Now is the perfect time to start your own business. Image curtesy of Unsplash.
Many have found themselves with more time at home and there's lots of uncertainty about the immediate future, however not all hope is lost; it's the perfect time to start your own business.
It's surprisingly easy to start a business in Australia, and besides achieving your dream of being your own boss and working from home, there are other financial benefits too.
Virtually anyone can create a legitimate business for less than $100 in five easy steps.
1) Apply for an ABN - Free
Apply for an Australian Business Number or ABN
and register your business. To start, you can just use your name.
2) Purchase a domain name - $14.95
Purchasing a domain name is easy. I use Go Daddy
because they have decent prices and access to many specialised domains however there are many companies selling domain names.
Any website builder offering a 'free' domain name will include their business name e.g www.mywebsite.weebly.com
within it, which hampers search results and looks unprofessional.
However, once you own a domain, it's yours (as long as you keep paying registration fees) and it can be linked to any website you build.
You'll need an ABN to purchase a com.au domain name but otherwise, it's as easy as buying a book on Amazon.
3) Create a website - $60
There's plenty of easy to use, drag and drop website builders like Wordpress
and Go Daddy
I've created websites using Go Daddy, Weebly and Wix but now I use Wordpress because they offer the most flexibility (if you want to launch a podcast, Wordpress allows you to include it in your site, but Weebly doesn't). Wordpress also has a built-in blog that makes it easy to gain new visitors to your site, with a couple of posts. Wix and Weebly are easy to use if you're technically challenged.
The basic Wordpress site builder package allows you to offer products for sale or memberships to your site, so you can start generating income from launch. You can always upgrade if your site grows and you need additional functionality.
4) Create Social Media Accounts - Free
With a laptop and the internet, you can work from anywhere. Image curtesy of Unsplash .
Create matching social media accounts on Facebook
, Reddit, YouTube
then set a date to launch your business. Create an online event, invite everyone you know, and livestream a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially launch your new business.
When you're setting up your accounts, opt for the business account, which gives you statistics on clicks, views and shares plus then you can create ads to help market your business.
With a business Facebook page, you can create a Facebook shop, and sell products directly without a website, however a website with a blog helps with search results and allows people to find your business organically, plus it looks professional.
5)Create Business Cards - $10 and Advertise $15
Create business cards for an inexpensive and easy way to advertise your business. You can make business cards at home, however, the perforated card stock is more expensive than purchasing ready-made business cards direct from Vistaprint
(which start from $10) and they have a bunch of templates you can use to design your perfect business card.
You can easily add-on additional marketing materials like car magnets, garden signs, banner's, tee-shirts and pens but don't get too carried away yet, just start with the basics.
With a Facebook Business page, you can quickly and easily create ads to market your business. You can set up specific groups to target, set a budget (either per day or total ad spend). There's a slider to see how much you could spend and your potential reach, however, it's good to start with a small budget, the minimum is $5 and run different ads to see which is more successful. After 2 days, if an ad is not performing, you can either stop it or change it to see if that creates more clicks.
Total outlay = $99.95.
Start a business from anywhere
Running a business does incur additional responsibilities with taxation including keeping records of income and expenditure, however, it can also offer rewards.
With an ABN you can create a free business account with GoGet
(car share service) which gives cheaper rates and gives you free additional drivers.
You can also create a Qantas Business Essentials
account using your ABN and earn double Qantas Frequent Flyer Points. For every flight booked, using your ABN you earn Qantas Points for your business as well as your regular frequent flyer points. Each year, you can nominate who gets your business frequent flyer points. There are other benefits like free membership to the Qantas Wine Club. which gives you bonus points and discounted alcohol, some with free delivery.
You can also save $5 on a Costco membership
with your ABN, which also gives you free advertising on the Warehouse Business Board.
With an ABN and the required certifications, you can get a Bunnings Trade Account
which gives you access to personalised service, discounts and more. However, even owner/builders can access this. Speak to Bunnings for more details.
Registering for GST is optional
if your business is earning less than $75,000 a year, however, if your business is GST registered, you can claim back the GST on any item you purchase for your business.
If you're GST registered, every quarter you must submit a Business Activity Statement or BAS to the Australian Tax Office, which is the income you've earned, the GST you've collected and the expenses you've occurred.
However, for any legitimate business expenses like laptops, (or specialised equipment for your business) that are for sole use by your business, you can obtain a refund of the GST portion which is 10% when you lodge your next BAS. There's also the instant asset write off.
Turn your dreams of being your own boss into a reality. Image curtesy of Pixabay.
Before starting a business, it's recommended you have a solid business plan with sufficient skills to conduct that business and obtain professional advice from your accountant or the ATO
, However, being a business owner, can be life-changing.
To succeed, a business must help solve a problem, have low overheads and high profits and be able to adapt to varying needs.
The more time you spend servicing customer's needs, the less time you have to make money. In an ideal world, your business should be able to carry on, without you so you're earning whilst you sleep. It's how Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates became the richest people on earth.
Now the billion-dollar question - What is your business going to be?
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