There are four basic steps involved in developing your business idea into a reality.
1. Ask yourself if you are cut out to run a business
You’re probably excited about the potential of your business idea. However, you should consider all aspects of running a business.
Running your own business is a lot of work. You need to be:
- good at administration and bookkeeping
- good at solving problems
- good at communicating with people.
Many small businesses fail within the first six months. Do you have enough money to survive these crucial first months?
2. Research your industry
Researching your industry involves finding out about your:
You’ll use this research when you write your business plan <LINK How to write a business plan>.
3. Decide on your business structure
The structure you choose for your business affects:
- who will make decisions
- how profits and losses will be shared
- tax and legal obligations.
You should get some business advice about which structure is the best for you. The three most common structures are:
- sole trader
Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, being a sole trader is the simplest and cheapest structure. However, you may be personally responsible for debts incurred by the business.
Forming a partnership or a company can be more costly and complicated. However, these structures may give you tax benefits and greater legal protection.
4. Write a business plan
You use a business plan to write down:
- what your business will do
- your marketing strategy
- your business structure
- your action plan.
If you need to apply for a loan to start your business, the bank will ask to see your business plan. They’ll want know that you have a clear and feasible business plan.
Business Victoria’s starting a business checklist – facts about starting and running a small business.
Australian Taxation Office – Small Business Assist – provides practical assistance to small businesses in Australia.
Australian Bureau of Statistics – develop a demographic profile of your target market. Examine an industry relevant to your business idea or check out an overview of small business in Victoria.
Find your local council – most local councils have business development units to help you set up your business.
Small Business Mentoring Service – this is a non-profit organisation that provides mentoring services for a small fee.
Guide to Victorian Industries – find an industry association in your field, and attend events and seminars relevant to your industry.
New Enterprise Initiative Scheme – an Australian Government program that helps you to start a business. It provides training and ongoing financial help.