The prospect of starting your own business can be both thrilling and daunting. Starting a business is an opportunity to create your own future. The best part of owning your own business is you get to be your own boss; you control of when, how and where you work. You make the rules!
For some, the dream to be your own boss grows for a long time, even years, before it finally comes to fruition but with right know how, it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some tips on how to get your business off to a flying start:
Choose the right business for you
Focus on areas of interest and what skills you already have. For example, it’s no use starting an Etsy business if you don’t have a passion for homemade items or have no idea on how to do craft.
I run an online marketing consulting business that I started after the boys were born. I had previously worked in the corporate marketing and advertising world and wanted to do something from home that utilised the skill set I already had. I also enjoyed writing, so I set up this site. It’s easy to utilise the skills you already have, just tweak them to turn your skills into something you love and are passionate about.
Find Your Own Name
This is THE most important thing. You want a catchy name but you don’t want a name that is being used by someone else or a derivative of another business name. A quick Google search should bring up any businesses with a similar name to yours. Never, ever use a name that is similar to another website or business name. Not only is it poor form to copy someone else but you could be in a world of financial issues if the other party decides to take you to court for trademark use. You will need to register your business within your state, apply for an ABN (Australian Business Number) and trade mark your name.
Once you have decided on a name, it is imperative you trade mark the name as soon as possible. Failure to properly obtain a trademark could put your business at risk. Don’t assume your new business name is not trademarked because you were unsuccessful finding such name on the Internet, either. Someone could have used the name for a closed business, or bought a trademark and never used it.
Get Help Establishing Your Business
Let’s face it. Not all of us have the relevant skills to do everything in our business. For example, I outsource my accounting and tax obligations. Some will need a website built for them, others will need administration or marketing assistance. If you are looking to outsource your creatives (website, graphic design, video etc), you could try an agency like 4040 Creative. We also recommend joining a small business group in your area and utilise businesses in a similar situation as yourself and offer the skills you require (like accountants, copywriters and virtual assistants).
The next step is to write business and marketing plans. What do you hope to achieve from the business? How are you going to achieve your goals? Do you have enough cash flow to start? Your business plan is essential for your business. It sets the direction for your business and keeps you on track once you’re up and running. It’s also a requirement when you’re seeking finance.
A marketing plan assists you to integrate your total marketing effort. How are you going to market your service or products? A good marketing plan sets clear, realistic and measurable objectives and includes deadlines and a budget (if you have one).
There are plenty of online resources for small businesses. Owning a business is a continuous learning curve, so never stop learning and make sure you utilise all the resources available to you (both online and offline) and the people around you for support.