Sometimes it takes extraordinary circumstances to take the leap of faith to start your own home-based business. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this an option for many Aussies from all walks of life and business experience.
If you’ve ever entertained the idea of giving it a go, we’ve done some legwork and put together five tips to help you get started.
1. Create a Business Plan
Congratulations! You’ve decided to make your business dream a reality so it’s time to create a plan of attack. A business plan is a blueprint for how your business is going to succeed across a variety of areas. If you haven’t worked with a business plan before, these are some of the things you will need to consider:
- Have a vision statement – What is the aim of your business? Is it to make life easier for your customers? Make your statement realistic and try and steer clear of financially driven statements.
- Do your market research – A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) will give you a clear insight into your competitors, market trends and the opportunities where your business can succeed.
- Money matters – Speak with your accountant about your financial plans and goals for the business. You want your business to be feasible and not something that will set you up for financial failure.
- Set goals-Goals give your business purpose and milestones to strive towards. It’s important to keep them realistic and not to just set and forget them. Take the time to regularly revisit and re-evaluate your progress.
2. There’s no place like home
Setting up your new home office is exciting. It’s the place where great ideas are born and come to life. so it’s important to make it a place where you will perform your best. There a few things to consider when setting up your new digs:
- Having access to natural light.
- A comfortable chair.
- Make sure your internet speed and limits can deal with the extra work-load.
- Set up a postal address or PO box for your business.
Need some decorating inspiration for your home office space? Check out these creative set ups.
- One Kind Design features 47 Amazingly creative ideas for designing your home office space
- Architectural Digest shares it’s top 65 home office ideas that will inspire productivity
3. Make it official
Now for the administration side of things:
- Check the business name you plan to use isn’t already taken. You can check for existing Australian business names here.
- Register your business with ASIC.
- Get a trademark for your business with IP Australia. Just because it is registered doesn’t mean it is automatically trademarked.
- Set up a website for your business and register your domain. Sites like WordPress and Wix are great for building your own site.
4. Get social (online)
Now that you have established your home-based business, it’s time to get the word out there. Create new opportunities by connecting with potential customers through social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all great channels to explore.
There are plenty of online courses and resources available if you need to learn more about what style of marketing will work for your business. Here are a few to check out:
- The Australian Small Business Centre offers a course for small business owners covering marketing and techniques to help boost your business.
- Facebook Business has many free tutorials and tips for managing your Facebook business page.Very helpful if you plan on using Facebook ads.
- Google’s Digital Garage has a mix of different topics available to study online from digital marketing to online tools and business productivity.
5. What insurance to consider when running a business from home?
With so many hours and hard-earned dollars invested in your business, can you afford to put it all at risk?
Different types of businesses will be exposed to different types of risks. As a home-based business, these are some of the types of insurances you may need to consider.
Public and Product Liability*
Public Liability insurance is designed to provide protection for you and your business in the event a customer, supplier or a member of the public are injured or sustain property damage as a result of your negligent business activities.
What is typically included?
- personal injury suffered by a third party (e.g. a customer, supplier or member of the public)
- damage to property owned by a third party due to your negligent business activities
- legal and defence costs associated with a covered claim
What is typically not covered?
- Injuries to your employees
- Damage to your own property
- Costs of rectifying faulty workmanship
- Professional negligence
- Contractual liability
- Events occurring before or after the policy period
Product Liability insurance protects your businesses against claims by third parties relating to property damage or personal injury caused by your products.
Professional Indemnity protects you against losses claimed by a third party due to alleged or actual negligence or errors in your professional services or advice. Your Professional Indemnity insurance will meet the associated compensation payable to a third party together with your defence costs (which can include legal costs, investigator costs and expert fees).
What’s typically included?
Depending on the Professional Indemnity policy selected, your policy could cover:
- Payment of compensation as a result of a claim, including but not limited to Court awarded damages
- An award of legal costs against you
- Reasonable legal costs incurred in defending or responding to the claim
- Claim investigation costs
- Disciplinary proceeding costs
- What is typically not covered?*
- Intentional damage
- Contractual liabilities
- Professional fees
- Known claims and circumstances
- Fraud and dishonesty
Covers your business contents or stock if they were damaged in a fire, storm or due to malicious damage or some other defined event listed in the policy.
Cyber Liability insurance helps to protect you from claims and supports your profitability in the event of a cyber breach or attack.
Tax Audit insurance*
If your accounts are audited by the Australian Tax Office, you may need to hire external accountants to assist in the process. Tax Audit Insurance covers a business for specified costs in responding to an official tax audit.
Personal Accident and Illness insurance*
Personal Accident and Illness insurance typically provide cover options for
- loss of income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury
- benefits, if because of injury you become permanently disabled
- benefits, if because of injury you pass away
(the covers you select will apply even if the injury or illness occurs outside of your employment)
At BizCover we provide hassle-free insurance in minutes. Jump on the phone or get online to receive multiple quotes from some of Australia’s top insurers.
Starting your own business is not without its highs and lows. BizCover is there to support your small business through all the stages of your small business journey. If you need more information, helpful strategies or insights on running your own business, our sister blog page BizWitty is loaded with articles to help you stay on track. If you want to know more about and for insurance-related topics, be sure to check out our BizCover blog.