6 things you should know to start a business in Geelong

Geelong, with its vibrant business environment, offers a world of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs with fresh business ideas on their mind. Yet, every successful venture begins with informed decisions. Here’s your guide to making the most of what the region has to offer and laying the groundwork for growing a small business in Geelong.

Choosing the right location for your business

Recognising the significance of location can make a world of difference for your small business in Geelong. As you mull over your options, your budget will inevitably play a role. Upscale areas like Central Geelong or the waterfront are synonymous with affluence, making them a go-to for high-end retail or dining enterprises. But if you’re looking for affordability without compromising potential, regions like Clifton Springs might just be your sweet spot.

For those eyeing the global market, positioning near the Port Precinct provides easy access to export and import facilities. Meanwhile, Geelong businesses in need of large storage or manufacturing spaces might find North Geelong Precinct appealing.

Lastly, don’t just go by the surface appeal. Dive deep into the demographics of the Geelong business hubs. Are there upcoming developments that might draw your customers away? Or perhaps new projects that could boost foot traffic to your door? The better informed you are, the more confidently you can choose the right location for your business.

Selecting a business industry

Selecting an industry is a crucial first step to starting a small business in Geelong. It’s essential to pick a field that not only aligns with your expertise but also promises growth.

There’s an undeniable advantage in immersing yourself in familiar waters. Tapping into an industry you’re acquainted with allows you to leverage your expertise, insights, and network. After all, nothing beats firsthand experience when it comes to navigating the challenges and opportunities of a particular sector.

But familiarity is just one part of the equation. The potential for growth and profitability is another. Geelong, with its dynamic business environment, has seen a surge in confidence across sectors like government, education, community services, and retail trade. Retail, for example, is riding a wave of optimism, with Geelong small businesses expecting a boost in sales.

Choosing your business structure

Your business structure determines how risks and taxes are managed, as well as how your small business in Geelong evolves over time. Let’s consider the options:

  1. Sole trader: It’s a one-person show. While it offers the ease of setup and complete control, remember that your personal assets can be on the line in case of business debts.
  2. Partnership: A collaborative venture, where you and your partners share the responsibilities, profits, and, importantly, liabilities.
  3. Trust: A structure where a trustee conducts business for the benefit of other members. It’s a unique way to ensure asset protection and distribute income.
  4. Company: This is a separate legal entity from its owners. While it provides strong asset protection and potential tax benefits, it comes with additional regulatory requirements and costs.

Understanding the legal requirements

Starting a business in Geelong comes with its set of checkpoints and markers. Understanding them is your ticket to a hassle-free business journey.

First up, having the proper registrations serves as a passport to legitimate business operations. Here are a few registrations you’ll need to start your small business in Geelong:

  • ABN (Australian Business Number): An 11-digit number that identifies your business to the government and community.
  • ACN (Australian Company Number): A nine-digit number, essential for Australian businesses operating as a company structure.
  • GST (Goods and Services Tax): A 10% tax added to most goods, services, and other items sold or consumed in Australia.
  • TFN (Tax File Number): A unique number issued by the Australian Taxation Office to individuals and organisations to manage tax and other government services.

But registrations are just one part of the puzzle. As your Geelong business grows and you start recruiting, HR considerations, such as WorkCover for workplace safety and insurance, and the Superannuation Guarantee, come into play as well.

Building a strong team

A motivated team is akin to a well-oiled machine. When everyone is passionate, aligned with the company’s vision, and eager to contribute, magic happens. But how do you cultivate such a team?

Start with the basics: hiring right. Go beyond just credentials and experience. Look for individuals not just with the right skills, but also those who showcase enthusiasm, adaptability, and a thirst for growth.

However, motivation alone isn’t going to cut it if you’re looking to grow your small business in Geelong’s competitive business landscape. Regular training and upskilling are crucial. By introducing your team to the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices, you’re equipping them to navigate challenges and seize opportunities.

Organise training sessions, bring in industry experts for workshops, or encourage your team to pursue further education. Remember, an investment in your team’s professional growth is an investment in the company’s future.

Seek professional advice

There’s a multitude of advantages to seeking professional advice. For starters, two heads (especially if one is an expert) are always better than one. Professionals provide clarity for the countless decisions you’ll face, from financial planning to market positioning.

Every business terrain has its challenges. Maybe it’s a nuanced tax code, a competitive environment, or just the complexities of setting up a new business from scratch. Whatever the challenge, a professional’s perspective can be invaluable, transforming potential roadblocks into mere stepping stones.

Consider collaborating with professionals who’ve walked the path, those who’ve mastered the Geelong business maze. Their insights can be your secret weapon, ensuring your Geelong business grows and flourishes.

Give your small business in Geelong the protection it deserves with BizCover

While Geelong brims with opportunities, navigating the business landscape demands careful thought, research, and strategy. Keep in mind that starting a business in Geelong is a marathon, not a sprint. With the insights provided, you’re now equipped to step confidently towards a prosperous future in Geelong.

Ensure you’re prepared for unexpected bumps along the way. With BizCover, safeguarding your small business in Geelong is just a few clicks away. Enjoy the ease of comparing multiple quotes and the assurance of instant protection on our platform.

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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