How to become an Entrepreneur
Are you one of the roughly three in five Australians (61 per cent) who have thought about starting their own business. Are you ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship? Starting a business is not for the feint hearted. It requires hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck. While it may seem overwhelming at first, with the right guidance, mentoring and resources you can start your journey towards becoming an Australian entrepreneur today. Check out our handy guide to becoming your own boss below.
Step 1: Conduct research and talk to potential customers
Before diving into starting a business, you need to do your research. Before you invest a whole lot of time and effort into creating a new business concept, you’ll want to make sure it has as good a chance as any of succeeding. There are plenty of online resources available to help get you started. Take some time to educate yourself on the latest trends and developments in the industry or field you want to pursue. Speak to as many potential customers as you can. Interview them, survey them and find out what they need and want. It is also important to understand any legal requirements that come with starting a business. Be sure to check out the Australian Government’s website for more information about setting up a business in Australia.
Step 2: Create a comprehensive business plan
Once you have done your initial research, it is time to create a business plan. This plan should include details of how you will finance the business, what type of product or service you will offer, what competitors exist in the market, how you will market and advertise your services, and who your target audience is. Creating this document will provide clarity on what needs to be done next as well as set goals for the future of your business. A well-developed business plan will increase your chances of success when starting a business and also help you raise money (if you need it).
Step 3: Develop a detailed financial model
Now that you have a sense of the products and services you want to offer, and what the potential market size is, you’ll want to sit down and nut out your financial projections. In your model, you’ll need to estimate the amount of income you expect to make, and include assumptions based on the research you have conducted so far. For example, if your competitors all charge $50 a month for a product, and you think your product could fetch $40 a month, then list this down and forecast it out. Expenses are also a critical part to get right, as people often underestimate this. Think about your fixed and variable costs, plus the number of staff you expect to hire, what salaries, and what marketing you’ll expect to do. Getting an experienced financial administrator to help is a good way of making sure the numbers stack up and that you have a good sense of your business cashflow.
Step 4: Use your network
Having connections within your industry can prove invaluable when starting out as an entrepreneur in Australia. Tapping into your existing network or attending networking events are a great way to meet like-minded individuals and learn from each other’s experiences as entrepreneurs. LinkedIn is another great resource for finding potential partners or mentors that could help you on your entrepreneurial journey. Don’t be shy, just reach out to people that you think might be helpful. You’ll be surprised how many people respond with the right introduction message. Don’t forget about local community groups either; these connections could lead to job opportunities or even investors down the road.
Step 5: Confirm the right structure for your business
There are several different legal structures that you can choose for your business in Australia. The most common structures are sole trader, partnerships, companies, and trusts. It is important to choose the right structure for your business as it can impact factors such as taxation, liability, and compliance requirements. Many startups will go down the path of setting up a company, as there are tax advantages over time, and you remove the risk of any personal liability should something go wrong. If you need assistance confirming the right approach for your business, take this quick business structure quiz.
Step 6: Register your business
After you have chosen the legal structure for your business, you will need to register it with the relevant authorities. This typically includes registering your company name and applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN). Depending on your business activities, you may also need to obtain other licenses or permits. It is also important to insure your business against risks such as property damage, theft, and liability claims. There are several different insurance policies available, so it is important to speak with an insurance broker to find the right cover for your business. Insurance like professional indemnity and personal liability are very common and something you’ll likely need.
Step 7: Open a bank account
You will need to open a bank account for your new business in order to manage its finances. When choosing a bank, it is important to compare fees and services to find the best deal for your needs. You should also consider whether you want a business account with special features such as Thriday. Thriday not only allows you to open a business bank account* and Visa Debit card*, but Thriday also automates your bookkeeping, accounting, BAS and tax. This makes it as pain free as possible to complete all your financial admin and reporting in the quickest amount of time.
Step 8: Raise money
Now it’s time to get some funds to get your idea off the ground. Your approach at this stage can vary. Some entrepreneurs may not need much money in the early days, so they may decide to dip into their own pocket when required. The bank of Mum and Dad is another popular way to get some initial investment through the day. If those options are not available to you, you can look at raising through investors, applying for a business loan or even tapping into government grants. The approach you take will largely rest on how much money you need, and what type of business you are setting up.
Step 9: Hire a team
If you are planning on hiring employees for your new business, there are a number of things that you need to do in order to comply with employment law in Australia. This includes registering as an employer with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), paying payroll tax, and providing employee superannuation contributions. Hiring can be challenging in today’s market as there is a lot of competition and a skills shortage across many areas, including IT. It pays to be patient and invest time for an extended period to get the right people through the door. Let’s face it, hiring the right people can be such a good boost to your business that it’s well worth the time commitment to get it right.
Becoming an entrepreneur in Australia is an exciting career path to pursue. If you like being challenged, are curious about how business works, and love serving customers, then starting your own venture could be the right for you. To get started, do your research, create a comprehensive business plan, and develop relationships within your network; these three steps will put you well on your way towards becoming successful Australian entrepreneur.