No business experience? Don’t worry. Here’s what you need to do to start your own business
Starting a new business is exciting but it’s also daunting, especially if you lack business experience and don’t have friends or family who can help with advice. But don’t let fear stop you from achieving your dream of owning your own business – here at MDK Taxation and Accounting Services, we offer friendly, tailored advice to help guide you through the various steps. We provide free initial consultations from our office in Ceduna – please check our website for conditions.
We’ve also put together a checklist of essential steps to help you start your business.
Know your customer and do something different
Whether you’re taking over an existing business or starting one from scratch, it’s important to have a long, hard think about who your customers will be and how you can offer them something different – and something better. Once you’ve identified your customers, work out how you can reach them; whether that’s through local networking, a strong online presence, or word-of-mouth referrals.
Find a mentor
If you lack business experience, seek out a mentor. Find one among friends, family, acquaintances and friends – the value of a mentor is hard to understate as they will pass on their knowledge and wisdom. And seek the service of professionals – accountants (such as us!) and lawyers are a necessary part of setting yourself up.
Create a cash flow budget
It is important for anyone who starts a business to have sufficient cash reserves to cover the first 12 months of business. Prepare a cash flow budget and then book a time to come in to our offices to discuss it during your free consultation, which you can arrange by emailing email@example.com.
Choose the best business structure
Should you become a sole trader, a partnership, a trust or a company? Tax reporting responsibilities differ for each, as does the level of asset protection you’ll have. For example, as a sole trader you will be personally responsible for any operating losses you incur. That means that if your business suffers serious debt, personal assets such as your house is at risk and can be targeted in any debt collection action. By contrast, a trust has increased asset protection because the trustees’ personal finances are not put at risk.
This is just one example of several important differences between the four different business structures. Talk to us to work out which is right for you.
You will also need an ABN and if you have an annual turnover of at least $75,000, you need to register for GST. You will also need to register for GST and/or Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYG) if you employ one or more paid staff members. Talk to us about these registrations and other matters associated with meeting your legal obligations when hiring staff.
If you’re forming a partnership, trust or company, you will need to register for a Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Along with your ABN registration this is best undertaken by us and will be discussed during your free initial consultation.
Before you print out business cards and launch your website, it’s vital to see if your business name is available through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) – but do seek professional advice from accountants before lodging a request for registration with ASIC.
Set up your accounting systems
Do it from the outset – it will save you hours of time later in the tax year. All businesses have legal and tax obligations for record keeping. There’s a wide variety of software available at different price points and we can help you choose one that will help you keep yourself (literally) accountable.
Starting a new business is one of the most exciting things you can do in your life, but do seek professional help for success. Contact us for professional advice by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (08) 86253941. The first consultation is always free of charge.