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Start a Business in Australia, the Practical Guide for 2024

November 5, 2023

There are many reasons why a person will want to start a business in Australia. It can be the financial rewards of running your own business. Perhaps the idea of being the boss of something you have created is a satisfying pursuit. You could have a great idea, product or service, that is just not available in the market. The team at Right Business Now understands it takes hard work and toil to start a business! We have put together Start a business in Australia, the practical guide for 2024 to provide practical business advice and steps to help you start your new business.

Business Adviser – Current Practice

Many business advisers recommend the first step to start a small business in Australia is to create a business plans. This can include determining what the legal structure the business should be as the first step.

Good advice, but this is the practical guide, so we are going to delve deeper. RBN will look into how you can start your business from ideas generation. We will explore the tools you can use, to the practical aspects of your business – customers, competition and your product or service offering.

The team behind Right Business Now built Australia’s first small business success platform to help business owners understand the complexity of starting and running their business. We want to share with you some of our thinking about starting a business. We have worked with more than 500 small businesses in Australia.

starting a business in australia right business now

New Business Idea’s to start your business!

You know you want to start a business, but not sure what your new business will be.
That’s ok! The team at Right Business Now have put together three ideas about how you can create your new business in Australia.

What industry knowledge do you have to start a new business?

So, you want to start a small business in Australia, but not sure what it will be. One of the first steps can be to think about what you have domain knowledge or industry expertise in, and how this industry or service can be improved.

Starting with what you know is the best first step. The question we challenge you with is:-

What can be done better in your industry?

Can you create an application that can disrupt, improve or revolutionise your industry? What is the unmet customer need in your industry? Is there a process that can be automated and monetised, or technology created, that streamlines a process and hopefully improve customer experience in your industry.

At this point, you’ve probably already come up with a couple of great ideas. You know problems that exist and should be fixed!

One needs to keep in the back of your mind – Will this make money for my business?

There are many ways to improve a product, service for an industry. The test is whether that improvement will make you money and generate revenue, and that is the question to answer.

A great example is Brian Chesky, who had an understanding of the travel industry, and used this understanding to found Airbnb. Brian Chesky realised that by allowing people to rent out their homes or rooms to travellers, there was an opportunity to disrupt the traditional travel industry built around booking hotel accommodation.

What is not working in everyday life?

The opportunity to start a business from your professional experience may not be there, and that’s ok. We challenge you to start thinking about your everyday and where you see problems and inefficiencies in your life. You will still be asking the same questions!

Can this be done better?

What is not working?

Is there a better customer experience?

List of New Business Ideas

Your mobile is your friend, and this can be used to start creating a list of business ideas, capturing your experiences that can be improved or work better. With great tools like Apple Notes and Samsung Notes at the ready, you can easily use the voice record function to take down small business ideas.

This is your everyday and we think about it when shopping, watching sports, at school, in the car, anything you are doing daily.

Don’t go to whether its viable straight away, just record your thoughts. Take time each week to review those thoughts. Idea generation is great, as what you are observing can lead to brainstorming of other ways your ideas can come to life. It will probably lead to more ideas. By sitting on the problem, it can help better synthesise the solution, or generate new ideas.

what is trending start a new business

What is Trending?

If you cannot think of a small business idea that will better your industry, and everyday life is not presenting problems requiring a business solution, it might be time to think more broadly.

There are great tools available to you to look at trends and what is going on in the world, as an opportunity for your new business.

Google Trends start a new business

Google Trends

Google trends is a tool that enables you to explore what people are searching for. You have the ability to see what topics are being searched on Google and how popular they are. This can be done by region, so you can make it specific to starting a business in Australia.

Amazon

Amazon “best sellers” is a great way to get ideas for your new business in Australia.

It is a particularly great idea generator if you are considering an ecommerce or selling a product online. The Amazon best sellers page is categorised into departments. This is a fantastic opportunity to look for products that are of interest to you, given there are more than thirty categories. You are more likely to focus on your new business if it is a hobby or an interest!

Amazon best sellers is updated frequently, so don’t forget to start that list to keep track of those business ideas.

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Trends

There is also a weekly publication called Trends that talks about what is going on now! It provides access to business ideas, supported by a community that can help you make your small business happen.

Pinterest start a new business

Pinterest Predicts

Right Business Now thinks that Pinterest is a great tool to understand trends. If you are starting a business, you can use Pinterest to explore what’s trending. Pinterest provides trends presented across categories and also audiences.

Pinterest also has a “Pinterest Predicts” report that details emerging trends in 2024. We like Pinterest because with an account, you are presented trends that matter to you based on your profile.

Alibaba.com

Like Amazon best sellers, Alibaba.com is a business that offers a marketplace to connect merchants and consumers.

