There has never been a better time to launch your own business venture. Australian entrepreneurs and startups are making an impact on the global stage, and there are more resources and funding available than ever before to help you on your journey to establishing a successful business.
In this month’s blog post, we offer 8 pieces of advice for starting your own business:
- Have a goal
Firstly, you should have a clear goal of what you want your business to achieve. It is this goal, or series of goals, that will keep you focused and motivated when the myriad problems involved with starting any new business appear, and help you overcome any setbacks.
Not only will this goal inspire you to persevere, it will also function as a way to explain your business to your staff, potential investors and customers. Vision statements and the development of a core mission are practices used by big businesses, and are a vital tool in the respectability and longevity of a company. For more information, see our blog post on 10 things big businesses do that small businesses should be doing.
- Do your research
The credibility of your business relies on your knowledge of the industry that you are entering into. In order to attract investors, clients and funding, you need to present yourself as an expert in your field; therefore, do your research.
Performing in-depth and ongoing market research will benefit your business from pre-launch onwards. Market research helps you pinpoint your customer base, create compelling branding, keep up with trends and innovations, identify your competitors, and develop a sound business strategy to ensure that you are offering something unlike anyone else in your industry.
- Know the value of your product/service
When Melanie Perkins, CEO and co-founder of online graphic design platform Canva which has a net worth of $458 million, was asked for advice on achieving sustainable company growth, she highlighted the importance of ‘solving a real problem’.
Your product or service should fill a gap in your industry, and act as the solution to a problem that affects lots of people. It is the value of your product/service that will attract attention, funding and customers, so ensure that it forms the core of your business and marketing strategy. To learn more about how Canva became one of Australia’s most successful startups, read Perkins’ article on Medium here.
- Seek out mentors
No one can build a company by themselves. It is important to have a reliable support structure when you begin a new business venture, including family, peers, staff and mentors. Mentors and advisors are particularly integral to the success of startups and small businesses, because they bring years of experience and skills developed from working in the industry. Mentors can often also be what are described as ‘angel investors’ – people who both invest in, and advise you on, your business.
Mentors and business advisors can provide guidance in areas such as your business strategy, your product/service, marketing, networking, growth and financial planning. If you are based in the Gold Coast area, and are interested in speaking to a business consultant or financial planner about your small business, feel free to contact the friendly staff at Trak Accountants.
- Track your cash flow
Keeping track of your finances can make the difference between your business’ success or failure. Tracking your cash flow – both in and out – will allow you to foresee issues in funding and avoid becoming overdrawn. Poor cash flow management is one of the most common reasons that startups and small businesses fail, so don’t allow yourself to become a statistic!
There are a number of free online accounting programs which you can use to keep track of your company’s finances. If you would prefer to deal with people, or do not have enough time to allocate to doing your own bookkeeping, there are many Gold Coast-based accounting and bookkeeping firms available, including our team here at TRAK Accountants. Ensure that your bookkeeper or accountant is a qualified and registered CPA (Certified Practising Accountant). For more information, head to the Finance page on Business.gov.au, and read our blog post on 6 mistakes small business owners make in financial planning.
- Develop a digital marketing strategy
The 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report, which gathered data from over 2,000 small businesses and consumers, concluded that Australian small businesses need to begin embracing digital marketing in order to reach more potential customers and achieve more sales. Optimising your company’s digital presence is therefore essential, such as having a mobile-friendly website, offering online chat options, installing a user-friendly e-commerce platform, and creating and maintaining a strong social media presence.
In order to compete in your industry, you will need to develop an innovative and focused digital marketing strategy. Some social media platforms will be more suited to your product/service than others, and can be used for different purposes. To learn more, check out our blog post on 12 social media essentials for small businesses.
- Outsource financial tasks
As mentioned earlier, keeping on top of your finances is integral to the success or failure of your business. But many small business owners do not have the time or knowledge to deal with tasks such as bookkeeping, accounting, administration, budgeting and lodging tax returns.
This is where accounting firms such as TRAK Accountants can offer a service to your business, taking these tasks off your hands and allowing you to focus on other important issues such as your product and your marketing strategy. Furthermore, our team can also provide business advice and strategic planning to ensure that your company meets your goals and achieves sustainable growth into the future.
- Be flexible and persistent
Finally, you have to learn that building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to have persistence and patience to deal with problems and setbacks, and keep your goals firmly in sight in order to stay motivated.
However, you also need to be flexible. Not all business ventures work out, and refusing to let go of a failing company can prevent you from seeing how your initial idea can be reworked, or even exchanged for a better one, that will result in your success. For more advice from successful Australian entrepreneurs to small business owners, be sure to check out this article from Business Insider.
Let us help you get on TRAK to success. Contact Us to book a complimentary consultation with a Gold Coast based business advisor, bookkeeper, tax agent, accountant or financial advisor today.