Before the Office: A Guide to Getting Your SME Off the Ground

The early days of starting a business can be a very exciting time for entrepreneurs. With so many possibilities just lurking on the horizon, it is not uncommon for beginners to find the start of their entrepreneurial journey somewhat daunting at the same time.

Startup founders working in a coworking space

If you’re someone who is looking to ensure that your startup prospers, then this is the article for you. Today, we have a look at 6 fundamental basics that any new business owner needs to master in order to get your SME off the ground. Read on to find out more!

1. Define Your Startup

Before you can even look into finding a coworking space or marketing your business, you are going to have to define your startup. What exactly does this mean? Well, it is important that all new business owners take the time to assess how much time, resources and money they are willing to allocate to their SME.

Factors that will contribute to these decisions include whether you are looking to operate on an e-commerce basis or at a brick and mortar store, your business model, target market and all the other basic fundamentals of starting a business. Whilst it may be tempting to rush through these critical aspects, we highly recommend the slow and steady route — that is, if you want to win the race in the long term!

2. Get Expert Advice

There is no replacement to the amount of value expert advice can offer your SME. The best way to understand exactly what you are getting into is to ask around and garner advice from experts who have been in your shoes once upon a time.

In order to avoid making the same mistakes as others may have, it is important that you get to know other, more seasoned business owners who will be able to help you in building a successful and long term business. You could even head over to platforms such as LinkedIn where you will be able to connect and network with other like minded small business owners who may be able to offer you advice that helps your business thrive.

3. Focus On Your Customers and Competitors

In order to stand out of the crowd, you will have to focus on your customers and really figure out how you can meet their specific needs. Doing your market research and identifying competitors is a great way to figure out gaps in the market that your business can fill. How can you provide better products or services than your competitors?

Ensuring that you have a target market and all the means necessary to offer them value is key in ensuring the longevity of your business.

Entrepreneur analyzing finances

4. Work Out Your Costs

You know what they say, sometimes you need to spend money to make money. Starting your own business can take as much or as little capital amount as you are willing to invest. Some of the costs that you need to work out include salaries, overhead fees, marketing and equipment costs. Depending on your individual goals and business plan, costs will differ.

Regardless, ensuring that you have adequate finances is imperative and we always recommend that SME owners look towards business grants and initiatives that the government may be offering to new startups.

5. Develop Your Brand

Branding is everything in business, which is why devoting a significant amount of time and effort into developing your own personal brand is so important. Your brand is essentially how your business looks and feels, and involves factors such as logo design, website, signage, marketing collateral and online presence on social media.

Your website and social media profiles are especially important in 2020 as customers often explore these platforms in order to find out about your business and get a rough first impression on whether you are the business they want to work with.

6. Make it Official

Once you have mastered fundamentals 1-5, it is time to make your business official. You can now register your company and acquire your ABN which identifies your business to the taxation office. You will also need to apply for any relevant licences or registrations for your business.

For those who are dabbling in matters involving intellectual property, it would also be a good idea to trademark your ideas, design rights and patents early on in order to prevent anyone from stealing your ideas in the future. Once all of this is done, you’re ready to start trading!

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We hope that this article has given you some valuable knowledge about how you can endeavour to get your SME off the ground. All the best and congratulations on starting your very own business!

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