SHOP LOCAL: Eight steps to take before starting small business

David Eaton
David Eaton

Local Business Matters

WA Small Business Commissioner David Eaton

I often get asked what steps should be considered before taking the plunge into starting a small business.

Follow these eight steps to help you decide if you are ready, how to get started and where to get help.

1.       Determine if you’re ready

Why do you want to start this business? Will it give you the lifestyle and income you’re looking for?

2.       Assess your business idea

Market research can help you assess the viability of your idea. Remember to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your idea versus your competitors. Visit the SBDC’s Perth office to access free research resources including IBISWorld.

3.       Build your business plan

Your plan should detail the industry structure, competitive landscape, your business objectives, strategies, marketing plan and financial forecasts.

4.       Choose a business structure

Your structure will impact many factors from your business name, to your liability and how you file your taxes. Seek advice from an accountant before choosing a structure.

5.       Check your legal obligations

There are legal obligations associated with starting a business including licences, permits and registrations. Visit smallbusiness.wa.gov.au to access a free online Business Licence Finder.

6.       Build your support team

Surround yourself with advisers such as an accountant, lawyer and the SBDC who can help you start and grow your business.

7.       Figure out your finances

Can you afford to start the business? Use the SBDC’s free online tools at smallbusiness.wa.gov.au to assess your financial readiness.

8.       Market your business

Once your business is up and running, you will need to attract clients and customers. Advertising is just part of the process, there’s much more involved.

Develop the skills you need to succeed in business – attend SBDC’s low-cost workshops including ‘How to Write a Business Plan’, ‘Marketing Your Business’, ‘Website Planning’, ‘Understanding Business Financials’, and ‘Digital Marketing’.

Don’t miss my next article where I’ll discuss the importance of a business plan.

Visit small business.wa.gov.au for more information on starting a business or contact one of SBDC’s business advisers on 13 12 49.