Setting up and running a business can be incredibly rewarding but there are some basics that you must take care of so you start off on the right foot.
Initial Administration Steps:
- Choose a clear business name. It is often the first impression a customer has of your business and should help create an image which accurately reflects your brand and, over time, establishes a strong reputation.
- Register your business name. That means that no one else in Australia can use that same name. Business name registrations are now handled by ASIC.
- An important point to remember is that registering your business name does not guarantee your rights to the name. To do this your name or logo must be registered as a trademark through IP Australia.
- Create a logo. This will be one of the most recognisable parts of your branding so it’s worth paying a designer to create the logo for you. Nothing looks as tacky as a clipart logo!
- Once you have successfully registered your trademark name or logo, you can use this on your letterhead, advertising, business cards, newsletters, emails, invoices or any other communications you have.
- Buy your domain name (URL) from your preferred provider.
- If you are operating a business you need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). This identifies you as a real business and allows you to buy a domain name for business and to claim back the good and services tax (GST).
- If you expect your turnover to be more than $75,000 (or more than $150,000 for a non-profit organisation) then you must register for GST. Even if your turnover is less than these amounts you can still register for GST so you can claim back the good and services tax.
- An accounting system is important as it not only makes it easy to record and report your financial transactions but will make it easy for preparing your tax return. Packages such as QuickBooks or MYOB are just some examples that are relatively easy to learn and are suitable for a small busines, and there are also many cloud options out there as well.
- Having a customer relationship management system (CRMs) can also be an advantage as it allows you to easily manage and maintain customer information that can include contact details, sales history as well as responses to marketing campaigns that can help to better target future marketing campaigns. There are many different types of CRMs on the market that are relatively low cost.
- Finally, and I know it sounds simple, but set up a good filing system for you papers and your emails. At some stage you are going to have to lay your hands on information quickly.
It can all seem quite overwhelming when you are first starting out but it is important to get everything right. I can take the worry out of the process for you and fast track your business start-up. Ask me how.
Keep an eye out for So, you’ve decided to start a business Part 2 where I discuss marketing your business.