Turn your business idea into reality with our handy checklist for new business owners, which covers defining your UVP, registering for an ABN and business structure types.
Ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you that starting a business is not a walk in the park. An idea doesn’t become a business without a substantial amount of effort and hard work. Coming up with a name or putting together a logo are the more obvious tasks, but often people starting out don’t pay enough attention to other equally important steps, like what your business structure looks like, or how to market your business.
That’s why we’ve put together a ‘starting a business’ checklist to help new business owners set the stage for success:
1. Start with ‘WHY’
British motivational speaker and author Simon Sinek was onto something when he said, “People don’t buy what you do or how you do it, they buy why you do it.” Before you start your business, think about why your business exists. What’s your mission statement? Every business has a purpose and once you define what your ‘why’ is, you’ll find that your customers will actually have an emotional connection to your business.
As a business owner, if you don’t clearly define your why, you’re leaving yourself open to competitors coming in and taking those customers away from you. Once you’ve clearly articulated your why, you have to be prepared to walk the walk. If it’s not real or believable, you’ll lose that element of trust.
People don’t buy what you do or how you do it, they buy why you do it.Simon Sinek
2. Define your target market
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is to try and appeal to everyone. Targeting your product or service towards a specific audience can result in a much higher return of investment. For example, just say that you have a lawn mowing business. You wouldn’t want to focus your marketing on customers based in and around Adelaide CBD. Instead, you’d want to focus more on people who have backyards, such as those who live in the suburbs.
3. Define your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
What makes your business idea stand out? Why is it different from your competitors? Defining your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is important as it helps define how your business stands out from others that may appear to be similar.
If you’re feeling stuck, download our UVP outline to help get the juices flowing.
4. What’s your business structure?
There are myriad business structure types, including sole trader, companies, partnerships and trusts, so before you start a business, it’s important to choose a structure that best suits your needs. Your business structure will determine the amount of tax that you’ll pay, whether you’re considered an employee or the owner of the business (or both), your potential personal liability and how much control you’ll have over the business.
5. Apply for your ABN
You can’t legally start a business in Australia without having an active Australian Business Number (ABN). You can apply for an ABN here. It’s best to register a business name first before designing your logo or creating assets, otherwise you’ll need to change everything if your business name changes or is unavailable.