Dear Rosie, how do I start a business?
By: Rosie Luik
Well firstly let me say – congratulations on wanting to take that step! Business, aside from my children has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Making a name for myself in the business world provides a unique sense of fulfilment and watching your brand grow is a special privilege that I feel incredibly grateful for. In no uncertain terms though it is also a lot of work and the rumours you have heard are true! Not just the one of stories of success you hear at BBQs I am talking about the stories where the nine other businesses failed out of the ten that started.
But failing should never be a threat, it should be an enemy you stare down and work toward conquering. Silicon Valley (America’s startup home) is now encouraging first timers to fail, many investors are saving their money for second iterations as they don’t see first timers as safe bets, they like been there done that types to put their money toward. So it just shows you that you shouldn’t be afraid of failure, it will only make you smarter and stronger in the end.
So to answer your question, where do YOU start?
- What do you want to do?
o This seems like an obvious question, but seriously what are you going to do? What are you going to be? What service do you want to provide, what product will you sell? There is only one chance to do this in the early days, because believe you me once the train has left the station it is much harder to change things. Take the opportunity before you trade to walk through what the future looks like, what your dream brand and result would be and plan accordingly!
- Register your business name.
o Head to asic.gov.au and register your name. Be authentic! Your name is something you need to believe in and be proud of. Authenticity pours through businesses, many businesses get copied and replicated and they are never as successful and always a step behind. Put your flag in the ground with a name you believe in, not just a name that ‘makes sense’. Having said that, it is also important to try to choose a name that is relevant, you have a limited amount of time to grasp a client’s interest and if your name doesn’t represent you and your brand easily it can be confusing and clients will head elsewhere.
o Double check the domain is still there! If you register a business name but cannot get the domain, that is going to be a costly exercise. (Side note, a company like LYFT which is a ridesharing service in the USA picked its name because that domain was available and much cheaper than other actual word domains. The company is worth 15 billion now so it turned out okay for them, so don’t thing you have to be too literal on the name!
o Decide if you want to build slowly or quickly. This will determine if an ABN or an ACN early on will be the right pathway. You will need to research this more as there are tax implications here and your company size will determine what you need to do. A company registration will mean having a company structure in place even if you are the only shareholder as a first point of call. An ABN will be a simpler start as you can be a sole trader and not think about GST till that bridge is crossed. A company will also cost more money each year to keep registered so to save funds don’t rush to do this if you can avoid it. Particularly around accounting fees are where the costs lay.
- Don’t be afraid to outsource!
o If you are anything like me, time is a serious issue! Four children have kept me seriously busy and time is a valuable commodity in our household. I couldn’t live without my outsourced team. Try websites like www.upwork.com or www.freelancer.com to find someone to have in your corner that you can pay very affordable rates to (10 USD an hour in some cases). This team will get through the admin you will face and some marketing needs that you have! It truly is like a second set of hands and eyes on what you’re producing and pushing out to your audience.
Just remember, you are starting a business because you want to make something of yourself, by yourself. Enjoy the process and celebrate the small wins! Write down the big moments and record the feelings you have. Talk to other business owners about your challenges, they have been there before and there may be some simple things you can do that can completely realign your course. I love the documentation process because it has been such a big part of my journey, through my Instagram I let my audience into the highs and lows, show vulnerability and it makes my progress real and even more rewarding.
There is no perfect pathway, you can only give yourself the best chance possible! Continue to back yourself in and trust the process, not the results immediately. Wishing you every success, I will be cheering for you.
Love, Rosie xx
Rosie Luik is a Mum of four, a successful Model, a published Author, a sought-after Public Speaker and an accomplished Business Woman. Her brand Mum Network is a dynamic Talent Agency which represents Mums with a social presence, and she partners them with the brands she works with to increase awareness of their products or services.