6 basic business tips for sole traders in Australia

Working for yourself as a sole trader can be incredibly rewarding and liberating. You become the true master of your own destiny. You no longer answer to the boss because, well, you are now the boss.

Of course, all that freedom does come with responsibilities that you will have to shoulder on your own – likely with the help of external specialists such as a tax accountant, lawyer, and in time perhaps a marketing and branding professional.

However, there are a set of basic business tips, or self-employment tips, that all sole traders can benefit from knowing and implementing into their sole trader business. Let’s take a look at a few handy management tips for sole traders in Australia.

1. Open a separate business bank account

It’s not essential that sole traders have a separate business bank account, but it’s always a great idea to keep your personal funds and business funds separate. Otherwise you can muddy the water and it can be difficult to get a true indication of how your business is tracking financially.

2. Pay yourself a salary

This can be overlooked sometimes, but as a sole trader you need to pay yourself a wage. While you are not an employee, per se, it makes much better financial sense if you draw a set salary from your sole trader operation.

Otherwise you may end up taking funds out of your business on an ad hoc basis, which can make it hard to get a handle on how your sole trader business is tracking financially. This will also help with cash flow management and future budgeting.

3. Associate with other sole traders

The sole trader path can feel a little isolated and lonely at times, so put time into cultivating a broad group of likeminded business contacts. A handy way to get started is to participate in small business networking events. There are small business networking events happening most weeks across the country.

You could also attend trade shows for your industry and meet fellow sole traders that way.

4. Time management

Time management is more important than ever when you’re a sole trader. Don’t be afraid to be selfish with your time when needed. Keeping an appointment diary or a calendar can be a big help with time management for sole traders.

5. Make time to work on your business

Our fifth tip for sole traders in Australia is about working on your business. It’s very easy for sole traders to get stuck in the grind of working in their business rather than working on their business.

Working ‘on your business’ is what will sustain your sole trader business long-term – and even grow it beyond sole trader status, if that is your long-term vision. It’s marketing and branding, it’s developing your expertise as a thought leader in your industry, it’s developing your business acumen so you can become a better business manager.

6. Sole trader insurance

The last of our tips for sole traders in Australia is to ensure that your business is protected by sole trader insurance. Every business can benefit from business insurance and that includes sole traders.

While you’re growing your sole trader business, let us lend a hand by simplifying your business insurance*. Business insurance shouldn’t be hard, time-consuming, or painful; in fact, we’ve made it our job to ensure insurance isn’t any of those nasty things. Go online for your business insurance or give us a call 1300 920 864 to see how we can help protect your sole trading business.

*This information is general only and does not consider 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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