since they are in it to recover their money as soon as possible so they may offer their connection and sound advice all with the aim of you succeeding quickly.
Every journey starts with the first step and so does your business’ road to success. Once you make sure you set solid goals which can serve as a basis for a business plan, you can then decide on the business structure and look into funding options. And when your small business is officially registered, you can kick-start your business.
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