How to start a business in 2024

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take that leap of faith and start your own business. While both an exciting and scary time, the start-up phase is one of the most crucial stages to starting any business. Think of it as an opportunity to implement good habits and routines. To be able to go in fresh with the right planning systems in place from the get-go.

If you’re feeling a little bamboozled and not sure what to do next, we’ve created some tips and tricks to help you along your new business journey. Through a bit of effort and a well thought out plan, you’re already on the right path to success.

1. Coming up with a good business idea

Building a business from scratch begins with a solid idea. The foundation of any successful venture is a concept that addresses a specific need or gap in the market. Research is your ally here; it’s a critical step since not all businesses make it past their first year.

Whether you’re aiming for a small startup or have long-term, large-scale aspirations, a good business idea is a springboard to success. Consider what you’re passionate about and where your expertise lies. Here are some potential startup options:

2. Research. Research. Research

Transforming your business idea into reality starts with a deep understanding of your market. To ensure your business idea has the wings to fly, invest time in comprehensive market research. Conducting research can help you:

  • Get a clear picture of what your potential customers are looking for.
  • Identify any possible challenges or hiccups with your offering.
  • Minimise financial risks through informed decision-making.
  • Uncover hidden markets or customer segments.
  • Set clear, informed goals to navigate your business forward.

To carry out effective research:

  1. Identify your target audience. Who will benefit from your product? Consider factors like age, location, and lifestyle.
  2. Engage directly with potential customers. Use surveys, social media, and direct communication to gather feedback and understand their preferences.
  3. Analyse your competition. What are they offering? How can you differentiate yourself? Understanding your competitors’ pricing strategies can also offer insights into the market’s current landscape and customer spending habits.

3. Have a business plan in place

Having a business plan is a bit like creating a roadmap for the future of your business. The purpose of the plan is to help identify your business’s key areas, analyse your competition, and have some financial strategies and goals in place.

Once you have a clearer understanding of how your business is positioned and what you want to achieve, it’s time to set some goals and visions. Each company will have their style, but you may want to start by creating a mission statement or establishing monthly goals. Find what works for you and make it happen.

For free business plan templates and guidance, check out the Australian Government Business website.

4. Make it official

Now that you’ve got your business plan in place, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of making your business official. The process may be different depending on what type of business you’re setting up. But here are some of the main things you need to think about.

  • Register your business name with ASIC– Registering your business name is a straight-forward process done through the ASIC website. This is a helpful site that provides resources on what you need to know and have prepared before registering your business name.
  • Getting an ABN– Your Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11 digit number that helps identify your business to the government. You can register for an ABN through this website.
  • Registering your trademark– When you register your business’ name, brand or logo, you’re protecting its unique trademark from being copied or used by another business. There are a few steps involved in the registration process which are outlined here.
  • Create a business website– The next step to starting a business is to create a website to start letting people know you are open for business. There are plenty of website options available which vary in price and degree of difficulty to set up. These are some examples and resources to help create your own website: Wix, GoDaddy and Google My Business.

5. Money Matters

One of the crucial areas of building a business from scratch is ensuring your finances are in order and managed correctly. The help of financial professionals like tax agents, accountants, bankers and financial planners can assist with selecting important financial decisions during this early phase of setting up your business. These are some of the financial areas of your business that you will need to consider:

Selecting a business structure – There are different ways you can structure your business. These are some examples of the typical types:

  1. Sole trader –trading individually on your own
  2. Partnership – running a business with other people together but not as a company
  3. Company – listed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners
  4. Trust – is an entity that retains property/ income for the benefit of others
  5. Co-operative – a business organisation that is owned by at least five members.
  6. Incorporated association – usually established as an entity for cultural, charity or recreational purposes.

Recommended reading: 7 smart ways to finance your business

Set up business banking – A good rule of thumb is to keep your personal and business banking separate. It’s a good habit to get into right from the start and will undoubtedly give your accountant less to worry about! Book an appointment with your bank and discuss what kind of account will suit your business needs. It’s a chance to also talk about setting up any payment facilities like EFTPOS machines that you may require.

Chat about tax – Invest some time to have a chat with your tax agent about understanding your tax obligations from the very start. Getting into a good practice of keeping your books in order and knowing what you can and cannot claim helps your business stay on the right track.

6. Invest in marketing your business

After laying the groundwork for your business, it’s time to shout from the rooftops and let the world know about your products or services. Marketing is where creativity meets strategy. It’s about painting a compelling picture of your brand and what you offer.

Your marketing toolbox should include a blend of techniques – from content marketing that tells your brand’s story to targeted advertising that reaches your potential customers. If you’re in the e-commerce space, fine-tune your online marketing strategies to drive traffic and conversions. The aim is to create a buzz, make your brand memorable, and, most importantly, drive sales.

7. Get your business insurance sorted

You’ve worked hard to build your business from scratch, so it makes sense to have business insurance in place to protect it. Every business is different, so there isn’t a blanket cover that protects all businesses and risks the same way.

Start by understanding the kind of risks your business may be exposed to. Take time to assess the assets that your business couldn’t afford to be without. There are many kinds of business insurances available*, but you don’t necessarily need every coverage under the sun. Have a chat with an insurance agent and only get coverage for the things that keep your business going.

Some things to have handy when you are getting a quote:

  • Your ABN
  • An accurate description of exactly what kind of operations your business performs
  • Number of employees
  • Address of your business premises
  • If you are insuring any specific items, have the make/model and value details
  • Security details of your business premises like does it have security alarms and grills on windows, etc.

Start 2024 the right way and get your business insurance sorted in minutes. At BizCover we’re experienced at helping to protect our small business customers at every stage of their business adventure. We know you’ve got lots to think about, so leave the business insurance shopping around to us, delivering multiple quotes from some of Australia’s leading insurers in minutes. We’re not a fan of paperwork either, so you can expect your quotes and policy documents provided straight to your inbox. Experience insurance made easy today.

* As with any insurance, cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this website is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.
This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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