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Before you start

How to prepare yourself to start a new business

So you’ve got a business idea, settled on an approach and are ready to start your business.

This is an exciting time, but before you get ready to launch your new venture, ask yourself a few questions.

Is running a business right for you?

Being your own boss has its benefits. You get to make your own decisions and follow your passion. You could even provide the opportunity for someone else’s employment.

With that comes responsibility, and depending on your business, potentially long and irregular hours, including weekends. And, as the owner, ultimately the buck stops with you.

South Australia’s small businesses know this well. We are built on the efforts of people who have taken a risk and given it a go. People with drive and discipline, willing to make an effort to bring their business idea to reality.

If this describes you and your outlook, you’re in business, or you should be.

You might not have all the attributes now, but you can work on them – and outsource them to skilled staff when your business grows.

Having a network behind you, including supportive family and friends and a business, industry or personal mentor, can also make massive difference in the success of your business.

Essential business skills

These top 5 skills can help you succeed in business:

  • Decision-maker
  • Good time management
  • Organised
  • Networker
  • Drive

Testing your business idea

Having a good business idea is a sound starting point for success. But how do you know your idea is good?

The best way to make sure your idea is as good as you think is to check its viability. By asking a few questions, you can identify strengths and areas that need some work.

Start your viability checklist:

  • Is there a demand and customers for your product/service?
  • Are there many competitors in your space? Have you mapped/analysed your competition and your competitive advantage?
  • What are the capital costs required to startup and how are you funding them?

Choosing your business premises and location

Choosing where you set up your business has a big impact on its success, so it’s worth putting some thought into it.

Where and what kind of premises you choose depends on the type of business you’re planning to run.

You’ve got two key decisions:

1. Premises type

  • warehouses, manufacturing plants or storage facilities
  • retail premises
  • home offices for home-based businesses
  • shared commercial offices, hubs or co-working spaces
  • temporary premises, such as market stalls or pop-up businesses

2. Location

  • When you are choosing your locations consider these points:
  • is the area a known precinct for your products or services?
  • are you suppliers or distributors close by?
  • do the other businesses in the area complement yours?
  • can you afford to buy or lease the premises?
  • is the area a thriving business precinct with scope for future growth?

Before you sign a contract or lease

It is important to seek financial and legal advice to make sure you know what you’re signing up for – you can save your business time and money.

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