growing our businesses together

Starting a business

Starting any kind of business requires thorough research and planning. There is a great deal of information available to assist people to do this and also a number of small business management courses available through TAFEs, local councils and private providers. A good place to start is www.business.vic.gov.au which is full of information for small businesses. Some other questions you should be asking...

Insurance

Do you  need insurance, inevitably the answer is yes. Even if you work from home. Have you thought of how you will manage if illness or injury prevents you from working over an extended period of time and have you considered income protection insurance?

Tax
Get your head around taxes, particularly first year and the second, which often come at the same time. If you are working from home you may be able to claim a proportion of your household costs such as rates, power and water, as business tax deductions for tax purposes. Be aware also of what the Capital Gains Tax implications of this are when you sell your house?

OH&S
Does your work environment have adequate space and storage
requirements? Is it a safe place to work? Even if your business is a basic office with a desk and computer, you'll need to consider proper lighting, ergonomically correct seating, and so on.

Support services
Do you have reliable access to the services needed by your business: broadband and mobile phone access, courier services, ease of access to suppliers and clients? Have you access to reliable and competent computer support?

Marketing and promotion
Have you planned and budgeted for the development of a professional image? What strategies will you use to promote your business to your target market?

Business networks
Are you aware of local business networks that you can join? Working on a new business can sometimes be quite isolating from both a personal and a business perspective. Your local network can provide you with information, support and potential business allies. Much of this is common sense. However it is important not to underestimate the impact of not getting these questions dealt with before you start. You should also be realistic about the funds you need to get your business started and to support you until you start to make a living from it.

So take the time to do your research, talk to professional advisers and other home-based business owners, and make sure you know exactly what you are getting into. Make sure your decisions are well informed. A great place to start is the Nillumbik Business Network.

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