2. Think of a Name and Grab the Domain Name
So you have thought about your business – fantastic! Now to the hard part, thinking of a business name. There are many things to consider when deciding on a business name. Such as:
- Has someone else got that business name?
- Is the domain name (the website url) taken?
- Is the business name unique, quirky and memorable?
- Does your new business name make it clear to your customer what the business is about?
How to Check Your Business Name Availability:
If you have a few ideas as to what you want to call your business, you need to check and make sure no-one else is called the same name. To do this, you need to check the business name availability with the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).
ASIC runs a search to check the proposed business name, explains the available results if it finds one, and also has guidelines on consent for a business name.
How to Register the Business Name:
Again we refer to ASIC who are the Australian Government ‘officials’ when it comes to Business Names. To register a name you will need to set up an ASIC Connect Account.
Now the ASIC website isn’t the easiest website in the world to navigate (in fact it can be somewhat infuriating). But it is the registered body in Australia.
3. Figure Out The Legal Stuff
When it comes to businesses, there are some things that you’ll need to sort out behind the scenes in order to run. You’ll definitely need an ABN if you’re in Australia, so it’s worth sorting that out early. It’s also handy to look into any licences, certificates or permits you might need to run the business you have in mind. These can take time to be processed, so apply early.
4. Design A Logo
Now is the fun part: your logo! Every business needs a logo, and while you might update it in a few years, you’ll want something that is going to last. This is the image that your customers will associate with your brand, so don’t rush it. If you aren’t artistically minded, make some notes about what you want and head to places like Fiverr.com to see what you can pay someone else to put together.
You can design a simple logo on programs like Canva.
5. Get A Website
Once your logo is sorted, you’ll want to make it clear that you’re in business online. The online marketplace is just about the best thing that has happened to business owners. With just a small amount of capital, business owners can really spread their service offerings around their local area and beyond. Getting a website is a good idea, but if you can’t afford it yet you should at least ensure you have a Facebook page or other relevant social media.
We highly recommend Tenacious Digital for websites – tell them we sent you for a discount!
6. Learn About SEO
If you do have a website, you’ll want to do some reading about SEO a.k.a Search Engine Optimisation. Basically, SEO is a series of tactics and strategies to increase the number of visitors to your website through search engine results. You’ll want to make your business website keyword rich for your specific niche so that your customers can find it when they search on Google and other search engines. If you aren’t sure about this, consider hiring someone to lay the groundwork for you.
7. Sort Your Business Cards
Even though online advertising is important, many businesses still do a lot of their customer networking through word of mouth. For this kind of networking, having business cards is really essential as it allows you to basically market yourself and your business wherever you go. Many companies online offer simple business card templates that you can use, and getting them printed is relatively affordable. Of course, you’ll need to decide if getting them is worthwhile for your business.
8. Open A Business Account
If you’re planning on making the most of the tax concessions available to business owners, you’ll want to open a bank account just for your business profits and expenses. Doing this will make it much easier when tax time rolls around, and it’s also a good way to easily monitor how your business is going in terms of incomings and outgoings. Make sure you get online banking so you can keep an eye on it easily.
9. Think Hard About Start-Up Costs
There was a time when starting your own business required a whole lot of capital and probably a loan or a serious slush fund. Now, many businesses get by with what they have on hand, saving money by sourcing things they need in a clever way. Debt is a difficult beast, and we would advise you to think long and hard before you take on any as a part of your business. Ensure you have a good business plan, and consider starting small and building into it.
10. Consider A Business Coach
If you’re serious about your business, but you just aren’t sure where you went wrong or even how to best devote your energies to your business, it might be worth hiring a business coach. These guys are experts in everything business, and no matter what your niche, they can provide really useful information and advice about launching and creating a successful business. Business coaches can be found locally or online, and for the right people, they’re worth every penny!
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