Alibaba.com is a versatile channel for small business owners seeking novel business ideas. Through its expansive marketplace, complete with a large number of suppliers that offer diverse products and services, it offers a tool for identifying opportunities to start a new business.

The platform’s global reach and extensive database enables users to explore markets, uncover emerging trends, and connect with potential partners or suppliers worldwide.

Alibaba.com

Libraries of the Future

A bit left field, but the American Library Association has a section called the Libraries of the Future. They identify trends and help understand how trends are developing and most importantly, why they matter. It is constantly being updated, and there is a lot of information, but a great reference.

A resource to help you start a business in Australia is Tradelle. This is a paid resource that offers support to help entrepreneurs and brands grow. It provides product research and fulfillment, with product ideas.

Start a Business in Australia Ideas

If you are still struggling for ideas to start a business in Australia, there is a great article from Hubspot that might help! There is also some more ideas Business News.

We are not necessarily telling you to pick one of these small business ideas, it can just be a useful tool to help with the thought process.

How can I validate my new business idea?

When you want to start a business, there are several ways you can validate your new business idea. One way is to understand what others are talking about.

There are ways to research your business idea and we have presented a couple for you to consider.

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Quora for Questions and Answers

Quora is an informative website that presents answers to questions. The questions form discussions with people providing answers.

When using Quora, you need to keep in mind that there is no fact checking of the answers and there are those that use the question and answer system to promote their business. Having said that, we are trying to evidence a need in the market for your product or service, keeping that in mind as part of your research.

Use Reddit for Small Business Research

Reddit is a great way to research the validity of your business idea. As Reddit is organised into communities (subreddits), you need to identify the “subreddit” that is closest to your new business idea.

reddit_validate_business_idea

The next step is to observe discussions and identify common pain points and look for questions that are being asked. We are trying to validate your business idea so want to find people who have the same problem.

You can get greater insights by participating in the discussions! You need to ask questions and share your insights to help ideate the business idea. You can also search for previous discussions related to your small business idea in Australia.

Your business idea may be a variation or improvement of something that currently exists. If you can identify competitors or similar businesses, analyse discussions and feedback as part of your research.

The next step to start a business in Australia – Market Size

So, you think you have a great idea for a new business, what’s next?

The first step is to validate your business idea. This is where we need to go deeper and the question we want answered is – will your new business sell to consumers or sell to other businesses? Knowing who you sell to you can start to think about “What is the market size for your product or service?”

Australian Bureau of Statistics – Business Data

How do you find this out? If you want to find the size of your market, there is free data available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. If you are customers are a business (B2B) then you can look for the different industries and detail how many customers there are.

There is also demographic information, gender, age and location data that can help you understand how many consumers are available for you to sell to. We have an article you may want to read located here.

We understand it can be hard to make sense of this data, Right Business Now includes a tool with an intuitive search engine that can present the relevant data.

Business competition – What do you know?

When you start a business, we recommend putting energy into thinking about the competition. We discussed differentiation, and knowing the competition will help with your differentiation. At a high level, describe the competition in your industry?

  • Is price a key component of competition?
  • How easy is it for new entrants to compete against your business?
  • How will your business compete?

start a business competition

Understanding the competition will lead to an understanding of how you will compete!

  • Will you be providing a more specialised product or service?

Perhaps it is the type of customer that you will compete for! By selling to a more select target audience, you can change the competitive dynamic in your industry.
Competition comes with risk and when you start a business, you should think about the risks of the industry you are entering.

  • Will technology disrupt the current state-of-play?
  • Is there a dependency on key-people within your business?

We have a module in Right Business Now that is dedicated to competition. In this module we look at the characteristics of competition including how a business competes, what the market leader is doing and what the competition does to achieve business success.

Small business differentiation

We now have an idea for a new business, and we have validated that there is a big enough market for our product. Next, we need to think about how we will differentiate our new business.

We want to know if the new business is different from anything in the market now. Hopefully it is different and if so, how? Sometimes your new business may not differ to existing products or services currently available. Thinking about how you will differentiate in the market can be centred around the features of your new business and its products or services.

Product and Service Differentiation

Differentiation can take many forms.

  • For products, it can be features such as size, colour, performance.
  • For services, it can be your customer service, expertise, customisation or ease of use.

Noticed we did not mention price. When a small business competes on price, it will put pressure on business profits. You do not want to compete on price. New business owners should focus on creating value for their product or service and building great customer relationships.

The understanding and tools a business owner can use to differentiate your product or service is included in the Right Business Now platform.

Small Business SWOT analysis

The team at Right Business Now think that a SWOT analysis is a practical way to validate your business idea. It focuses on the strengths and weaknesses for your new business. It also focuses on the external opportunities, together with the threats to your small business.

