Five top tips on launching a start-up in Australia

Australia is a nation of entrepreneurs and while launching a start-up here is an exciting prospect, it’s by no means an easy feat. For those who have experienced it first hand, they know it takes time, perseverance and self-discipline to turn your business from a passion project into a thriving enterprise.

Here are my five top tips on launching a start-up in Australia.

Write a business plan but be flexible

Before sinking your time and money into launching a business that may not succeed, start things the “old-fashioned” way and write an in-depth business plan. Your plan should define any opportunities you’ve identified, clearly state your mission, describe your targets, establish measurable goals, and set deadlines for each milestone along the way. Remember that while it’s important to have a plan, it’s equally vital to be flexible enough to pivot when needed.

Know your customer and market

Finding customers is consistently one of the biggest challenges any small business will face when first starting out and throughout the duration of their operation. So before launching, think about who your customers and what your market will be, what makes them tick and how big the market opportunity is. You should always have a target audience in mind, and the goods or services you offer must solve some kind of problem for this group in order to take off.

Get out there and network

Until you’ve established your business, you’ll need to create your own word-of-mouth. Be your own brand ambassador, touting the benefits of working with your business and showing why people should give you a chance. Never be afraid to ask for help – your networks, business contacts, friends and family can be your best resource. Seek a range of professional and general advice, for example find a good accountant and consider approaching established businesses for their advice – learning from the experience of others can be invaluable.

Create a solid digital strategy

Owning your own business certainly comes with its challenges, however a digital strategy of how you will build your business’s online objectives will be one of the most important blueprints when it comes to growing an enterprise that is effective and profitable. It can be easily measured, which enhances your connection to your business objectives to help keep an eye on your successes and failures. Knowing your key channels, developing a content strategy and monitoring and measurement are just three of the main items you need for a successful digital strategy.

Embrace mobile

Businesses that are at the forefront of digital success today have taken fairly straightforward ideas and revolutionised them with mobile technology, with the simple aim of easing the lives of consumers to deliver what they want quickly, no matter where they are. Start-ups should consider that successful businesses are not always built on brand new ideas, but also by bettering existing ones with new technology. The convenience of having the world at our fingertips is what we all want – from how we shop to what we eat to how we move around our cities. It’s a vital part of any modern business.

Steve Traplin, CEO, Groupon ANZ

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