5 Top Resources for Australian Start-Ups
A start-up is a small business that seeks to introduce an innovative product or service into the market – a restaurant isn’t a start-up and neither is a supermarket.
Although no longer a start-up (it’s too big now), transport service Uber is an example of a start-up that filled a need others hadn’t thought of filling.
Here are some top resources and tools to help you launch your start-up.
Start-up structure, funding and resources
1. If you’re not sure about how big your company’s going to be, or you want to test the waters before committing, you don’t have to register a business name. Instead you can register as a sole trader, which means you need an ABN (Australian Business Number). You get this for free through the ATO. The ATO and the Australian Investment and Securities Commission (ASIC) provide lots of useful business advice online
2. Funding for start-ups usually comes from the business owner or from venture capitalists – people who make their money by investing in new businesses. Sometimes friends or family will loan you funds to be paid back once your business starts making money.There’s also crowd sourcing, where you go online to sites like Pozible to raise money from interested strangers.
Because this source is largely unregulated, the Australian Government in this year’s budget included $7.8 million in funding over four years for a crowd-sourced equity funding scheme. In this model of funding, investors pay to own a slice of a company, which gives them more incentive to invest.
3. Federal and state governments also get involved in funding – searching business.gov.au uncovers schemes such as First Start Loans and Individual Funds. Small business grants from government can also include free advice on how to set up your start-up, so you don’t need to feel isolated.
How to create a professional office system
4. When you do go to someone requesting a grant or loan they will want to see your business plan. If your business is up and running, they may visit your office to see how you do business. Even if you don’t have staff, you can still give the impression that you are a much bigger business than you are by using internet-based tools.
eVoice’s eReceptionist suite of services integrates toll free numbers (e.g. 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers) with your existing phone system.
Call Distribution, Call Forwarding, Voice-to-Email and a Customised Greeting are included in eReceptionist features. This means that no matter where you are, or how busy, potential investors will be answered professionally and put through to where they need to go.
5. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that apps can help you set up and run your start-up. Try Mint, which collates information from your bank accounts and investments so you can keep track of day-to-day spending. Social network app Buffer will upload your posts to multiple social media sites throughout the day according to an optimum timeframe.
It could be a couple of years before you begin to see light at the end of the tunnel for your start-up. In the meantime, hard work and careful planning with the right resources will smooth the path.