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Starting a Business, Accounting and Strategy Series


Jan 21, 2017


Are you ready to launch a new business? With the help of our blog series for new business owners, you’ll be ready for the journey.

PART 1: Do You Have a Plan?

Before diving headfirst into a new business endeavour, you should have a few plans in place.

To do so, you’ll need an end objective as well as detailed goals with deadlines that will help you achieve the desired result.

Breaking down your overall plan into manageable portions by category will help get you started:

1. Business Plan.

This aspect should detail your overarching strategy. It provides the guidelines for whichever direction you head in. A business plan is also often required when you apply for financing.

Your plan should cover every aspect of your business including:

– Summary

– Strategy

– Operation plan

– Financial forecasts

– Management plan

It might also help to include potential risks and strategies for overcoming them. Really, your business plan could include anything relevant to the running of your business.

The main purpose of a business plan is to keep you on-track throughout the course of your journey.

TIP: Make your business plan as specific as possible and set concrete deadlines for achieving your goals. Review your plan frequently to make sure you’re on task.

2. Marketing Plan.

As it sounds, this plan details your strategy for advertising yourself, your brand or your service to potential customers or consumers. The purpose is to broaden your customer base and appeal to a wide audience.

Marketing is far more than flashy advertisements. It’s about building value around your business that will make it an essential part of your community.

It’s important to have a unified and systematic approach when considering how you can meet the needs of your target customers, linking to your business strategy and your overall purpose.

Your marketing plan should include careful research about not only pricing but also about what matters to your potential customers.

TIP: Give some thought to how social media could help promote your brand. If used carefully, a social media network could be a very effective marketing tool.

3. Branding Strategy.

A sub-element of your marketing plan, branding plays an important role in making your business stand out. This is the part where “look and feel” really matter.

Think about these questions:

– What will your logo say about you?

– What experience do you want your website users to have?

– How do your digital, print and branded elements work together as a system?

TIP: While you’re just starting out, keep your logo, motto or design as clean and simple as possible. You want to make a visual impression as soon as possible, but you can make changes later on as your business develops a character and reputation.

4. Financing Strategy.

An old adage urges us to ‘count the cost’ before embarking on a major undertaking.

Likewise, before you can get your business off the ground, you need to have an action plan that includes details about the funding.

If your business starts to take off, where will you turn to get the needed capital injection?

The first step is gathering all possible sources of funding. Some of your resources may include:

– Personal savings

– Loan

– Mortgage

– Lease

– Borrowing from friends

– Government funding

TIP: Opening a business account isn’t necessary if you are a sole trader. You must do so if you’re part of a company or partnership. However, it’s still a good idea to have a separate bank account for your business, no matter how small.

Need a hand with your plan? Contact the business experts at Nitschke Nancarrow.

PART 2: Are you Compliant?

Starting a business is daunting for pretty much anyone.

If you’re just starting up your first business, then you likely have some big questions: Where do you start? What do you need to organise?

Add to all this the pressure of making sure your business is compliant with specific laws, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Some aspects of running a business are mandatory by law, and if you don’t comply, you can find yourself in serious trouble.

How to keep your company above board and in good favour with the law.

1. Think about what structure you want to operate under.

Will you be a sole trader or are you entering a partnership trust?

It’s important to decide now how you want to structure your business because this determines how you’ll register your business with the government.

a. Does the entity have a Tax File Number?

Sole traders can apply for a tax file number with the ATO. Entities with multiple members (such as companies and trusts) should apply with the Australian Business Register (ABR).

b. Does the entity have an Australian business number (ABN)?

You can apply for one with the Australian Business Register (ABR) if you don’t already have it.

2. Do you need to be registered for GST?

If you expect a turnover of $75,000 or more per year, then you must register for GST. You can register on your ABN application or via the ATO.

If you are registered for GST you will be required to lodge a BAS (Business Activity Statement) either monthly, quarterly or annually depending on your turnover.

3. Have you registered your Business Name with ASIC online services?

You need to check that your preferred name is available and doesn’t already belong to someone else.

You can verify your name choice with the ‘Check Name Availability‘ tool.

4. Bookkeeping.

Do you need to purchase accounting software? Or will an Excel spreadsheet suffice for the time being? You might want to consider a cloud-based accounting program

Each industry and field of business is unique.

Plan to contact someone with a more extensive experience in the industry of your business to get specific details on compliance, especially in the following areas.

5. Are there any other registrations and licences you need to obtain for youindustry?

6. Do you have adequate insurance for the business you will be carrying on?

7. Are you Work Health and Safety compliant for your industry?

8. Are you aware of your legal and taxation obligations?

By no means is this overview exhaustive. This checklist is designed to simply introduce you to the myriads of obligations that accompany every business-starting venture.

Setting up your own business may seem to be a formidable task.

Fortunately, you’ve got lots of resources to help you out and professional advice to guide you through them.

If you need assistance with setting up an entity or applying for the ABN, TFN or GST, contact our team.

This area of business is particularly complex. Contact Nitschke Nancarrow for specialist advice.

PART 3: Will you be Employing People?

The value of a business often lies in the value of its employees.

Depending on the size of your operation, you will likely be paying multiple individuals to make your business run as intended.

Some societies allow workers to come and go as they please, collecting wages for a day’s work from just about any business that will accept their labor.

In Australia, however, there are laws governing the way you compensate your workers and how you pay tax.

As you start up your business, you need to spend some time preparing for the way you’ll compensate those who join you on the journey.

1. If you will have people working for you, you need to determine whether they are employees or subcontractors.

What’s the difference?

The biggest difference is that an employee is a part of your business and no one else’s while a contractor provides services or items that benefit your business, but they do so as part of their own business.

A few other distinguishing traits are as follows:


– Paid per hour or item or by commission

– Cannot delegate work

– Use tools and equipment provided by your business

– Do the assigned work as your business stipulates


– Negotiate the price for their work or provide a quote

– Can turn around to subcontract the work to others

– Provide own needed tools and equipment without reimbursement

– Only subject to agreement terms in the contract; can complete work in any way they see fit

2. Do you know how much you should pay your employees?

Fairwork is a great resource for determining how much you should be paying your employees.

This site provides a pay calculator and a method for determining how you should pay your employees for various leaves of absence. You’ll also find helpful tips and newsletters that will answer all your workplace concerns.

3. Do you know your Super obligations?

4. Have you registered for PAYG (tax withholding)?

5. How are you going to process the pays to ensure you correctly calculate the entitlements?

Accounting software may be able to help you process wages.

6. Do you have Workers Compensation insurance?

Each state in Australia has their own system. Here in South Australia, we go through Return to Work SA.

Business is complex, and it is crucial to have the support of business, tax and finance experts who can help you get started, keep you on track and make the most of your opportunities. 

We’re happy to help.

Contact us at (08) 8379 9950 or send me an email for a free initial discussion about your needs. 

– Kym Nitschke

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