Last month we gave you the first five steps to starting a new business in 2022, which covered all things ideation to creation – you can read them here.
Part two covers steps six to ten and will introduce you to everything from establishing a business structure, to launching and marketing your business.
6. Establish a business structure
Your chosen business structure has many important implications down the track – such as personal liability and tax obligations – so do your research to get it right from the start. An accountant can also provide valuable advice here.
Whether you’re registered as a sole trader, company or association, you are likely to require an ABN. General rule of thumb is that if you earn less than $75,000 annually, you should not need one. However, it can be worth having an ABN regardless, particularly if you’re planning for growth in the future.
7. Equip your business
Having the right tools to launch a business is essential – consider the point of sale and payments as your first step. With cash payments now a thing of the past, the ability to accept card and mobile wallet payments with a next-generation EFTPOS terminal will kickstart your cashflow. Make sure you look for EFTPOS terminals with low processing fees, no lock-in contracts or costly monthly terminal rental fees, and fast access to technical support when you need it.
For many businesses, mobility is also important. Look for portable EFTPOS technology that can run on SIM or WiFi, and don’t require a hard-line connection to a fixed business location. This will enable you to move flexibly and sell with more agility.
8. Establish accessible cashflow
Insufficient cashflow is one of the main reasons half of Australian SMEs go out of business in their frst three years of operation.
A yearly budget will help you account for peaks and troughs in sales, but also look at linking your EFTPOS terminal to your transaction account and business transaction cards. This will enable timely access to your funds. Look for payment providers that offer same-day settlement as well.
9. Test and assess
A soft launch enables you to gain customer feedback without investing in a launch to the greater public. Invite a small group of people to test your products, experience your service, and use the opportunity to take pre-orders to cover initial inventory costs. Don’t forget to ask these first customers for testimonials and feedback that can be used in marketing, or for public reviews.
10. Market your business
As your business launches, marketing is essential to help you scale and reach new customers. Thankfully, the options for marketing are endless.
Prioritising the key channels your potential customers use will help you drive early success. For example, if your customers are very active on Facebook or Instagram, you may consider investing a nominal amount of marketing to reach customers on these platforms. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a small budget; even a modest investment of $100 is a meaningful test if you are able to measure the ROI for your business.
Starting a small business takes time, effort and patience, but your biggest hurdles will come if you fail to seek support. If the pandemic has taught Australians anything, it’s the power of community – so by following these 10 steps we’ve covered over part one and part two of this guide, seeking guidance from industry mentors or others in your community, and leveraging free resources and tools to support you, you’ll be set up for a successful business launch in 2022.