Getting your new business off the ground.
What are the top 6 things you need to get started on your business?
Before you can even think about taking on the world, you need a whole lot of practical things to get your brand new biz sorted. I remember being just a tad overwhelmed by all the business-y things that I needed to tick off my list and was not really sure if I was doing it all in the right way!
So, here are 6 things I recommend you do to dot your I’s and cross your T’s when kick starting your very own business.
1. What’s in a name?
Deciding on a name for your new business can be a time-consuming process, but the most important thing you can do is to get feedback from a variety of different people, and most importantly someone that’s in your target audience. I’d recommend you look for a brand professional to also do your naming (like me :) as it helps to have a fresh perspective and whole set of unique and creative options to choose from. There’s nothing worse than a new brand, for say, a botanical skincare company, being as flat as something like ‘Annie’s Botanical Skincare’ when you are competing against the likes of Aesop and Jurlique for instance. Names need to be ownable, hint at the business you are in, but also inspire your audience to connect. I could go on about naming, but that’s for another day!
2. Registering your business name
So when you are in the process of shortlisting names you should always do a couple of checks concurrently. First, do a search of available URLs through GoDaddy or Netregistry to see if your preferred options are available.
Then get onto ASIC Connect and search the register to ‘Check name availability’ (found on the top right corner).
Once you have a name that is available on both - you can go here to register your name.
3. Get an ABN
Sounds simple enough right. Well, it can take a bit of time to get yours set up. I set up my first ABN a while ago and when it came time to launch Collectus. I had to go through a long process to get it reinstated. But these days it should be a whole lot simpler set up through the government. Right?! You can get onto the ABN registration website here.
Once you have a name that is available on both - you can go to The Australian Business Register to set it all up!
4. What company structure?
You can also review information on what company structure to set your business up as (sole trader, company, partnership, trust etc.) and that all depends on how you plan to go forward with your business. Review the options here as well as the pros and cons for each type.
It can also be a great idea to get your accountant to help you determine what’s the best business structure for you, this way you have the added benefit, that they can do all the hard work and set you up with an ABN as well as GST.
5. Set up a business bank account
It's a no brainer really. You need to keep your business funds separate to your personal accounts for clarity on what’s what. It doesn’t need to necessarily be a ‘business account’ if you are starting as a sole trader, as most banks charge account keeping fees, and this might not be feasible if you are starting on a shoestring. But bankwest does a no-fee business account which is great for new starters.
It also pays to have an additional account, so you can set aside your tax and GST. You don’t want that payment to bite you at the end of the financial year.
6. Get yourself an online accounting platform
I’d highly recommend not messing around with excel spreadsheets for recording your business expenses and income. It’s time consuming, laborious and really, who wants to waste time doing that and not working on your business. There are so many great accounting apps out there that you can’t really go wrong. However, you might find that Xero and MYOB is better if you have a company setup or need to pay employees.
As a sole trader, I use Rounded and find it an easy and super cost-effective option. It has the enormous benefit of connecting to your bank account and pulling all your expenses in. So just check if you want to go with another cost-effective app, that it does this for Australian bank accounts, as a lot of the international ones don’t. Extra points if you find the video testimonial of a certain designer 😬
So hopefully all this makes your new business set up easy!