Getting Started With Your Small Business

First Things First

Once you have a business idea and you are ready to start building your new business, you should take the time and write down a checklist of things you need to do along the way.
Your checklist should include the following:

Business Type
Decide the business type and how big it will be, if you are expecting your business to be large from the beginning and you have reason to believe it will be, then consider your business type carefully, you will be better off starting a company, however this is something you will need to discuss with your accountant.

Starting a business
Find a good reliable accountant, preferably someone who can offer personal service and advice, we have found that often the smaller accountancy firms can offer more personal service, but be careful!
Make sure its not an accountancy that specialises in wages tax returns, they are great for PAY tax but not business tax issues or setting up a business.

While this might sound a bit odd to do first, remember the phone number you provide on all of your registrations will be you current phone, and if you are going to have a deticated phone line, mobile or 1300 number then you would be better off having that prior to registering. We recommend a 1300 as they are relativly cheap to have and can be diverted to any phone at any time of the day.

Same as with the phone, your email address will be used for registrations.
Recommendation: we recommend using Gmail as it can be setup to handle multiple incoming email address's, you can use gmail with your own email address as the sender, and its one of the best email systems out there that will grow with your business as needed.

Business Registration (not a company)

Register your ABN

Business Name
Once you have your ABN you can register your business name and associate it to your ABN

Business Plan
Start a checklist of to do's, include things from this as required and consider things like suppliers, pricing, delivery, stock holding etc.

Register a Website Domain Name
We recommend using as they are one of the cheapest and easy to use, many web developers can do this for you, however we suggest you do it yourself, this way you will always be in control of your name.
Considerations: when registering a domain name, try and get a combination of your business name and the service you provide. This will help with Search engine optimisation, but at the same time make sure you will be able to give you domain name to someone verbally without needing to write it down.

Get a Website and Logo
Important - do not use the self make websites, while these can look very nice, they do not rank in google. You are far better off finding a good web developer that will help you setup your business and is available when you need them. Don't forget if you business gets busy you will not have the time to manage it yourself.
Most development firms will handle more than just your website, so consider this when looking around, you should have a one stop shop for Graphics, logos, business cards etc.
We recommend

You should consider setting up a system from early on, that is not to say you need to buy the dearest one, just a system that will grow with your business and handle what you need today with the limited amount of fuss.
We recommend a system like

Try and get as much done today as you can, because any small business operator will tell you, time is short when you run your own business. the more you can do now, the easier later, and try not to put anything off.

Stationery and Business Cards
Most web developers can do your graphics and business card template or put you onto the right track, so once you have your phone, email and logo sorted its time to order your business cards. We recommend Vista print, this is because you can order when you need to without having to go to someone else, and they are very cost effective. User your business card template or logo to get this done.
You may also want to consider stationery depending on your business type.

There are quite a few different ways to market these days, however we recommend social media marketing, this has proven to be highly successful where you spend money only on people who will meet your demographics. You also only pay for a result. Gumtree is also a great alternative depending on your business.
Again you will need help with graphics here and hopefully you have used a web developer like us so your graphics will be provided for you as part of the setup.
A good example is Facebook marketing that allows you to specifically target people by Age, Area and Interests.
A $30 7 day campaign can get things going for you from the start with a limited spend, then use the results to help streamline your target audience. The better marketing companies will give you statistics and information on how its all going. Don't be in the dark about this, make sure you know what is being done for you and the results.

Social Media
Quite simply get on it, you should have a Facebook business page at the very least and be posting to it regularly. 
Do this as soon as possible as history in Social Media is important.
You can get businesses like dataNdesigns to post for you daily, rates start from $20 per week for 5 day posting which is a combination of your products and general interest stories related to your business and or product.

Get into a routine!
This is very important, set yourself up so that first thing and last thing everyday you check your email, messages, etc.
This will help you in the long run and make sure nothing is missed.

Keep the Customers Happy
There is no second place with this, if you make your clients happy they "may" recommend you, but if you make them unhappy, they will defiantly tell everyone!
Be smart, the customer is always right, even when they are not.

Good luck, and don't forget, if you don't know where to start, businesses like datandesigns can help you with the entire process.



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