We all want to avoid non-essential costs when starting a business.

The good news is, there are some amazing free resources available to get you started on your business journey. Here are some of the best.

1 - Free Starting a Business workshop

If you are new to business, our free Starting a Business workshop is the best place to start. You’ll cover the key steps from initial assessment and looking at your suitability to run a business, to financing your idea, and identifying sales opportunities with one of our experienced business presenters.

You’ll also receive lots of hints and tips on where to find more detailed information and advice on how to start a business.

Don’t just take our word for it – previous attendees like Genneva have given this comprehensive workshop a five star review:

“The SBDC Starting a business workshop is a MUST DO for anyone wanting to start their own business. It offers great guidance, practical advice and where you can get support. Highly recommended!!”

The Starting a Business workshop is available both online and in person, and best of all it won’t cost you a cent. Find out more and book your place.

2 – Access to leading market research

When checking the viability of your new business idea, it’s very useful to have access to quality, recent research. Market research and industry data can help you to understand the latest trends and future outlook for your industry, but it can be time consuming and expensive to acquire this information.

As a benefit to WA business owners, the SBDC team can provide you with free access to the industry-leading IBIS World market research and industry reports which contain information to help you make better business decisions. Our team can also provide access to local benchmarking data so you can see how your net profit compares with industry averages.

You can request access to these reports using the LiveChat feature on our website.

3 – Business licence reports

You might already know that certain businesses need licences and permits to operate, which need to be obtained from different regulators, such as State and local government authorities.

The best way to both save yourself time in finding this information, and make sure you are getting accurate advice, is via our online Business Licence Finder. This powerful tool includes a database of all Western Australian local governments, as well as state and national licences that may apply to you.

The comprehensive tool will ask you a few simple questions to produce a customised report of the licences you need for your business, where to get them and how much they cost. Even better – it only takes five minutes and is free to use.

Generate your free report using our Business Licence Finder.

4 – Business building resources

Our suite of free business templates, tools and guides are essential when planning your new venture.

You can get a head start on your business plan, marketing plan, cash flow forecast and much more, using done-for-you templates.

The free guides will also help you build your knowledge across a range of business topics, from finance to marketing. One of the useful topics offered is how to choose professionals to support your business, such as accountants, lawyers, lenders and website professionals.

Download our free resources and start planning today.

5 - Starting a business checklist

Do you love ticking off a ‘to do’ list? Our free business starters’ checklist will guide you through the early stages of starting your business so you don’t miss any essential steps. The list highlights how to get started and where to seek help along the way.

See our steps to starting a business checklist.

6 - Free personalised advice

If you need advice, it makes sense to get it from someone who understands business. We offer free, confidential business advice across a range of areas including assessing new business ideas, business planning, and marketing. We also offer specialised advice on areas such as leasing commercial premises.

Business owners including Joy have found our business advisory service invaluable.

“Reliable, quality advice and guidance. The most helpful part of this service is the fact that friendly, professional staff answer the phone and are able to respond to your query on the spot! This is a rare jewel! Thank you.”

You can contact our team of experienced business advisers on 133 140, use the live chat option on our website or fill in our enquiry form to request a call back.

If you're in regional Western Australia, you can also access advice through your SBDC Regional provider. These local services, provided by advisers who are part of your community, are available from Esperance and the Great Southern through to the Kimberley.

7 - Business networking

Business networking is a strategy used by many new businesses to build community and referral networks, but there is often a cost attached to these opportunities.

The SBDC’s private Facebook Group I’m a small business owner in Western Australia offers a free opportunity to connect with, seek advice to and collaborate with other local business owners. With more than 15,000 members, it’s one of the most active business communities in WA!

Ask to join our Facebook Group.

Looking for more free help?

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Starting and growing
10 January 2024