Business start-up tips
Whether you’re thinking of studying an online health, education or finance course, it may well have crossed your mind that, once qualified, you could branch out on your own and become your own boss.
If you’re studying with a view to starting a business, you need to take these factors into consideration.
Bear in mind
Starting your own business is not a decision to make lightly, as it takes courage, hard work, independence and a certain amount of organisation to go it alone.
Some of the things you need to consider before you take your first steps to starting a business include assessing your life and personality to make sure you’re prepared and up to the task (short-term and into the future), and also identifying your target market and what it is that you’ll be able to offer that makes you unique.
Other things to take into account are the income you’re going to need (and costs involved to reach that minimum requirement), the hours you’re going to have to put in (particularly in the beginning, while you’re building a brand and reputation – do you have the capacity in your life for 13-hour days?), and also at least a basic business and marketing plan.
Will you be operating as a sole trader or in a partnership? Will you operate from home, an already established business premises, or do you need to find a site? Are you starting an online business?
Do your ideas for starting a business encompass all the practicalities? Do you have an emergency management plan in place?
Asking yourself (and answering) these questions will help to provide you with a clear idea of what you want from your business, and it will effectively operate. To have a solid foundation knowledge of business operations, consider undertaking a business qualification.
Once you’ve made the decision to start your own business, there are some crucial practicalities that need to be addressed:
• Get a website . This also means you need to register a domain name ASAP. These days, the website is so important that many people don’t select the actual name of their company until they’ve secured an appropriate domain name (just in case the name they want isn’t available). If you’d like to operate under your own name, but your name isn’t unusual, you might have a problem obtaining a good site address.
• Get an ABN and register your business name. Do this through the government’s Beta service (you can also apply for company and tax registrations there), and register your trademark if you’re using one, too, as soon as possible. A trademark is a good way of protecting your brand, reputation and intellectual property.
• Obtain finance. it’s a good idea to investigate any potential financial grants being offered to new business starters by local, state or federal government, as there are often plenty of initiatives providing substantial help for start-ups. Other ways business newbies can source finance include business loans, venture capital or crowdfunding, which is growing in popularity. Getting some sort of Business Advisor on board is highly recommended, as it’s great to have the ear of someone who knows exactly what they’re talking about.