Preparing for the business is one of the key aspects of starting, running and growing a business. The old cliché “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is most relevant in commercial enterprises. We can assist you in business planning to ensure that you minimise risk and reach each stage of the business lifecycle successfully.
Make sure that you are qualified or have sufficient skills in managing a business, and eventually training others to assist you in your venture. You will need to ensure that you have the finance to start a business and sufficient working capital before taking the plunge. If you’re considering borrowing capital from lending institutions, understand that this is really only viable if the investment returns from the business will exceed the servicing costs of the loan.
Business Structures and Registration
A strong foundational business structure will ensure that you are legally protected. Each structure (e.g. sole trader, partnership, company) will have different liability protections and tax advantages. Companies and business names will need to be registered in with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Make sure you don’t mix up business names with trade marks. Trade marks will protect your brand from your competitors in the market. Having an online presence is also important in today’s commercial market, and a domain name should be registered.
Businesses will also have tax obligations and you will need to register for the appropriate taxes with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for a Tax File Number, GST, and if you employ others, PAYG, Payroll Tax, Fringe Benefit Tax, among others. We can work with you and your accountant to ensure that you comply with your tax obligations as a new business.
Due diligence is essentially the investigation involved in the purchase of a business. We are prepared to assist and advise you in assessing the viability of a particular business before you sign any contract. It will be important to consider why the vendor is selling the business in the first place and to attain full disclosure of the financial position of the business.
Running a Business
Cash flow is a key aspect of any business, and you will have to maximise revenue to maintain rent and outgoings, return on the capital investment, and servicing borrowing costs. Leasing or buying premises is also a key consideration, and finding the right premises for your product and service should go hand and hand with the type of customers you provide to. Protecting yourself through insurance is also crucial contingency planning including public liability insurance, third party personal insurance, and if you are employing a team of people, workers compensation insurance.
Most importantly, know your customers. Know the market and keep up to date with changes in your industry. Have a marketing strategy to differentiate your product or service from other competitors. Learn and adapt, and learn again.