How to Start a Small Business from Home in 6 Simple Steps
If you’ve been thinking about starting a new business, your timing is perfect – especially if you would like to start a small business from home. Nearly one million Australians are running home-based businesses, and that number continues to grow every day. With so many people launching their own ventures, it’s more important than ever to put together a plan before you go live with your business. Below are six simple steps to help you start a small business from home.
Step One: Choose a business venture that suits your strengths and resources
For some people, this first step is the most challenging aspect of starting a small business from home. You may be excited about the idea of starting your own company, but not quite certain about the type of business you want to start. Before you dive into the deep end of the pool to begin establishing your business, ask yourself these three questions to make sure you are choosing a business venture that is a good match for your strengths and resources:
- “Do I feel deeply passionate about this business venture?
- “Do I have the industry expertise needed to manage this business?”
- “Do I have the time, space, and resources required to run this business?”
Step Two: Define your target market
With your small business idea firmly in mind, it’s time to think about who may need or want the products or services you are offering. This process of narrowing your focus to a core group of prospects is called defining your target market. For example, if you plan to launch an online tutoring service, here are some points to consider:
- Target age range(s): Define whether you would like to work with school-age children, teenagers, adult students, or senior learners.
- Subject matter: Most professional tutors specialise in one or more subjects, such as mathematics, reading, or a foreign language.
- Cultural and linguistic skills: A growing number of tutors are working with English as a Second Language (ESL) students.
Step Three: Register and obtain required licences
“Using your home as a place of business means you need to comply with particular regulations. These can be set by your state, territory and local governments. The registrations and licences you need for your business will vary depending on your industry. If you have a home-based business, you still need to register for a business name, ABN and required business licences and permits.” – Australian Government, business.gov.au
Launching a small business from home does not make you exempt from standard business practices in Australia. Set aside time to apply for any licences or permits you may need and then register your business. This will help ensure that you comply with tax obligations.
Step Four: Prepare your business plan
Some people think they can skip over the formality of a business plan because their business will be small and run out of their home. In reality, every aspiring business owner in Australia should prepare a business plan to organise their progress and help keep them on track to achieving their goals. A compelling business plan can also help you secure a loan if you require financial backing. Here are some key sections your business plan should include:
- An executive summary: This is the most important section of your plan. It should be a short, concise overview of your business and goals.
- A financial plan: Your revenue forecasts should be included in this section, in addition to how you intend to spend money from investors.
- A market analysis: This section provides statistics or figures that support the need for the service or product you plan to sell.
- A staffing plan: Whether you plan to start a one-person home business or to hire employees, you need to include their bios in this section.
- A strategic marketing plan: This section describes the advertising activities and digital strategies you will use to promote your home business.
Step Five: Assemble a winning team
“You no longer need an arsenal of resources and an army of employees to get something done. You can be nimble, with a small efficient team maneuvering your industry and creating value.” – Co-founder and CEO of BackPac Social Activism
Winning teams can range in size from one to one-hundred thousand. And if you think you need to have a team of employees for your business to succeed, then think again. According to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, 61 percent of Australian businesses are sole traders who have no employees. The next largest sector is micro businesses, which have four or fewer employees and account for 27 percent of all businesses.
Having a strong founding team is just as crucial and, in many ways, is the lifeblood of any business. – Dirk Steller – Seed Space founder and managing partner.
Whether you plan to launch your business as a sole trader, or you plan to hire one or more employees, it’s up to you to develop clear job descriptions and ensure your employees have the tools they need to perform their jobs. If you’re not sure where to start with the hiring process, the Commonwealth of Australia provides a handy “Hiring Employees Checklist” you can use as a guide.
Step Six: Go live!
From the day you decide to start a small business to the day you actually launch your business can seem like an eternity. But with the proper planning, you can help avoid major hiccups when you decide to go live with your home business. Here are some other tips to help you enjoy success when you go live:
- Make sure your website is operating smoothly and make sure web visitors can successfully reach you online
- Consider going live on a Friday to give yourself the weekend to work out any kinks you experience on Day 1
- Begin promoting your launch on social media roughly 30 days before you plan to go live
- Offer special incentives to your first 10-20 customers
The Key to a Bright Financial Future for Your Home Business
Starting a small business from home will surely rank as one of the most rewarding moments in your life. By following the six steps above, you can pave the way for your small home business to make some big waves as you move forward.
To discover how you can keep your business on the path to success, we invite you to contact us at Nationwide Super. We call ourselves the ‘Small Business Super Business’ because we’re here to look after the superannuation needs of millions of people, just like you, who work in, and run small businesses right around Australia.