As I have recently been through the process of starting a business, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some tips with you whilst it’s still fresh in my mind.
This is not an exhaustive list of tasks that you need to complete, but it will give you some activities to get you started in the right direction.
Prepare your business plan
Whilst many people skip this part of the process and dive straight into trading, it is an important step that will shape your business. The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that of the businesses trading in June 2011, just over half of them were still trading in June 2015. That’s a scary statistic! That means that about 50% of businesses are expected to fail within four years.
A thorough business plan will help you identify and mitigate any risks as well as help you articulate what is unique about your business. It will provide the foundation of your business which will then translate into all of your other activities such as content and marketing strategies. If you are looking for a quick fix, consider using our One Page Business Plan template.
Allow a lead time for administration
I took for granted the length of time many activities would take. For example, reinstating my ABN (up to 28 days), opening a business account (3 weeks before I had online access and all cards) and finding the perfect accounting system (one solid week of research). Other time consuming activities were registering a business name and domain plus organising the online accounts you need to create to deal with government agencies. If you’re not quite sure where to start, the government’s website has an extensive checklist you can use when starting a business.
Schedule your time
This is particularly important if you are starting your business whilst still in the corporate world, or if you are working from home. Scheduling specific times to work on strategies, plans, content writing or producing your product will ensure that it doesn’t encroach on your personal or family time. It also works the other way too. By setting specific times to work on your business means that you will actually focus, and not get distracted by other jobs that need to be done.
Align your social media profile names
This is quite a specific tip, but an important one in this digital age. Once you have decided which social media platforms you will utilise, try to make sure that all of the profile names are as similar as possible. This makes it easier for potential clients to find you on their favourite platform, as they can search for just one username. Even if you don’t plan on using all of the more popular platforms, create an account so that your name is reserved. As an example, my usernames for Facebook and Instagram are both @meldbusiness. I have also reserved the same username for Twitter and Snapchat should I ever wish to move to those platforms.
Don’t freak out when sales don’t happen straight away
If you don’t have potential customers lined up to work with straight away, don’t worry. If you believe in yourself and your business, have done your research and formulated a plan, then with persistence the leads will eventually turn into sales.
Use this time to your advantage. Focus on tweaking social media profiles, writing articles for future blog posts, researching tools to make your life easier and finding and connecting with influencers and like-minded entrepreneurs.
Starting your own business is an exciting time. If you can get these few basics right, it will save you time and energy down the track.