It’s an exciting feeling to have an idea that could make you millions. But the prospect of leaving the security of full-time employment is daunting, often deterring prospective entrepreneurs from taking the first leap of achieving their dream of being a business owner.
On the other hand, the rewards of running a successful business certainly outweigh the initial risk. Complete flexi-time, holidays when you please, potentially uncapped earnings, and the satisfaction of being a success. Whilst these are all fantastic perks of being a business owner, don’t let these be the only reason you take the plunge. It takes time to achieve these and you’ll more than likely find that you have less free time on your hands in the initial growth stage.
I’ve been there myself. Bought into a business at 23, had plenty of struggles along the way, and came out on top, and no doubt have many more roadblocks to come. So, how do you start a business from scratch? Here’s some of my top tips to turn your idea into a successful business.
Preparation is key
Make a business plan to ensure you have covered all areas of starting a business. There are heaps of free resources online that provide checklists and guidance to get you started, including the Australian government website. It’s also wise to have a great accountant on your side, who can advise you on business structure, tax considerations, ABN registration, plus more. Once your business is up and running, your accountant should be proactive and touch base with you throughout the year to see how your business is going and to offer ongoing advice. If you only hear from your accountant at the EOFY or if he/she takes weeks to respond to you, it’s time to find a new one.
Research the market
Your idea may sound like the world’s best thing to you, but what does the market think of it? Knowing who your target market is and what they want is the key to success. Having a clear picture of what your audience looks like is essential when it’s time to launch your business and communicate to them. Spend the time to research your competitors also. What makes your product or service different? If it’s a common idea, can you execute it faster, better or cheaper than your competitors? Has it got more advanced features? Additional features would imply a higher price tag. Are you potential buyers prepared to pay for this? Either way, you need to have a unique selling point, and communicate this in all your marketing.
Plan your finances
Setting up a business isn’t cheap, and it’s often done as a side hustle until there is enough revenue to pay yourself a wage. Whilst this is a common way to start a business, having the security of a full time job to fall back on often means you don’t commit fully to the new venture, and miss out important details that could make or break your new business. Alternatively, if you’ve quit your day job and are fully invested, it shows you’re serious as 100% of your attention can be with the new venture. There are several ways to help fund a start-up business, from bank loans to short-term business loans, to re-mortgaging your house or crowdfunding. It’s best to speak with a professional to see which option best suits you. Be realistic, you aren’t going to start earning millions straight away, so don’t start your shopping spree just yet.
Surround yourself with like-minded people who will inspire you to keep building on your dream. Being a business owner is hard work. It comes with its challenges and you’ll often find yourself questions whether or not it’s all worth it. Regularly attend networking events, join a referral group, and keep an eye out for seminars to help with self-development. Network for purpose and be clear about what you offer and the space you are playing in. In my early days of being in a referral group, I was taught the importance of “specific is terrific”. Rather than saying I’m looking for a tradie client which is fairly general, say “I’m looking for plumbers” which makes it easier for people to think of potential clients to refer your way.
When times get tough, you need inspiring people around you who will remind you of your goal and keep you on the path to success.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60% of small businesses fail within the first three years of their startup journey. Take the right steps to become one of the 40% who succeeds.
Carbon offer a complete suite of business services to help you on your way to business success, from accounting and tax advice to finance, business insurance, and personal wealth plans. Get in touch for a chat; we’d love to join you on your journey of turning your idea into a successful venture. Call us on (08) 6381 2404.