STARTUP SPE­CIAL

all the de­tails you re­ally need to know

Collective Hub - - CONTENTS -

WORK­SHOP YOUR BRIGHT IDEA

You know that idea that’s been nig­gling at your mind for a while and just flat out re­fuses to die? That’s your busi­ness. Now work out if it’s vi­able with a bit of ‘backof-the-en­ve­lope’ plan­ning. Do some mar­ket re­search, fig­ure out your unique sell­ing point (USP) and pin down who your cus­tomer is.

NUT OUT YOUR BUSI­NESS STRUC­TURE

You’ll need to de­cide if you’re go­ing to be a sole trader, part­ner­ship, trust or com­pany. Each struc­ture has its own up­sides and down­sides, as well as tax re­port­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, so it makes sense to call in the ad­vice of a good fi­nan­cial ad­viser or civil lawyer here. If you’re bud­dy­ing up, set up a part­ner­ship struc­ture and agree­ment.

GET AN ABN

An Aus­tralian Busi­ness Num­ber, or ABN, is a unique 11-digit num­ber that iden­ti­fies your busi­ness to the gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity, and is used for tax and var­i­ous other busi­ness pur­poses. You can ap­ply, for free, through the Aus­tralian Busi­ness Reg­is­ter web­site. While you’re there, you can also reg­is­ter for GST (if you ex­pect to earn $75,000 or more in the first year) and find info on in­dus­try-spe­cific li­cences and per­mits.

CHOOSE A NAME AND REG­IS­TER IT

Aussies can start this process at asic.gov.au. It’s im­por­tant to con­duct a trade­mark search to make sure your busi­ness name isn’t too sim­i­lar to an­other, or you could run into le­gal prob­lems. Se­cure both the dot-au and dot-com do­main names and so­cial me­dia han­dles for your busi­ness while you’re at it.

WORK OUT STAFFING

If you’ve got em­ploy­ees (or plan to have them down the track) you’ll need to get fa­mil­iar with what awards you’re pay­ing un­der, and mak­ing sure you have con­tracts in place that set out your (and their) rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. This is def­i­nitely an area to chat with your ac­coun­tant about.

FIND SUP­PLI­ERS

Sell­ing a prod­uct? Sourc­ing your sup­pli­ers can be as sim­ple as typ­ing ‘man­u­fac­turer’, ‘whole­sale’, or ‘sup­plier’ into Google – but do your due dili­gence here. Shop around for in­tegrity and qual­ity and en­sure that you have the right to hold out­side par­ties li­able for any glitches in pro­duc­tion. Also take a good hard look at their work­ing con­di­tions.

CRE­ATE A MAR­KET­ING STRAT­EGY

Whether you’ve got a big bud­get or are boot­strap­ping, be sure to share your ‘why’ with the world and en­gage with peo­ple through so­cial me­dia. Cre­at­ing con­tent through a blog on your site will bring your cus­tomers to you, es­pe­cially if you use key­words spe­cific to your tar­get au­di­ence, and SEO tech­niques to im­prove your Google rank­ing. Once you’re ready to pro­mote to the me­dia, search for DIY PR kits or hit up ser­vices like Han­dle Your Own PR.

BUY OR LEASE BUSI­NESS PREMISES

If you’re go­ing bricks-and­mor­tar, you’ll need to de­cide whether to buy a com­mer­cial prop­erty and equip­ment, or en­ter into a com­mer­cial lease. But, be­fore you sign any­thing, seek out pro­fes­sional help from ac­coun­tants and solic­i­tors. They’ll know what’s best for your busi­ness and the tax im­pli­ca­tions that come with each op­tion. Now that you’re open for busi­ness, don’t for­get to throw one hell of a launch party!

TRADE­MARK – OR NOT?

Good ques­tion. We asked lawyer Do­minique Lamb, CEO of Aus­tralia’s Na­tional Re­tail As­so­ci­a­tion, who says, “If you have an idea that needs to be trade­marked or copy­righted – that you need to pro­tect in any way – it’s re­ally im­por­tant that you seek coun­sel from an in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty lawyer.” She warns against at­tempt­ing to trade­mark on your own.

CRE­ATE A WEB­SITE AND SO­CIAL CHAN­NELS

An on­line and so­cial me­dia pres­ence is cru­cial for any busi­ness. This might be a task to out­source, but for the tech-savvy (or cash­poor) among us, there are end­less DIY web­site builders to choose from – Squares­pace and Word­Press are pop­u­lar choices. Cer­tain apps, such as Uni­verse, help you quickly cre­ate a web­site on your phone. Get a do­main name for as lit­tle as 99c with GoDaddy or Hover.

FIND FUND­ING

This might be from in­vestors, banks, per­sonal sav­ings, fam­ily and friends, gov­ern­ment grants, crowd­fund­ing (Kick­starter or Indiegogo are a good place to start) – or any com­bi­na­tion of these av­enues. An­other way is to be rev­enue-funded through pre­sales, or sell­ing from day dot, adapt­ing and per­fect­ing the prod­uct or ser­vice as you go.

GET IN­SURED

Ac­cord­ing to Do­minique, public li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance, pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity in­sur­ance and work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion are “in­cred­i­bly es­sen­tial” – and com­pa­nies should throw in di­rec­tor and of­fi­cer in­sur­ance, too. “Get re­ally sound ad­vice from a fi­nan­cial ad­viser or a trusted ac­coun­tant around what is the best struc­ture for your as­sets.”

SET UP AC­COUNT­ING

Ev­ery busi­ness has le­gal and tax obli­ga­tions when it comes to record-keep­ing – and it pays to do this right, from the start. You can go the tra­di­tional route and out­source to a trusty ac­coun­tant, or take ad­van­tage of the many com­mer­cial of­fer­ings out there tai­lored to small busi­ness, such as In­tuit Quick­Books on­line, MYOB and Xero.

OPEN A BUSI­NESS BANK AC­COUNT – OR NOT?

If you’re op­er­at­ing as a sole trader, you don’t need a busi­ness bank ac­count, but it’s a good idea to get one any­way. If your busi­ness op­er­ates as a part­ner­ship, a com­pany or a trust, then it needs to have a sep­a­rate bank ac­count for tax pur­poses.

START RE­SEARCH­ING

Know your le­gal obli­ga­tions and re­quire­ments un­der fair trad­ing law. Aussies can head to busi­ness.gov.au to find out about la­belling and pack­ag­ing re­quire­ments, in­ven­tory man­age­ment and sys­tems, ware­hous­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion, war­ranties and re­funds, com­ply­ing with con­sumer law and pay­ments and in­voic­ing. (And, im­por­tantly, debt col­lec­tion.)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.