Business Start Up Specialist
Over the years we have literally helped hundreds of clients negotiate their way through the business start-up maze. We have identified the key elements you need to address in the start-up phase and they extend way beyond your choice of business structure, accounting software selection and various registrations.
B efore you decide on your business structure (sole trader, partnership, trust, company etc.) you need to consider asset protection, the potential admission of new partners and your eligibility for the discount capital gains tax concession. With accounting software the wrong choice can be disastrous. There are so many options with price tags to match and while we have a preference for programs like Cashflow Manager, Xero and MYOB we need to assess your business needs level of accounting skill before we make a recommendation. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach and incredibly, we still pick up new clients who have been using the same software since the introduction of GST and for thirteen years they have struggled to cope and paid excessive accounting fees to fix their computerised shoebox records. Part of our client brief is to minimise the cost of compliance and the right software is so important.
Of course, during the start-up phase there are simple things like GST, ABN and TFN registrations to complete and if you are employing staff you also have to consider HR issues plus register for WorkCover and the Superannuation Guarantee. According to 2011 Doing Business Report by the World Bank, Australia is the second easiest place in the world to start a business with entrepreneurs needing only two days to get a business registered and operational. However, before you start the registration process you need to assess the viability of the business which necessitates the preparation of budgets, forecasts and cash flows. This might mean identifying your best and worst case scenarios and potentially canning the idea or possibly refining the product, prices or services.
Make no mistake, starting or buying a business necessitates research, risk, passion and courage but the most important ingredient is planning. Clearly, the old saying, ‘people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan’ still applies. It remains both valuable advice and a warning for people intending to start a business. A business plan that outlines the 'big picture' for your business usually incorporates a marketing plan and supporting financial projections. We often give clients our start up expense checklist to identify all their business start-up costs and they usually get a shock when they miss items like branding expenses, signage and website costs just to name a few. (You can download a copy of this checklist from the resources section of our website). From there we help them produce revenue estimates and financial forecasts based on a number of assumptions. During this phase we play devil’s advocate by constantly asking ‘what if?’.
Over the years we have developed a number of practical tools and checklists to help clients fast track through the start-up phase. These are
very useful but courtesy of the GFC, technology and the internet, the business landscape in this country has changed. Websites are the 21st
century business card and depending on your target market, social media could be your most important marketing channel. The harsh reality is
that enthusiasm, money, hard work, talent or a great idea is not enough to guarantee success in business. You also need to have a marketing
plan and blueprint for the business.
Unfortunately many people starting or buying a business fail because they don't seek or receive the right professional advice from the outset. We are very proud of our reputation as a business start-up specialist and financial aspects aside, we enjoy helping clients with their marketing, branding, slogan, logo, website, search engine optimisation and social media strategy. Our role is to support and guide you through the process and it starts with the right opening moves including the right advice. Having assisted so many clients in your situation you can benefit from our experience.
Your marketing can be the difference between gloom and boom and one of our biggest points of difference compared to traditional accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with everything from your branding (business name, logo and slogan) through to your website and social media campaigns to win more referrals.
Thinking of Starting A Business?
We are passionate about your business success and to help our clients we have published a comprehensive guide titled 'Starting or Buying a Business'.
This 45 page booklet provides valuable information on a number of key issues that confront business start-ups including:
- Alternative Business Structures and their Taxation and Legal Aspects
- Essential Tax and Business Registrations when Starting or Buying a Business
- Employer Obligations including Superannuation, PAYG and WorkCover
- Record Keeping Requirements and Accounting Software Options
- Legal Issues including Wills, Contracts and Leases
- Permits & Registrations - Council & Government
- Buying a Business or Franchise
- Preparing a Business Plan
- Key Business Insurances
- Preparing a Cash Flow Budget
- Vehicle & Equipment Finance Options
- Alternative Methods of Claiming your Motor Vehicle Expenses
Full copies of the booklet are available from our offices.
If you're looking to start a business and want to get off to a flying start we invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You can expect practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice designed to help you build your business and grow your wealth. To book a time, contact us today on (03) 5995 3466 or complete your details in the box at the top right hand side of this page.