Essential Steps to Starting a Small Business


Do you have a business idea you want to bring to life by opening up your own small business?

It’s a huge step to make that many choose to embark on, despite the large personal and financial commitment. Starting a business will test your abilities, initiatives, strengths and weaknesses, problem-solving skills and capacity to work. It’s important to understand what you’re getting into, as ultimately it is you who decides whether your business succeeds or fails.

In this blog, we will outline the simple steps to starting a small business you should take to plan and breathe life into your small business idea successfully. Most successful business owners understand that shortcuts are not an option.

But first, to understand success, you must understand the reasons why many small businesses fail:

  • Driven solely for money, and no passion
  • Failing to plan the business properly
  • Lack of market research
  • No online presence
  • Failing to pivot into new opportunities
  • Attempting to expand too fast
  • Failing to change with the market
  • Lack of capital & cash flow

60% of small businesses in Australia fail and close up shop within the first three years.

Important steps to opening a successful small business

The following are important simple steps to starting a small business, no matter if you’re a personal trainer, tradesman, consultant, or maybe you want to open a local coffee shop, restaurant or fashion boutique.

Are you ready?

  • Before you start your business, you need to know if you’re ready. Firstly, assess if you have:
  • Understanding of essential business skills
  • Sufficient experience in your industry
  • Discipline & motivation
  • Sufficient personal capital
  • A professional network to rely on for advice

Are you prepared to:

  • Work past challenges
  • Work long hours
  • Have less time for social activities

Most importantly, are you prepared to take a risk?

Develop and analyse your business plan

Your business begins with planning. No matter what your business idea is, or if you’re an entrepreneurial genius, planning is essential for survival.

The best way to analyse your business idea is to conduct market research, understand your financial commitments, as well as legal requirements.

Market research is critical

Your market research is your key to success, along with financial backing. Use your market research as a validation source for your business idea.

You should establish the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business.

  • Research the industry: Is your business idea something that’s needed? Is there a gap in the market that you can fill?
  • Research your competitors: Gather information, such as who your competitors are and how you could gain a competitive advantage. Analyse your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to discover what you can do differently, to stand apart.
  • Survey your target market: Is there a market for your service or product offering, and will you be able to grab the attention away from competitors?
  • Location: Are you operating online or through a brick and mortar? Decide which is the most suitable option for you. For example, if you’re opening a brick and mortar store, find the perfect location with sufficient traffic equalling your target market and differentiate yourself from nearby competitors.
  • Financial feasibility: Do you understand the costs of getting the business off the ground and how much it will cost to operate? Do you have the startup capital? Do you know your earning potential?

Speaking to TY Lawyers can help you gather the required information and answers to these important questions.

Plan your finances

Starting your small business may not require a large amount of money; however, it will involve some sort of initial investment as well as ongoing expenses.

Map out the estimated costs associated with your business. These costs can include start-up costs (legal fees, insurances, permits, licenses, market research costs, inventory, trademarking, property leases etc.) and operating expenses (employee wages, rent, utilities, advertising, stock etc.).

Become aware of small business loans, grants and financing options by speaking to TY Lawyers and follow simple steps to starting a small business by TY lawyers.

What is your small business structure?

Understand the business structures available, as this is a key decision as it impacts your taxes, personal liability, licenses required, your control, asset protection and start-up/ongoing costs.

The common types of business structures include:

  • Sole trader – Inexpensive to set up, simple to operate, fewer decisions and gives you full control.
  • Company – Complex, expensive and a separate legal entity.
  • Partnership – Business dealings, income and losses are distributed between 2 or more people.
  • Trust – A trustee is legally responsible for the operations of the business.

Speak to the experts at TY Lawyers as we can help you decide which business structure is the best for you.

Register your business and get licenses & permits

In simple terms, you will need to gain licenses and permits to be approved to do a business activity, or help protect your business (trademark) and its employees.

The licenses and permits you require will depend on your business type, activities and location.

Set up an accounting system

Before making any business decision, your accounting should be in order. Accounting will help improve the financial position of your business.

Keep up-to-date on bookkeeping right from the get-go, as it helps make a business’s finances more manageable to handle and it also may be a legal obligation for your industry.

Your accounting system should also involve reviewing insurances, marketing costs, reviewing goals and priorities, checking licenses and permits, and backing up all important business information.

Understand your legal requirements as a small business owner

Business owners must obey the legal requirements of small businesses in Australia. It may be difficult to understand all of the ins and outs. Fortunately, there are professionals to help you.

At TY Lawyers, we can assist small businesses with many commercial services, including, but not limited to:

  • Choosing a business structure
  • Registering an ABN
  • Registering a business name
  • Registering for GST (earnings of over >$50,000/year)
  • Registering a trademark
  • Licenses & permits
  • Business insurances
  • Workplace relations
  • Asset protection
  • Property leases
  • Advice for small businesses

Get small business help from TY Lawyers Sydney

Whether you’re thinking about opening up a small business, during the planning phase, or currently up and running, the expert lawyers at TY Lawyers can help you with any business financial, legal or operating issues.

Get in touch with us on (02) 8007 0135 or contact us online.

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