Six steps to get your business idea up and running

| October 18, 2019

Starting a business in Australia is easier than most people think and does not require a big financial commitment, according to the author of a new book on side gigs.

Melbourne financial expert and entrepreneur, Dr Steven Enticott, said there were many myths and misconceptions about going into business in Australia.

“People wrongly believe that starting a business is really hard and that it can’t be done without quitting your day job and spending bucketloads of money,” Dr Enticott said.

“The opposite is actually true – anyone can start a side gig in Australia. Most side gigs don’t require expensive infrastructure or equipment and can be built up progressively,” he said.

“Getting your side gig off the ground is really easy and can be done with little or no extra money.”

“For example, it’s free to get an ABN, set up an Ebay store or a PayPal account, or just begin a service. It doesn’t cost much to book a short appointment with your accountant for some honest feedback on your idea.”

Dr Enticott said Australia was one of the easiest and most tax effective countries in the world to start a business.

In his book, The Man With A Plan, he encourages all Australian workers, especially those approaching middle career, to boost their incomes by combining their top talents and passions to start a side business. 

“You’re never going to get ahead working for someone else. Work out what you’re good at and what you love to do and go for it.”

Dr Enticott, who has an agricultural side business, said creating a successful side gig was easy if you follow these six simple steps.

  • Don’t give up your day job: just because you have come up with a great idea, does not mean that you should immediately hand in your resignation to your boss. Quitting your job could put you under financial pressure and lead you to make bad business decisions that in the long run will make it more difficult to be successful.
  • Action Plan: you should be able to summarise your business idea and goals on one page. Ask your accountant or financial advisor for advice if you are having trouble putting it down on paper and get them to review your plan to ensure there are no unforeseen financial risks.
  • Minimise costs: it’s important to keep a rein on your spending when you’re starting up a side business. Minimise your spending by using savings or credit that you already have access to and take advantage of free services and products to set yourself up. Also look at using your existing networks and social media platforms to market your new business for free.
  • Make a sale: once you’ve set up your side business, concentrate all of your efforts on making your first few sales to prove that there is a market for what you are offering. Your aim should be to get yourself established and slowly start earning an income.
  • Scale the sale: once you’ve built up a track record of sales, you should focus on decreasing your expenses and increasing your turnover. Your accountant or financial advisor will be able to help you identity ways to increase your profits and maximise tax deductions.
  • Finance: it’s at this point you can start thinking about how to grow your business through a variety of funding options, including taking out a business bank loan, borrowing from family or friends or using crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter. How much money you will need and where you get the funding from will depend on your individual business needs.

“Side gigs are simple enterprises through which you can earn a bit of extra money doing something you love,” Dr Enticott said.

“You don’t have to have a lot of business experience or a lot of money to launch a side gig and I believe anyone can do it if they really want to.”