Starting a New Business the Right Way

So you’ve decided to take the plunge into the exciting world of business. Starting a new business is one of the most satisfying ventures to undertake as you’ll be working for yourself and watching your efforts bear fruit. You need to set up your business in the right way to ensure your enterprise runs smoothly without any hiccups.

Initial Setting Up of Your Business

The first thing that you have to do is decide on what sort of business structure you’re going to need for your particular service. Perhaps you’re a plumber and want to start a plumbing service business as a sole proprietor. That means that you’re starting your business as an individual who’s trading on their own. Now you’ve got to choose a name for your business. You may want to select a name like ‘Payne Plumbers’ to better identify the type of business you’re conducting.

Once you’ve decided on the name for your business, the next step is to apply for and register your business name with the relevant authorities. In Australia, you have to register your business name in the Australian state or territory in which you plan to operate. Before you can register your chosen business name, you must first check to see if the name is already registered as a business. If it hasn’t, then you can go ahead and register your business with the relevant State Consumer Affairs Department.

Next, you have to apply for an Australian Business Number or ABN. This is a unique 11 digit number which is exclusive to your business. You’ll use this number when transacting with other businesses or customers. It’s important to include your ABN on your sales invoice otherwise your debtors have the right to withhold 46.5% of any payment due to you. It’s necessary to have an ABN to facilitate communication and dealings with the Australian Taxation Office or ATO.

Another important reason why you’ll need the ABN is because it’s necessary to register your business for Goods and Services Tax or GST. You now have to register for GST to ensure that you can both charge and claim GST credits on your sales and purchase invoices. It’s vital that all your invoices to customers include a 10% charge for GST. You’ll also be charged GST on any supplies that you purchase. You must account for the difference between the GST paid by your customers and the GST you’ve suffered on your supplier invoices, to the ATO every quarter.

Sorting Out Your Business Accounts

This critical component of a new business start up cannot be stressed enough. Setting up your accounting system is vital if you are to get a good grip on the financial aspects of your business. You need to have a chart of accounts to classify the various accounts in your business in order to charge expenses and allocate payments. You must have monthly bank reconciliations performed to find out your true cash balances and what cheques have not cleared in the bank statement. You also need to reconcile your credit card accounts if you’re using your credit card for business purposes. You need to have proper debtor management systems in place so that you know the extent of your Accounts Receivable.

At the end of every month, you should be able to assess how well your business is doing from the monthly management accounts. You can determine how much income your business has made and how much you owe your suppliers. You’ll see your various accounts in a trial balance that ensures all the debits and credits are in balance.

All these functions are important for the smooth and efficient running of your business. You should use the services of an excellent bookkeeper to ensure that your accounting records are maintained systematically, accurately and completely.

Connecting with an MYOB Partner

The most common business accounting software in use in Australia is MYOB or Mind Your Own Business. You should team up with an MYOB Approved Partner to ensure your business accounting requirements are efficiently handled. A MYOB Approved Partner will utilize this cost effective, powerful and competent software to manage your entire accounting records from the Accounts Receivable and Payable to Invoicing and BAS.

The benefits to your business are multifarious as you’ll be assured that only state of the art and comprehensive accounting software is being used to record your transactions, update your accounts and invoice your customers. You can have access to timely support for MYOB services and be apprised of the latest software updates that further enhance performance.

Getting Your Business Off To A Good Start

As a new business owner, you’re most concerned about getting new clients and building your business. You’re focused on providing excellent services to your customers and retaining their custom. You’re driven and primed for quality output. You’re also often pressed for time with many activities and tasks demanding your attention at once.

Furthermore you need to have an online presence to add credibility to your business. Many people search for services on the internet and are often impressed if you have a website they can refer to for further information. You must have a registered domain name and have your website designed attractively to garner more traffic and optimized for better sales conversion. Your site has to be hosted on a reliable server to ensure you’re available on the Net 24/7 with no downtime or broken links. You must be able to communicate with your suppliers and clients via email, a fast and efficient mode of communication.

What Are the Best Ways to Start a Business With Very Little Start-Up Capital?

Starting and running a small business is certainly an American tradition. Even today, with the advent of the mega-corporation, small businesses are still responsible for the creation of the vast majority of jobs for the American economy. One of the reasons for this job-creation machine is the sheer number of small businesses that have proliferated and thrived in the Land Of Opportunity.

It’s only natural and logical that you would want to be a part of this self-employed and self-directed segment of our population, no matter your social strata, whether you’re currently employed (or not) or your background and skills.

But the fact remains true that traditional entrepreneurship requires a boatload of start-up capital to get your business off the ground. Buildings, merchandise and inventory, capital equipment and employees only complicate matters as you plan your new business venture. All that – and a wad of cash to get the wheels rolling.

But, is there another way to approach the issue – another way to get your entrepreneurial feet wet without having access to the wealth and riches required to get a conventional business off the ground?

There is, and welcome to the new age of business – the Internet.

