How to start a new business – tips from small business owners        

5th July 2021

Starting a new business and don’t know what your next move should be? Taking the plunge to start a small business can be both exhilarating and terrifying – especially given the challenges you need to overcome  as a start-up. The good news is that you are not alone and there is plenty of help at hand when it comes to setting up a business in Australia. 

BOQ is unique in that our owner-managed business model means that 60 per cent of our branches are owned by the managers who run them. As small business owners themselves, they know what setting up a small business takes, and part of their job is to support local business owners with business banking solutions and advice to help them achieve their goals.

Here our business banking specialists share their top tips for setting up a small business.

Write a business plan

American businessman, radio host and author, Dave Ramsey famously said, “A goal without a plan is just a dream” and many of BOQ’s Owner-Managers would agree. Often SME business owners will tend to write a business plan only with applying for a business loan or other business funding front of mind. Instead, try to focus on what your business goals are, what steps are required to get you there and what support you need. 

Owner-Manager of BOQ North Sydney, John Dickson, says, “I have learned that a business plan provides a structure of what my business goals are across the many facets of the day to day business we run. It is a living, breathing document that requires constant referencing with the discipline and ability to be flexible enough to adapt to changes both within your business and in your industry”.

Aligning your business plan with what you will actually be delivering to your customers is vitally important. The demands of working in your business to appease regulators and stakeholders (both internally and externally) can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort that is spent working on your business. It’s easier said than done, which is why having the right business structure, setting effective business goals , and hiring and retaining the best people are all crucial to the success of your business plan.

Tip: Take the time to seek advice from a small business finance expert or accountant who can provide you with advice on how to write a business plan, and provide you with accounting tips for managing your cash flow and government support for small business.

Get the business funding you need 

Whether you are starting a new business, launching an online business, setting up a business from home or looking to buy a business that already exists, you will probably need some sort of business financing to achieve your business goals and keep your finances on track. 

From applying for a small business loan to securing equipment finance for new machinery or getting the right insurance for your business, there are several solutions to help you manage your cash flow.

Smart cash flow management  is not a matter of ‘set-and-forget’ and needs to be frequently monitored.  Maintaining several sources of cash flow reserves and making sure you allow for business tax return obligations will help to keep your cash flow in check.

Owner-Manager of BOQ Hobart, John Hicks, adds that, “Preparing a profit and loss budget when you write a business plan will help any start up business understand what level of income is needed – and what costs are associated with running a small business – in order to reach their break-even point (BEP)”.

As part of your small business accounting processes it is also important that you adequately plan for a number of business activities including applying for a business name,  paying invoices, understanding payment terms and preparing the relevant documents for your business tax return.

Ask for help

Starting a business can feel lonely, but it really doesn’t have to. According to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, there are more than 2.3 million small businesses in Australia  – all facing similar challenges. 

Owner-Manager of BOQ North Sydney, John Dickson understands this and regularly seeks out business to business support  from those who can offer guidance or act as a sounding board for new ideas. “Whether you are a sole operator or have a business partner, there are times we all need to be held accountable. And at times you may need a business mentor. Most SME business owners generally love to help others, so find successful people and ask for their help,” John said.


Contact us to find out more about how BOQ Business can support your small business


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