8 Tips on starting a small business

Starting a small business can be daunting …you have an idea or product that you think will launch a new career, but just have to get it off the ground. The first thing -stop procrastinating and get your website up and running! Good web design will promote your business faster than anything else. Castle Jackson has put together 8 tips on starting a small business to get you started.

1. What’s your Idea?

Do you have a product to sell or a service to offer? Whatever your business is about, you must believe in what you are doing. It takes determination to get a business off the ground, so whatever you are selling or offering has to be something that you are willing to work at and for.

Initially it is advisable to start small, and gradually grow as the business becomes more stable. This way you aren’t taking on too much risk should you need to make adjustments.

2. Viability, Research and Feedback

Market research and viability is vital before you commit to starting up your website.

Ask opinions of everyone you know and check out businesses that are similar to assess if your service or product is something that people want. It’s important to know if there is actually a market for your product before you set up.

With the results from your research, make sure that what you are offering is an improvement on the competition! Work out how you can be better than the next guy.

3. Business Plan

You must have a good business plan before you start, in order to structure your business for profitability. Learn as much as you can about business targets over the next financial year. Do you have the right capital to get started, or do you need or want outside investors to get you off the ground?

Stay motivated and focused at this stage and use this time to build the energy to keep going.

Work out how you are going to structure your business and what you are going to do to promote the business, and what that will involve.

It is a good idea to check your financial situation with a financial adviser or accountant before you commit to anything. You must be able to manage your money so that it starts working for you.

4. Know the Laws and Pitfalls

Know the laws and legal pitfalls surrounding your business.

This part of getting started with your business is setting up the foundations for a smooth running operation.

Make sure that you have registered your Business name and got yourself an ABN.

Consult an accountant to set up an accounting system which will ensure that you comply with tax requirements, liabilities and laws.

Without giving due diligence to this aspect of your business you may find yourself in hot water with a huge tax fine further down the track…don’t leave it till later.

If you are planning to sell products overseas via your website, find out what the shipping costs, requirements and procedures will be. Do you need to register a trademark for your product?

5. Get a Website

Today every business needs a website. Good web design can be a huge asset to your business, so it’s important that you pay attention to the design and content on your website.

While you can create a website yourself, engaging a website designer or digital marketing agency with experience in your type of business will give your business a professional boost. The right web design agency can be excellent value for money.

Good web design will ensure that you are marketing your business well to the right target group. The platform that you choose for your website promotes the style of your business and the services that you offer which enhances the connection with your customers.

6. Managing your money

You must be able to manage your money before you start your business. Too many people start up without any forward planning regarding their the management of their finances, so make sure you don’t make the same mistakes; this can lead to the business going under before it has even got off the ground.

Don’t mix your personal finances with your business finances. So set up separate accounts before you start.

Stay in your paying job until you have got everything in place and have opened the doors!

Assess how much it will cost to get your business going and how much money you can risk. If you have measured the potential profitability then it is easier to know how much you can risk in the set-up and how long it will take to recoup that initial investment.

7. What’s your Target Market?

You want to catch the eye of your target customers from the start.

When promoting your product or service, analyse the demographic, or target market that you are aiming for. Is it based around age, special interests, education? Whatever your product, make sure it’s targeted towards the right market.

Knowledge of your market should be reflected in your web design; the wording on your website and the way your product is marketed.

8. Promotion Online

Your business should always work for you, otherwise you will be spending many hours working for your business without little to show.

Marketing your company in every way possible will generate income without you having to do all of the work. A professional digital marketing agency can help you create a website incorporating additions such as paid advertising and digital media promotional options to make your website visible on the internet to maximize customer reach.

Investigate cross business promotion so that you are reaching even more people, this can be a win-win situation for both businesses. This way your business is making money in addition to your input.