Business start-up advice
Starting a new business can be exciting and challenging at the same time. You need to research the market, analyse your competitors, raise finance, establish networks, find a location, set up office, recruit staffs and the list is endless.
There are three common ways to start a business. These are:
- Buy an existing business
- Buy a franchise
- Start a new business from scratch
Irrespective of whatever options you choose, you need to follow the series of steps before your new business can stand on its own feet. We have laid out 10 step process that is generally applicable for any start up business:
- Conduct market research: First step to start a business is to complete an extensive market research. Some of the market research component includes, finding out what your competitors are doing, what is the point of differentiation of your product/services and what is your product/services potential in the market.
- Determine your business structure: Choosing a business structure is particularly critical step to start a business. At Lotus Smart, our Business structure specialist can advise you the most suitable options depending upon your circumstances.
- Finalize Strategic business plan. This covers your business goals, mission, vision, processes, pricing, and products.
- Find out the licensing requirement. This will require dealing with the local council and other Government bodies. It may require consultation with lawyers, engineers, and other consultants. At Lotus Smart, our team of expert Accountants can advise you on the areas of consultation required.
- Open bank account/Merchant facility etc. You want to check proximity to banking, rates for merchant facilities and products/facilities offered to small business while deciding which bank to choose.
- Determine your financial requirement and options available to arrange finance. We are often asked by our clients as to how much capital do we need in order to start a new business. Unfortunately, there is no short cut answer to this question. You need to carefully analyse the set-up cost and provision for the contingencies in case things do not go as per the plan. As a rule of thumb, we recommend having adequate capital to manage the overheads and other expenses for at least 6 months. However, it all depends upon the type of the business you are in.
- Find the location: Having right location is quite critical for the success of your business. It could be your home office or leasing space in a commercial building.
- Create marketing plan including website, social media, branding, and digital media.
- Choose your accounting software. For small businesses with annual turnover of less than $5 million, we recommend cloud-based solution offered by Xero or MYOB. Implementing a good accounting software provides base for your sound financial control and efficient decision making.
- Obtain appropriate insurance coverage for your business. Examples include professional indemnity, business, content, public liability, loss of profit, work cover etc depending upon the nature of your business.
At Lotus Smart, our team of Accountants are specialist in business start-up advice. Whether you are buying an existing business, buying a franchisee or starting from the scratch, we can guide you through the steps in starting your new business.
Give us a call on 03 9561 9922 to arrange for a free consultation.