There's little argument that the Aussie entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, and the success of some of the country's SMEs can be a great inspiration for the next generation of business owners.
That said, speak to any of the founders of those two million companies and you'll likely hear the same thing - starting a small business can be full of challenges.Businesses in Australia are as varied as the people that run them. The Australian Bureau of Statistics claims that there are over two million actively trading businesses across the nation, and a staggering 97 per cent of those employ less than 20 people.
From establishing your company premises and hiring the right staff to setting up your business phone systems and advertising your new product to customers, there's a lot involved with starting from scratch. Here are some key tips for starting your small business.
The best laid plans
So, you've got an idea for an exciting new business, and you're ready to dive in and get it all underway. Your first step, one of the most important you will make, is formulating a business plan. Just how much your plan will resemble your company when it actually starts is up in the air at this stage, but it's best to start with at least an idea of where you would like to be heading.
Researching your particular market, doing some financial forecasting and growth planning, even setting a few quarterly or annual goals are all possible elements you'll include in your business plan. Be aware, however, that things are subject to change as you encounter unexpected bumps in the road - being flexible and adaptable is crucial for a small business in the early stages.
Being flexible and adaptable is crucial for a small business in the early stages.
Keep everyone in the loop
Even if you are planning to be the only employee of your new small business, you will still need to speak to other people to get yourself on your feet. This means lawyers, advisors, investors, accountants - anyone who has a part to play in establishing your SME.
The early phases of your company are a great time to put in place a solid communications strategy to carry through after you have opened for business. Forbes contributor Alan Hall notes that skilled communication is one of the most vital traits all successful businesspeople have, so make sure you speak to everyone you need to, when you need to.
Your small business can't exist in a vacuum, and involving all stakeholders from the get-go can pay dividends down the line.
Look to the future
If you're starting a business this far into the 21st century, it stands to reason that you will want 21st century systems in place to future-proof as much as you can. According to Flying Solo, 40 per cent of Australian small businesses are online most or all of the day, and 67 per cent report constant use of smartphones.
Similarly, the rate at which Australian SMEs are adopting cloud-based technologies and VoIP phone systems is also growing. Keeping abreast of all the latest innovations can give your company an edge over those which have been around for longer and are perhaps a little behind the curve.
Whatever industry your new small business is destined for, setting clear goals, involving others in the process and preparing yourself for growth are some of the key elements for success. Having the right small business phone system is a great place to start, so give Fonality a call today and see just how easy a state-of-the-art communications system can be.