Taking the leap to start your own business? These 10 tips will help get you off to a good start.
1. Know your niche
Be very clear about why you do what you do, and why your service is different to other businesses. Be inspired by your vision, as this is what will connect customers to your passion for the service or product you offer.
2. Recognise you are connected to a community
No entrepreneur achieves success alone. Each business is supported by a thriving eco-system of suppliers, partners, customers and clients. When you recognise that you collectively are contributing to a bigger cause, you will feel much more supported in your journey to being a successful business.
3. Know your ideal customers and clients
Have a really strong sense about who your ideal customers and clients are. At the start, while you might be willing to take business from anyone, it is a good idea to understand how your pricing, offer and service to these customers will (or will not) grow your customer base. Is the potential customer aligned to your business ethos? Can the initial sale grow into more of a partnership?
4. Register for GST
You can register for GST on the Australian Taxation Office’s website. Go to www.ato.gov.au.
5. Open a separate business account
Keep your personal and business transactions separate with a business account1 – this will make tax time easier and your future accountant will thank you.
6. Know how you will accept payments.
How will people pay you? Will you receive money via bank transfer, EFTPOS, a merchant terminal or another device2? You want to make sure the payment method is safe and secure. You can take a look at our payment methods.
7. Test your site with real people
If you test your website with real people, you will be able to tell when something isn’t clear or if there is a design issue which may stop them from buying from you. A quick update with your website designer or in your website platform can save lots of questions down the track.
8. Know how to close sales
You may have a great product or service and you are going to need confidence to successfully close sales with customers. Figure out exactly why a customer will choose you and ensure you can communicate this strongly. Some businesses engage a coach to help them learn top sales techniques.
9. Set up your invoices
You will want to give your invoices a professional look and feel to own your value as a business. Add your logo, include your business account details for payment and set the payment terms for when your customer’s invoice is due. If you are registered for Westpac Online Banking and have a Westpac Business One Low Plan bank account or Business One High Plan bank account, you might want to try our free invoicing tool, called Biz Invoice. This tool lets you create, send and track invoices for your business with Westpac Live online banking. You can also send your customers payment reminders, track when your invoices are paid and if your accountant or bookkeeper has third party access to your account, they will see your invoices too3.
10. Be visible as a business to your network
Even if you are yet to land your first client or make your first sale, it is very important to be visible as a business to your network. Keep sharing your offer and value to people. This can take time before you start to see people instantly recognising you.
Hear why our business customers chose us
Sasha speaks about how her business went from 50 to 1,500 swimmers.
Things you should know
1. Terms and Conditions, fees and charges apply with respect to Westpac’s transaction and savings accounts and Online Banking facility. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors before acting on it. Read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and before deciding.
2. Applications for merchant services are subject to approval. Terms and conditions and other fees and charges apply. Full details are available on request.
3. Terms and Conditions, fees and charges apply. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors before acting on it. Read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement, the and , before deciding.
This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon. This information including any tax information provided in this article should be used as a guide only. We recommend that you seek independent professional legal and tax advice about your specific circumstances.