With something as modern and powerful as today’s Internet, even the most financially challenged businessman (and woman) starts out with equal opportunity to realize their dream of owning their own business. If you have access to a reliable computer and an internet connection, you have the gateway to success and riches beyond your wildest dreams. All you have to do is seize the moment.

As in any business, customers are customers. And you depend upon customers to purchase something – that’s how you will build your business and profits. The huge difference between an old-fashioned brick-and-mortar business and an internet-based business is the number of potential customers. In your town, how many potential customers will there be? 50,000? 100,000? 500,000? These are certainly big numbers, but the internet can offer the potential of more than 1.6 billion customers!

All you have to do is reach them and solve their problems! Then you cash in with your own small business – the small business with over a billion customers!

If you have never started a business before, but really want to start one, this is a question you may ask – what are the best ways to start a business with very little start-up capital?If you’re thinking traditional business start-ups, with a store front or office and employees and inventory, then you may want to think again – this method of entrepreneurship can be very costly and is out of reach for all but the most dedicated, and those with access to capital.

What about the rest of us who want to start a small business, but don’t have the funds needed for an old-fashioned start-up?

Think online or internet businesses. Popular and proven internet business models such as internet marketing and affiliate marketing have been providing good incomes for many folks for years. Strategies for making a living using only your computer (and your brains) are legitimate and very common – and can be very profitable and rewarding.

Forget about locations, buildings, employees and inventory – think of a home office with a computer, a printer and your own comfortable work chair. No commuting, no expensive (and fattening) lunches and no pesky boss micromanaging your day!

What are the best internet business models that I can build my small business with? Only imagination will limit the number if internet-based businesses available today, but there are several stellar examples that I’d recommend to you.

The two that have the least barriers to entry and a huge profit potential is internet marketing and affiliate marketing. Internet marketing and affiliate marketing require little to no money to start and are business models that can be easily scaled as your skills develop and your market expands. Thanks to the power of computer automation and instant communications, the possibility exists for you to build your business to unbelievable levels – all by yourself!

While I’ve concentrated on the differences between internet-based and conventional, heavy capital-based business models, there remains one thing in common – getting customers into your “store.” You will need to educate yourself on how search engines can work to your benefit, but it isn’t complicated and there’s plenty of information for the taking!

It is certainly possible – and probable – that you can start an internet marketing or an affiliate marketing business with incredibly little cash outlays, and expect this business to provide a substantial income in less time than you’d think!

Simple Business Tools That Will Enhance Operational and Financial Performance of Your Business

Smaller companies are often unaware of simple tools that can be used to improve business performance. They are relatively cheap and easy to use. So what are they and what exactly do they do?

Some smaller businesses believe that business tools are only for larger companies. This could not be further from the truth. Proper use of a number of simple business tools can seriously affect business performance by increasing both operational efficiency and profitability. I would recommend 4 different tools, which collectively cost about $500. They are intuitive and easy to use. So what are they?

1. Mind Maps
2. Business Health Check
3. Business Planning Tools
4. Microsoft Visio

Mind maps are computer based programs that you can purchase and download over the internet. They are a terrific management tool in that they allow you to summarize an enormous amount of detail on a single page. Consider all of the tasks you need to undertake in a week or a month and you will find that there is no way to keep on top of everything if you list them in a traditional linear fashion in a notebook or on several sheets of paper. Mind maps allow you to keep track of all of the important issues including key assignments for staff, performance measurement, key account management, strategic development, milestone management, to mention just a few. They also allow you to record details of meetings in a coherent and ordered way which facilitates excellent follow up. You may also use them to brainstorm ideas with your team.

A business health check tool allows you to step back from your business and to analyze it in detail using several hundred well targeted questions. A good one will focus on every aspect of your business including leadership, management style and capability, operational competence, financial management, management and use of information, IT infrastructure, quality and effectiveness of staff, business planning and many more key measures. It is similar to getting a management consultant to come into your business and look underneath the hood, except you can do the diagnosis yourself and it is much more cost effective. The advantage is that it gives you a deep insight into the here and now so that you can then plan your business’s future more coherently.

Business planning is often overlooked in small businesses. This can be a costly mistake. It makes little sense to allow your business to drift on a day-to-day basis and for you to be simply reacting to situations rather than anticipating and actively managing them. Every business needs a road map to keep it on track. A business plan allows you to build a strong team culture with a shared vision of the future. If the whole team has clarity of purpose and is pulling well together, then the business is going to perform substantially better. There are many business planning tools available on the internet and some are even free. The ones you pay for tend to offer you more.

Microsoft Visio is a simple drawing tool that anyone can learn with as little as half an hour on the computer. There are a multitude of uses it can be put to in your business from building marketing brochures and flyers to designing standard forms and stationery. My personal favourite use of Visio is for drawing business process workflows. It is amazing to see with clarity how we go about doing things in our businesses when it is shown in a visual way on a piece of paper. All of a sudden you notice the redundancy in the way that even the most simple activities are carried out. This facilitates changing your business processes and streamlining them to be more efficient. It also allows you to coherently document your processes so that is no ambiguity about the way in which your staff executes them. This can save you a lot of wasted time and money.