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SWOT Analysis – How does a small business complete one?

As this is the practical guide to start a business in Australia, we will keep it short.

At this stage, we want you to think about the following:-

Strengths – When identifying strengths, consider:

  • What skills or resources will your business possess?
  • What aspect of your new business will customers mention?

Weaknesses – What could you be at a disadvantage with your new business?

  • What will you need to enhance in your new business?
  • What could customers be dissatisfied with?

Opportunities – What are the opportunities for your new business?

  • What is the unmet customer needs your new business will fulfill?
  • How will you transform your new industry?

Threats – What external factors can impact your new business?

  • Are there economic factors that could impact your new business?
  • Will regulations or industry changes pose a challenges?

SWOT analysis, when done right, is a great tool to help with your plan to start a new business. Right Business Now has simplified the process to delving into a SWOT  analysis by delivering a useful tool.   There is more information about how our SWOT analysis can help here.

What is the key skill you should have to start your business in Australia?

There are many skills required to start and run a business in Australia. In your new business journey, you will be presented with many tools and ideas to help you along the way. It could be you focus on online marketing, SEO, product development and sales, all worthwhile skills to learn. The team at Right Business Now recommend that the learning of project management skills is paramount to business success.

starting a business in australia project management

Project Management Skills for your New Business

Project management skills will enable you to better deliver and manage the tasks required. Effective Project management help business owners better plan, execute, and monitor the activities needed to start and build a successful business in Australia.

Time poor is often used to describe business owners! Strong project management skills will provide an efficiency in allocating your resources and manage your time and multiple responsibilities. With strong project management skills, you can set clear goals and objectives for what you are wanting to accomplish from your business.

You don’t need to go thru a formal certification to develop project management skills. There are great options to build your project management skills. The Project Management Institute offers free course to help you get started learning this skill.

How do I fund my new business?

One of the biggest impediments to starting a business in Australia is funding!

It can be a slow and exhaustive process to get your business of the ground, and you have a list of things to do with your newly found project management skills.

So how are you going to fund this business?

This is the practical guide to starting a business in Australia so telling you to go to investors is probably not the first option? Unless it is the greatest new business idea in the world, investors will probably want to see some runs on the board.

Keep Working

You see, if you can fund your new business on your own, your will enjoy a greater benefit of your new business success in the future. It also means if you need to bring in investors in the future, the more progressed your business is the greater the value of the business.

The team at Right Business Now recommends you continue to work while you are starting your business. This may require help during the day and will put a load on your time and personal life, but our research shows that it is the most common way to fund your business – build your business will you are still employed!

Small Business Loans

Loans are an option and borrowing money from a bank or non-bank lender is a common option for new business owners. Unless you are putting property up as security, it will be an ‘unsecured loan’ and the interest rate can be higher. There is a great tool provided by Canstar that can help.

If you can secure a business loan against property will always be the cheapest means to borrow funds for your small business.

Credit Card for Small Business Funding

Now, one that we do not necessarily recommend is funding your new business with credit cards. It is common to use credit cards to get you started, as credit cards are easy to obtain and only require a minimum repayment each month. Please keep in mind that you will be paying more than 20% annualised interest , and probably close to 25% to 29%.

Credit cards are unsecured loans, hence the higher interest rate. If you can avoid them – great! It is an option that new business owners have used to kick-start their business.

Crowd funding for new small business

There also exists platforms that facilitate crowd funding of your new business in Australia. Crowdfunding has emerged as a great opportunity for new businesses and startups seeking financial support. How crowd funding works is it involves raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. This is typically done thru platforms such as Kickstarter.  An Australian based crowd funding platform is Pozible.

The benefit of crowdfunding is that it allows new business owners and entrepreneurs to bypass traditional sources of funding like banks or venture capitalists. You are directly engaging with customers and supporters. This not only provides funds to start your business, but also serves as a powerful marketing tool. This is achieved by generating engagement with early adopters for your new product or service.

Crowdfunding can enable startups and new business owners to validate their business idea. It can gauge market and customer interest before you commit resources – both time and financial.

New Business Support

We understand that there are many facets, and a great deal of complexity, to start a business in Australia. Much of the information being presented is about the functional work such as registering business names and writing business plans. We think these steps can be required for business success, but there are more intrinsic work that will offer greater benefit to business owners.

new business support right business now

Many people start a small business course hoping to find the answers to realise their business dreams. They are often presented with information that is functional, but not overly practical. Right Business Now was created by small business owners for small business owners. We understand the problems that limited time and resources can place on the success of your business. Right Business Now was created as the resource tool to help your small business in Australia. We don’t just present information, we give you learnings and answers to small business questions, so your valuable time is spent thinking about what will make your business successful.

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Right Business Now was built by small business owners for small business owners!