“I had sleepless nights worrying my inexperience would result in a disaster”: How to tackle the roadblocks startups face during the setup stage

Having an idea and deciding to build a business around that idea is just about one of the most exciting and courageous things you can do. If you’ve got what it takes to not just get started, but to keep going and growing and building, then that’s to be applauded.

But even at the beginning of the journey, whether it’s hiring new staff, securing investments or developing your product, you’re likely to hit a couple of stumbling blocks, particularly when it comes to some of the more administrative tasks associated with starting a business.

This is where Honcho’s online management tool has stepped in, and has already guided more than 200,000 Australian businesses through the setup process. Now as part of ANZ’s ‘Business Ready’ initiative, ANZ and Honcho have brought banking services into the existing tool as well. This collaboration between Honcho and ANZ supports businesses through the entire journey, from registering the business and setting up a business bank account to sending out the first invoice.

It’s a collaboration that hasn’t just produced a nifty resource for new startups; it’s a case in point for why partnering up with larger, established businesses can lead to big things.

“We were approached by ANZ about five years ago and considered collaborating, but after some initial conversation both companies decided we weren’t ready for what we wanted to do,” explains Honcho Managing Director, Matthew Abrahams.

“About a year ago Honcho started to gain some traction and the technology had caught up. We started looking at how the relationship would work with ANZ and the result is the Business Ready tool.”

Both Honcho and ANZ share a fundamental belief that by making it faster for Australian businesses to start up, they will be helping people overcome barriers to entry and ease the process.

For most startups the first barrier is speed: “In business time is money. And this is definitely true for a new business that is not earning any revenue,” says Abrahams.

“The second is cost. The old fashioned way is to pay for all these services is up front. This capital expenditure meant new businesses were often short of cash from the get go.”

Lastly, a lot of startups don’t have systems and processes in place or access to tools and checklists to manage many of these tasks, resulting in a lot of manual admin labour and wasted time. Kate Gibson, GM Small Business Banking at ANZ says that many small businesses keep track of finances via tools like Excel because they don’t have enough transactions to warrant putting accounting software in place.

“Typically, owners end up doing much of the administrative tasks and finances after hours with minimal time on their hands,” says Gibson.

“We’re excited that through the new platform we can provide small business owners with financial tools like invoicing and reminders about lodging BAS statements when they’re due, as well as dashboards that can help them track their finances.”

Kylie Oldroyd, owner of Little Red Chick, a bricks and mortar and online children’s boutique, had never owned a business before purchasing it.

“I spent hours online Googling business registration, taxation guidelines, and how to write a business plan. Do I only need an ABN, or do I need to register a business name too? Should I be a sole trader or a company? How do I take payments?”

Speed and timing were huge issues, she says, particularly when trying to secure tenancy for the existing store from the landlord, and determining the appropriate time to leave her full time employment.

“I had sleepless nights worrying my inexperience would result in a disaster.”

An online tool would have helped tackle tasks in a linear way, and shrunk down the six month process from initial enquiry with the vendor to the settlement date, says Oldroyd.

“Being able to do everything, from setting up my ABN to lodging my BAS all on one platform would have been a monumental time-saver.

“With options like a business profile website and logo creation, it is also ideal for anyone who is letting the IT or admin demands of a new business stop them from fulfilling their dream.”

Written by: Thea Christie

Be Business Ready with ANZ

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