Smart start: 5 steps to setting up a business (and the one thing they all rely on)
Tuesday, March 12, 2019/
If you want to start your business on the front foot – and who doesn’t? – proper preparation is absolutely critical.
Here’s the first few steps every new business should take to set themselves up for success, and why a fast and reliable internet service should be right at the top of your ‘to do’ list.
New business checklist
Starting your own business can be the beginning of an exciting journey, but it can also be a challenging time with lots to think about.
Doing your due diligence in the early stages will help you get more confidence, prepare for costs and potential hurdles, and identify any weaknesses so you can get more information, education or support where you need it.
With that in mind, these are the five fundamental steps that you should take when setting up a new venture:
- Market research and business planning. As well as researching your industry, market and competitors, building your business plan is a big but crucial step for assessing threats and opportunities, securing finances, keeping you on track with your vision, mission and goals, and prioritising your time, energy and funds.
- Get your finances, tax and legal sorted. This includes everything from setting up financial tracking tools to figuring out any legal obligations and applying for permits, licences and registrations. You can apply for your key business and tax registrations through the Australian Business Register.
- Source the necessary materials, equipment and suppliers. It goes without saying that the quality and reliability of your materials, equipment and/or supplies will impact your product or service offering, not to mention your bottom line.
- Find the right people to help you. This doesn’t just mean in terms of your employees, although of course hiring a good fit is critical to helping you achieve your business goals, but also your professional support team – i.e. accountants, legal or financial advisors, etc.
- Get the word out and develop your customer base. If your business is going to get off the ground, the right people need to hear about it. Marketing your products and services to attract and retain customers is another important step, but it can be a stumbling block for many small businesses.
The perils of a poor connection
A fast, reliable internet service is quickly becoming essential not just for the five steps of building a business, but also your day-to-day operations and communications.
Just ask Alastair Tame, who started his drone footage and video editing business AT Aerial Services out of a shared office space with a less-than-ideal connection.
“I share office space with a farm monitoring business in Euroa and when I moved in there was no fixed internet,” he says. “We were using hotspots off our phones, but I have to upload a lot of drone photos and video, so I ran out of data in the first eight minutes.”
Quickly deciding the situation was unworkable, Tame set about getting a fixed line connection installed. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a long, protracted and frustrating experience, with multiple technician call-outs over many months before it was up and running reliably.
“It was just hours and hours spent on the phone and lost productivity because the internet was so unreliable,” he says, “There were a lot of mobile data costs and I had to go back to the hotspot all the time. It just made life difficult.”
One less thing to think about
So when should new businesses start investigating their connectivity options? Right from the beginning, according to Natalie Davies, general manager of customer service at Commander, which offers business NBN plans at the two fastest speeds available: 100/40Mbps and 50/20Mbps.
Because Davies’s own family has been in small business “forever”, she knows all too well that a poor or unreliable connection is an unnecessary distraction for people who already have more than enough to deal with. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
“In small business you’re usually the marketer, the salesperson, the customer service support, the custodian of all things finance, and everything to everyone,” she says. “The one thing that you want to be able to outsource is your telco services, because when you’re on a plan that supports your needs, you can just get on with the business of running your business.
“Because we’ve had so much experience working with business, we can set that up really quickly, while being flexible and nimble, so that as your requirements change, we change with you.”