Starting a new business is incredibly exciting. You’re full of enthusiasm to get your idea up and running and you want to do it as quickly as possible. There’s so much to do and you take the approach that you’ll figure things out as you go. It’s the Richard Branson way of thinking “Screw it, let’s do it.” It’s hard to disagree with Richard Branson, but experience has shown us there’s a few key things to get right at the start. If you take the time to consider them, you’ll have the best chance of success and prevent a lot of headaches and expenses later.
This is my list of the non-negotiable things you need to get right before you launch your business:
1. Bookkeeping software
I get it you’ve got no money and you’re launching your startup on a shoe string, but please skip the spreadsheets and sign up for a proper bookkeeping package. There’s a number of reasons:
- You’ll save money in the long run because your accountant won’t be going through a shoebox full of receipts and trying to make sense of your spreadsheets
- There will be less risk of you making mistakes and getting your taxes wrong
- And the BIG one, you’ll actually be able to see how your business is performing!
Understanding your cashflow and business performance is critical to your success, you need a good bookkeeping package with reports to help you see what’s happening in your business. Mismanagement of cashflow is one of the key reasons why small businesses fail, don’t be another statistic.
We highly recommend going for a cloud based bookkeeping package like Xero, which allows you and your accountant to access live data anywhere any time. It also has lots of add ons and integrations with other software making it an extremely powerful tool for your business.
Don’t be a fool, investing in a bookkeeping package will deliver better results for your business and you’ll end up with more money in your pocket because of it.
2. Business structure
It’s super easy to just go and register a business in your own name and open the doors to customers and clients, but is this what’s best for the longer term? You should be thinking “big” when you launch your business. Be positive and think about how you’ll deal with those mega profits that will be coming. Are you planning to spend them or do you expect to reinvest them in the business? Are you planning on bringing in other investors? Is the business high risk?
A Company or Trust could be a more appropriate structure to deal with some of these scenarios. It might be better to spend a little extra now to set up your structure right from the start rather than pay an accountant and the ATO a handsome sum in a few years when you need to change it.
3. Test your idea
There’s no point starting a business selling a product or service that no one wants, so it’s critical to spend some time finding out. Do this before you invest your time and money starting a business that’s never going to work.
Here’s my advice, ignore what your family and friends think, they’re probably trying to be nice and supportive, but really they think you’re crazy. Or some of them may just straight out say your crazy, don’t do it. You need to find out what people in the big wide world out there think, you need to find out if you have potential customers. They’re the one’s who’ll be paying you, not your family and friends.
Start an Instagram page or blog to test your idea and gauge the interest for your product or service. If your selling women’s shoes, then start posting pics on Instagram of the shoes you’re thinking of selling and see if people like them. You’ll also start building up a following of potential customers to kick-start your launch. You’ll soon know if you’ve got a killer idea or if you need to kill the idea.
Get these things right before you launch your startup and you’ll be set for entrepreneurial success.
Information provided by the Rachel Craze is general in nature and does not take into consideration your personal situation. It is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial or taxation advice. Before acting, you should consider seeking independent advice that is tailored to your needs.
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