Business Starters Checklist

This checklist will help you plan and determine if your idea is worth pursuing.

1. Your first step

Don't know where to start? Then book yourself into a free Business Basics workshop.

Business Basics will guide you through the steps involved with starting and running your own business. It will also help you to figure out:

  • why do I want to start my own business?
  • will running a business give me what I'm looking for?
  • do I have the right skills and experience to make this business a success?

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2. Will it work?

Research your business idea to make sure there is a demand for your products or services. For example:

Assess and manage your risk. What are the key risks that could have a negative influence on your business and how can you reduce their impact?

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3. Choose your business structure

Determine the legal structure of your business. The best business structure for your business will depend on a number of factors including number of owners, risk, liability and tax rate. Learn about these different business structures:

Seek professional advice from your accountant on the best structure for your situation.

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4. Regulations and protections

Register a business name or a company name with the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC).

Register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to get an:

Identify necessary business licences and permits.

For those businesses planning to have a website register a domain name

Contact IP Australia to protect:

Contact an insurance broker to determine what insurances your business will need.

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5. Employing Staff

Check which industrial relations system applies to your business - the WA system? or national industrial relations system?

Check your obligations towards staff, including insurance, occupational health and safety, and minimum conditions of employment.

  • Arrange superannuation payments for yourself and your employees (compulsory even for some contractors).

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6. Location and leasing

Determine the most cost-effective and practical location for your business. For example:

Read and review all the relevant documentation before signing a lease agreement.

Download our free eBook guides to leasing commercial property or call the SBDC commercial tenancy specialist on 13 12 49.

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7. Money matters

Analyse your current financial situation. Can you afford to start this business?

Don’t be baffled by profit and loss statements, balance sheets or cash flow statements. Make them work for you and book into an Understanding Your Business Financials Workshop

We also help you with examples and templates that you can download:

  • Determine if your business needs any additional funding by completing the Establishment Expenses spreadsheet.
  • Prepare a 12-month sales forecast using the Sales Forecast spreadsheet.

Open a business bank account.

Set up a financial records management system. You can also use Excel spreadsheets to start with.

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8. Marketing

Determine your unique selling proposition Why will your customers buy from you and not your competitors?

  • Identify your target markets (for example, who is your product or service aimed at?) and determine the characteristics of these target markets.
  • Create a brand for your business that matches these target groups - logo, colour theme, website, and culture - and then build awareness of your brand within these target markets.

Make it easy for yourself and book into a Spreading the Word - Marketing your Business workshop, where you'll learn how to:

  • do your market research
  • identify your unique point of difference
  • develop your business brand
  • profile your target markets
  • understand the value of your customers
  • outline your key marketing objectives
  • determine your best marketing strategies
  • set a marketing budget
  • monitor your marketing.

The Marketing Tips and Tricks section in our Tourism BOOST online guide offers a variety of adaptable examples and templates for:

- traditional advertising
- brochures
- how to write a media release
- email marketing
- websites
- search engine optimisation
- social media
- the mobile revolution
- a marketing action plan.

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9. Building your support team

Find an accountant to assist with business direction and taxation.

Find a lawyer to assist with business contracts and legal issues.

Join the relevant industry association or body to gain better understanding and support.

Join relevant business networks to build a support team and spread the word about your business.

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10. What's next?

Use all the information gathered through this checklist to prepare a practical, workable business plan (we also have a great 12 Step Business Plan workshop).

Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed) goals for your business.

  • Save time and energy by attending workshops to help you take the right steps.
  • Buy business books to build your knowledge and sign up to business e-newsletters and blogs.

Call 13 12 49 to book a one-on-one appointment with one of our specialist advisers, or contact your local Small Business Centre.

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