Thinking of Business Help, Start Business Ideas, How to Start a Business

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In a thinking stage, you are Thinking of Business and you want to know How to Start a Business or How to Start a Small Business and you need a Small Business Help and New Business Ideas? This helpful Start Business Ideas guide on How to Start a Small Business may be for you to read.

Now you are in a Thinking of Business stage of establishing some kind of small business for yourself. What ever your destiny may turn out to be, you are heading in the right direction - independence - right? You are thinking of advantages and disadvantages of establishing your own business? You have reasons for getting into business?

This page is dedicated to such people, people who are not exactly sure what to do next. Its all tips and 'need to know' about How to Start a Small Business and what to do before a beginning. Well read on to get some clues.

And when you are ready with your business, you will need a good Business Accounting Software, you can get that here on our website, our ShopMate Business Accounting Software just may do the job for your business.
You may also brush up and read on Accountancy Theories...

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A small business may be defined as a business with a small number of employees. The legal definition of "small business" often varies by country and industry.

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It is generally under 100 employees in the United States while under 50 employees in Australia and the European Union. However, other methods are also used to classify small companies, such us annual sales (turnover), assets value or net profit (balance sheet), alone or in a mixed definition. These criteria are followed by the European Union, for instance (headcount, turnover and balance sheet totals).

In comparison, the American definition of mid-sized business by the number of employees is generally under 500 while 250 is for that of European Union. These businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships.

When prospective customers had a business or were thinking of business, traditionally, Softhard Solutions was able to provide them with business accounting software (often also hardware) to run their business the way they do the business.

There were, at many times, Softhard Solutions' customers who did not quite have a clear picture of the business they wanted to do or undertake.

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What do I need before I get started?

Before you get started find out if people are interested in buying your products or services. Find out who your competitors are and whether the market can sustain your business. Conduct some research to see whether your idea is really feasible. This will involve gathering, analyzing and evaluating information to help you formulate your business goals. Some questions to consider are:

  • What product/service will you provide?

  • Is your idea feasible?

  • How will you protect your idea?

  • Is there a market for your product/service?

  • What skills do you need?

  • Who are your competitors?

  • What difference will you bring to the market?

  • Do you have the financial capacity?

More information...
Contact your nearest Business Enterprise Centre for free advice and support. Consult your nearest Small Business Field Officer for free general advisory services. Visit IP Australia's Smart Start website for more information on protecting your intellectual property. Consult an experienced business adviser, accountant or solicitor. See what advice and support is available in your state or territory.

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Am I ready?

Are you ready to venture into business? Operating a small business is not just about working for yourself, it's also about having the necessary management skills, industry expertise, technical skills, finance and of course a long-term vision to grow and succeed. Have a good 'think business'. At the outset it is important to consider whether you really understand what's involved and whether you're suited to business and self employment. Examine these issues:

  • Reasons for getting into business.

  • Your goals and skills.

  • Income your business will need to generate.

  • Advantages and disadvantages of establishing your own business.

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What type of business should I start?

Do you want to start a new business, or would it be better to buy an already established one?

Starting a new business requires a great deal of time and money. You'll need to research the market, raise finance, establish contacts, find a location and maybe hire new staff.

Buying an established business, or a franchise, has the advantage that operations are already in place. The premises and stock, customer base, suppliers and income stream are already established.

State governments can help you with information and guidance on assessing business opportunities. Also consider seeking advice from professional business advisers or your solicitor or accountant.

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Which business structure should I choose?

What type of business structure will you use? Will you be a sole trader, in a partnership, a company or a trust? There are advantages and disadvantages to consider for each. Choosing your business structure is an important decision, so you need to investigate each option carefully.

When making your decision, consider whether your activity is a business, or a hobby. Remember that to be able to claim business deductions you must be carrying on a business. Other factors to consider are the cost of set-up, the taxation implications, the expense of ongoing administration and your personal financial liabilities.

You may want to consult a professional business adviser, accountant or solicitor for advice.

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How do I choose a business name?

Choosing the right name will help ensure you're creating the right image for your business. It'll also help to distinguish it from your competitors. Before deciding on your name you should familiarize yourself with the different registration requirements.

A business name is the name under which your business trades and it needs to be registered in every state where trading takes place.

A company name must be registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). But if you want your company to trade under a different name, then you're also required to register the trading name as a business name.

Be aware that registration of a business, company or domain name does not in itself give you any proprietary rights - only a trade mark can give you that kind of protection. Ensure you have exclusive use of your name now and in the future throughout Australia by registering your business name as a trade mark.

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How do I write a business plan?

Think business. Once you've conducted research into the feasibility of your new business you're ready to write your business plan.

Your business plan is essential for your business - it's your blueprint for the future. It sets the direction for your business and keeps you on track once you're up and running. It's also a requirement when you're seeking finance.

Depending on what type of business you intend to start, your business plan could include these elements:

  • Executive summary - a one-page overview written after your business plan is finalized.

  • Introduction - explains the purpose and objectives of going into business.

  • Marketing analysis - looks at the industry you are entering and how you fit in.

  • Marketing plan - your marketing strategy.

  • Operations plan - how you'll set up the business, i.e. structure, location, regulations.

  • Management plan - how you'll manage your business.

  • Financial plan - how you'll finance your business, costing and financial projections.

Business planning is an ongoing business activity - you should regularly review and revise your business plan.

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How do I write a marketing plan?

A marketing plan assists you to integrate your total marketing effort. It ensures a systematic approach to developing products and services to meet and satisfy your customers' needs.

When you're writing a marketing plan you need to be clear about your objectives and how you'll achieve them. A good marketing plan sets clear, realistic and measurable objectives, includes deadlines, provides a budget and allocates responsibilities. A plan can consist of these elements:

  • Analysis of your current market.

  • Your business objectives.

  • Key strategies.

  • Steps to achieving your objectives.

  • Proposed budget.

  • Timing.

Remember that your marketing plan should remain an ongoing process throughout the life of your business.

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How do I develop an export plan?

Once you've decided to sell your products overseas you need to develop an export plan. An effective export plan will help evaluate your strengths and weaknesses when entering the export market.

In preparing your export plan examine these issues:

  • Products that you'll export.

  • Your target markets.

  • The time frame.

  • Customs duties.

  • Marketing strategies.

Austrade provides extensive services for new exporters . State and territory governments also offer financial assistance to exporters.

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How do I develop a succession plan?

Nobody likes to think about it, but it's inevitable that one day you'll leave your business. Whether you decide to sell up, retire or have to get out of business due to health reasons, it's important that you plan for that day. A succession, or exit, plan outlines who'll take over your business when you leave.

A good succession plan enables a smooth transition with less likelihood of disruption to operations. By planning your exit well in advance you can maximize the value of your business and enable it to meet future needs. Make sure your succession plan is attainable - set a realistic timetable and measurable milestones along the way and stick to them.

  • Contact your nearest Business Enterprise Centre for free advice and support.

  • Consult your nearest Small Business Field Officer for free general advisory services to small business.

  • Your industry association may be able to assist - search directory for contact details.

  • Get professional advice from a business adviser, accountant or solicitor.

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Business Tips

Some tips on how to avoid business failure:

  • Don't underestimate the capital you need to start up the business.

  • Understand and keep control of your finances - income earned is not the same as cash in hand.

  • More volume does not automatically mean more profit - you need to get your pricing right.

  • Make sure you have good software for your business, software that provides you with a good reporting picture of all aspects of your business operations.

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