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5 tips from experienced business owners on starting a business

3-minute read

If you’re starting up a business, you may find there’s a lot you can learn from people who have experience in setting up businesses. We spoke to five business owners who bank with us and asked for their top lessons when someone starts up a business.

Key take-outs
  • Try to focus your energy in worthwhile directions
  • Endeavour to validate your idea before taking the leap of faith
  • Share your vision with a partner, your team, and/or a mentor
  • Ensure you have enough savings to get you through the start-up period

What are the steps to starting a business?

So, you’ve decided to be your own boss and turn your business idea into a reality. At this exciting time you’ll have a lot on your mind, including all the key steps when setting up a business, which include registering your business and applying for any tax numbers you need. As a part of that process you’ll also be thinking about choosing a business structure

But there are more emotional and practical things to consider too, such as health, support and financial wellbeing. Here’s what five of our business customers had to say about these topics:

1. Take care of yourself because you are the heart of your business

Amee Springall , who founded Love Raw Treats in 2015, thought business owners would be best to take care of themselves and be selective about where efforts are directed. From her experience, she said “don’t give all your time and energy away to people…save your time and energy for the people who really do want it.”

2. Validate your idea as much as possible

Ryan Meyer , Senior Regional Director APAC of General Assembly, encourages people with a business idea to “validate the idea as much as possible. There is always a leap of faith someone has to take if they are starting something from scratch, but nowadays it is possible to validate the idea as much as you can before you make that risky move into a start up.”

You’ll find some tips on how to validate a business idea in our 7 tips for attracting investors (and customers) to your business idea article.

3. Find someone who shares the vision for your business

Rolf Weber , Co-founder and Managing Director of Marley Spoon in Australia, recommends new business owners “have a close knit team that shares the vision and just works relentlessly towards achieving that vision.” He went on to say that it is “really important that a bunch of people have your back through the ups and downs of start-up life.”

4. Make sure you have enough savings for the first 18 months

Nicole Layton , Director of Insearch Talent Solutions, a recruitment firm in Sydney, suggested to “make sure you have enough savings not to earn any money for the first six months.” When you start your business, it can take time to get established and earn your first client.

5. Consider having a business mentor

Carolina Giraldo , Creative Director of Carolina Lifestyle Label, has nine fashion stores in Sydney. She told us about her business mentor experience. 

“Something that has helped me a lot through my business journey is having a mentor,” she said. “I’ve been extremely lucky to have a great mentor and it has been fantastic to learn from other people’s experiences.”


As you start your business, know there is a lot of support along the way from experienced business owners in your community. You might just find the solution to a problem by chatting to someone who has been there before. 

Look out for more inspiration and tips in the Starting a business section of our Help for your business pages.

Read more

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Taking the leap to start your own business? These 10 tips will help get you off to a good start.

5 reasons why you should have a business mentor

Finding a business mentor is an opportunity to learn from someone who has been through similar challenges to you.

4 benefits of being in business

While there are many risks to being in business, there are also strong reasons why you would want to be in business.

Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.