Relatively, getting a job is fairly easy in Australia. Unemployment rate keeps getting low, career opportunities are expanding, there are numerous places to look for a job, and all you need to do is give an impressive interview.
But starting a business in the country, that is an entirely different (and larger, nonetheless) beast to tackle. There many factors to consider. Working hours are longer than that your usual nine to five gig. And the risk of loss and failure is higher.
However, beyond those risk are greater rewards. The most successful people in Australia started as small business. They expanded through sheer will, motivation, and knowing exactly the right things to do. If you want to have your own startup, here are top seven things to remember when planting the seeds of your success.
Bernard Vukas, being an engineer, could have started a travel app or a PC game, since those things sell like pancakes these days. But he has one simple yet quirky expertise: spreadsheets. The guys is a master on Microsoft Excel. He founded a small business providing spreadsheet tutorials on other startups. Currently, he is now a successful digital nomad with a string of a thousand satisfied clients on his belt.
Young entrepreneurs tend to jump on trends because they are “hot ideas.” This can be a huge mistake. The market is already saturated all while you pour time and money learning things from scratch. Start with what you already know and/or love to do, and then cultivate it to create your own market.
And since we are talking about ideas…
In the early 1990s, Paul Brown came up with a valve technology creating plastic containers that let liquids to be stored upside down without dripping. This sounds silly until you realize everyday products from catchup to shampoo to lotions utilize this technology. This new idea earned him $13 million. And that is 1995 money. All because he as an idea that nobody has and nobody can steal. He patented it.
If you have an idea or innovation that can potentially evolve into a world-changing technology, be sure you put your name on it. You don’t want your competitors to copy your concept and take away your edge. Australia’s International Property laws let innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs protect their ideas and products by applying for patents, trademarks, and copyrights, whichever is applicable.
When Bethenny Frankel was asked what the greatest lesson she had ever received was, the Skinnygirl Cocktails founder said it was an advice from Ellen Degeneres, “You will keep repeating the same mistakes until you actually learned the lesson.”
And true enough. You don’t start a business this year and be a multimillionaire the next. There will be ups and downs. You will fail. Lose money. Meet new people. Learn from experience. It is basically a Six Flags roller coaster ride, but longer and with more credit card debts involved. This continues until you reach the path to stability and growth. And that’s just the start of a longer journey.
If that sounds too risky and not worth the time and effort, remember that no one becomes successful by being stuck in their cubicle doing the same thing for a decade or so.
You may forget half of the things in this list, but at least try not to have a run in with the law by not registering your business.
If it is an enterprise you are starting in Australia, the law requires that you register an Australian Business Number (ABN), this is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and community. You may register through here. In addition, you also need to register your business name if you choose to operate not as a company but as a sole trader, partnership, or a trust. You will find more information here regarding business name registration.
Getting in debt maybe part of the road to success, but it is not an inevitable stumbling block. You can actually avoid this by having a good financial plan layout before you start your business.
The first step includes forecasting the startup cost, and sticking with it. It is not hard to disregard these number when you are too passionate about your business, up until you maxed out your cards already. Having a good perspective of the operational cost that will barrel you down will allow you to prepare and have more adjustments.
Second is to financially prepare for your first year, which is the most critical part of a startup. This is when you will fail, learn, lose money, learn, lose more money, and learn again. In short, this is the period when most trials and errors happen.
And lastly, ask the expert advice. Talk with entrepreneurs who had walked down your path already. Their lessons will enable you to avoid the pitfalls they have fallen into so you can encounter new ones.
Just because you get your business registered does not mean it is legit already. You also need to mind about settling your business taxes.
There are six taxes that maybe required to depending on your business. They include the Tax file number (TFN), Goods and Services Tax (GST), Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT), Pay As You Go PAYG withholding, Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments, and Payroll Tax.
You cannot do everything alone. You are not Batman. The success of your business depends on the combined skills and efforts of you and your team, whether they are your partners or employees. So be sure you only employ the right people. They need to have the proper clout, best work ethics (you will be closely working with them), and the same fire as yours.
Business magnate, innovator, and potential Billionaire superhero Richard Branson knows exactly how essential employees’ contributions are, especially those on the top positions. The Virgin Group founder make sure he is always involved in the hiring process of senior level executives. The same mindset goes inside the head of Larry Page, aka the co-founder of the world’s most famous search engine. He too insists on being part of Google's high level hiring process.