Before we dive on in, we need to make sure that you have the basic fundamentals set up. Why? Because too often I’ve seen entrepreneurs (even those who have been in the business for years) forget these simple points OR they haven’t actually checked whether they’ve been completed properly in the first place. So, let’s make sure that you’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. Here are the 10 things to implement before starting a business.
For Australians – Your ABN (Australian Business Number) is an 11-digit identifier that is issued by Australian Business Register for tax purposes. Making sure that you are registered solidifies that you are in fact an operating business, not just a hobby.
Start the way you want to finish.
For other countries this could be your LLC, EIN, SSN.
If you are not operating under your own name, you need to register your business.
You can check this through name registries such as:
P.s for Australians – make sure that the only place you register your business name is through ASIC. There are many scams out there and too often have I seen business owners get themselves into strife when they believe they’ve registered and paid for their name only to find that it wasn’t through the correct channels and ultimately they have not owned their name for the time they’ve been operating, plus they’ve thrown money down the drain.
As a business owner, our aim is to get paid. Obviously. So, make sure that you have set up a system to collect that money, AND make sure you’re correctly filling out your invoices so that you can record your earnings.
For Australians – If you do not include your ABN on your invoice, then the business can withhold 47% from any payment they have made to you and send the withheld amount to the ATO.
Please make sure that you set up a separate account for your business transactions. This is so much easier come tax time when you are keeping track of your books, so you know exactly what has come in and out of the account.
Have you checked whether you need specific insurances to run your business? Depending on your industry or what you’re offering make sure to check whether you need to be covered under specific insurances.
Some may include, professional indemnity, public liability, asset protection, vehicle insurance, business interruption insurance, management liability insurance, cyber liability insurance, tax audit insurance and personal accident/illness insurance.
Check out Biz Cover for more information.
You MUST identify who your ideal customer is, if don’t have clarity around this first step you’re going to be stretching yourself thin trying to please everyone and let me tell you now, that does not pay the bills. By knowing WHO you’re talking to you can create your marketing, copy and strategy to really SPEAK to that ideal person.
Don’t just focus on demographics, focus on their key behaviours, what do they read, where do they hang out, what’s their favourite podcasts etc. Getting clear on this is so effective plus it helps ten-fold when you’re creating targeted ads and being intentional with your strategy.
Domain registration is just as important as registering your business name. The worse feeling is when you’ve secured and paid for your name only to find that your domain name for your website or social media handle has been taken. Make sure to check that both are available, not a few days later, make sure to check at the same time.
To grab your domain check out platforms like:
Now, along with your business registration and your domain registration, don’t forget about your other platforms that you will use for social presence. Are you able to get the same name on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, etc.
A great way to check what platforms are available is Name Chk
Do they still matter even though our world is totally consumed by digital? Yes.
When you’re first starting out in business it’s a wonderful way to showcase your professionalism and preparedness. It also enables you to be front of mind when networking, the difference between grabbing someone’s socials and following them on Instagram or LinkedIn is that you forget, unless that conversation was TRULY memorable, that new contact will be lost in your ever-growing list of followers and vice versa.
Whereas if you’ve met someone at an event and you produce a physical business card then when they go home and empty their wallet, they will have yet another touch point with you, you’ll be front of mind and they give others the ability to follow up.
A business card is also the first impression of your brand, branding is huge when it comes to attracting your ideal audience and identifying the type of customer who would be the “perfect match”. This is also a huge help when other’s refer you.
Here are some great platforms to utilise when creating your business cards:
If DIY is not your forte, hit up a Graphic Designer who can create an incredible design for not only business cards but branding elements to utilise throughout your entire business. Designers usually have their own trusted vendors to produce your business cards as well, so you’re in good hands.
There’s also the option of finding designers on freelance sites such as:
As a business, your website is your portfolio, where you house all of your products/services, contact information, testimonials, previous work, who you are and what the next steps of working with you are.
Not only that but you have a space on the internet that is your own and paired with the right Search Engine Optimisation you can direct consumers to what they need.
Here are some website builders:
In some cases, such as WordPress you will require an additional hosting platform such as:
Basically, how can you do more research, for less? Rather than producing a new product or diving straight into a service, do your customers actually need or want it?
Ways to test: