Starting a new business – what should I consider?

Australians are an entrepreneurial lot, and it looks like the trend is set to continue with more and more young people considering starting their own business each year.

Starting a new business is a really exciting time. The only problem is that there is a lot to remember and in all the excitement, sometimes things can be forgotten. We’ve put together a checklist for you that covers some of the key considerations to cross off when it comes to naming and promoting your business.

  1. Think about the serious legal bits first; choosing a business structure such as sole trader, partnership or company, get your ABN, register for an AUSkey, register your business name, get a tax file number, and check what licenses or permits you may need.
  2. Registration time! Register your business name, domain, and social media profiles. Check if you need to register for GST, check availability and apply for a domain name.
  3. Talk to a business accountant/bookkeeper. Understand how your business finances will work, what you can claim and what information you need to keep on record. Your accountant can help you understand what goals you should set for your income and how to know when you start making a profit. There may be financial software or a platform you will need to use.
  4. Keep a business log. Whether you choose to do so online or in a planner/notebook, it’s important to keep track of portals and services you sign up to, usernames and passwords, deadlines and goals, as well as notes on all your clients and actions.
  5. When choosing your business name, there are a few important checks you should do. Search ASIC to make sure the name is not already taken. Search for potential domain names and purchase the one (or more) you would like to use. Google the name to make sure you are not competing with a popular term already in use. Search for your potential social media usernames to make sure they are available.
  6. Be sure to have a logo professionally designed. Not only will this mean you are provided with all the file types and sizes you need, you have someone you can ask for help, should you need anything else in the future. Creating a logo in Microsoft Word is not a viable option for any business.
  7. Get your website and email arranged. If you plan to save money and try to build your own website, then give yourself quite a few months to become familiar with the platform you are using. It’s always better for appearance and functionality to have a professional designer/developer build your site. Consult your own legal expert to be sure you are not opening yourself up to any legal action by making misrepresentations or statements not allowed.
  8. Create email addresses and add them to your email program. Be sure to test these thoroughly as the last thing you want is emails going missing in your early days of being in business.
  9. Complete your social media profiles and begin populating them before officially opening your business. When potential customers find your social media profiles, it’s great for them to get a feel for your business straight away.
  10. Choose an email database and creation platform. Those who subscribe to your email list via your website and social media will be maintained on this platform. The one you choose should have an easy to use interface and automatically add in legal requirements such as unsubscribe functionality.

Once you begin trading, you may want to go back through this list to check if there is anything you would like to change.

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