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starting your own business

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by BlueRex, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. Well i currently work in IT but would love to work for myself. I have a background in Hospitality which i loved doing for around 7 years and i have worked in IT for about 8 years. In it i worked my way up from service desk to systems engineer on wintel boxes and currently and a 2ic for the server Team.

    There seem to be a lot of people who work for themselves on this site and i was hoping for some tips, hints anything really to help me get headed in the right direction. I am not really sure where to start which is probably not good :)

    Any advice is welcome.
  2. Use the knowledge that you have and investgate where there is a gap thats a start
  3. Find a need or a gap (as mentioned).
    Find out who else is already doing it (Can you compete)
    Find out how you can do it better (than your competition)

    If you have an idea, test the market first - analyse, compare, consider.

    If you loved hospitality is there anything that can you do to link the two?
  4. I'm in IT, running my own show, but not sure if you wanted to get into IT or Hospitality.

    Anyway, if your going to start a new business, make sure you have enough $$ behind you to last at least[\b] a year (if not 2 years) with minimal income. Most small biz take 2 years to turn a profit.

    If you have some $$, the other option is to buy a business that is already running & showing some profits.

    I have no idea of your schedule, but you could try starting the biz, and just running it after hours. (Thats how mine started) IT work, after office hours on PC's, Hospitality - functions on the weekends??

    Good Luck with whatever you choose
  5. Do a business plan. Know what it's going to cost to run your business. Know what you can reasonably expect to return in profit and decide if you're better off with a day job. Don't forget to factor in the time it will take you to get more business. http://www.port80.net.au/ was my business, now I get paid more through employment and have half the stress and twice the flexibility.
  6. Running your own business - IT

    Coming from the IT angle:

    Some practical considerations:
    * IT businesses are nearly always companys - not just individuals with an ABN. Factor in the costs of establishing a company (check out Abbots - they sell premades pretty reasonable prices last I checked). You will need to register for an ABN, company name, GST and PAYG. Will also need to setup bank accounts in company name, get workcover established for any employees, get your company registered with a superannuation company...

    * how are you with paperwork? If your not comfortable plan to get a book keeper / accountant as you will now be doing payg (likely monthly), bas (quarterly), super (quarterly), payroll (as often as you can), company tax (annualy) plus the billing side in terms of invoices, expenses and remittance advices.

    * The good news is if your looking to provide 'consultancy' type services (and not 'sell' stock) then you can start up with bugger all cash. Basically, 99% of your expenses are payroll so the company will only spend what it earns. You can start as the sole employee and grow from there. Just watch out for our friend PSI from the tax man.

    Cant help on the hospitality side - surely another NR out there with that experience?
  7. Re: Running your own business - IT

    1- you don't 'need' to register for GST and if you can get away without it at first (until you look like reaching $50k turnover) then don't. You save that extra hassle of BAS statements every qtr as well as dealing with calculating GST into everything. However depending on the size of the businesses you are dealing with, some do not deal with entities who are not registered fot GST.

    2- You also do not need to be a company to start out, again, it is an expense that can be dealt with down the track if need be, just registering a business name is much cheaper than starting a company. Which leads to the MOST important point. As much as you may recieve some great advice here, GET A GREAT ACCOUNTANT. This is the single most important decision you will make because he/she will tell you straight away what you NEED to do to make money and how NOT to be one of the 4 out of 5 small businesses that fail in the first 5 years.

    3- Get a great accountant

    4- Get a great accountant. Take time to make this decision, ask others, look at how successful they are, don't ask someone whos business is on the brink of collapse who to use, but possibly take note of who they use for the 'not recommended' list.

    5- Successful people, hang with successful people. Get that mindset! Don't be afraid to talk to successful people about what made them successful. "Excuse me, I have been looking at the way you do business and how successful you are, could you spare 5 mins to chat about the things you did that made you so successful please?"

    6- Get a great accountant! :grin: :wink:
  8. KNOW who your clients are going to be, before you start. If it's a cafe or something you can expect people to walk in off the street. If it's a specialist or business service YOU'VE got to find THEM.
    Don't just open up shop and expect people to start calling. For many service industries you've got to go out and win business. Allow for that in your planning. It takes time.
    You might be able to get work or contacts out of your present situation. If so, feel out the situation with them to see if they are interested in giving you work, BEFORE you jump. BUT be very, very careful how you word it, in case it gets back to your boss. (Doesn't apply if it's going to be hospitality).
  9. No its not.

    I suggest you start reading some books on small business', accounting basics.

    Most small business' go bust in the first year, and even less survive more than 5yrs. Why would your business last? That's not to say don't give it a go, its saying do your research and lots of it. Business is very competitive and unforgiving.

    Also are you sure you want to run a business? Are you unhappy being an employee? Running a business requires alot more time so be prepared for that. Make sure you have goals, know how your gonna get there, account for various risks and then go for it! There are plenty of rewards owning your own business -> sense of achievement, tax breaks, financial rewards, creative freedom.....go for it and gluck to you!
  10. Choose your niche market!
    This has been the biggest thing for my business (electrical contracting).
    I targeted a select part of my industry and stuck to it. It's reaped some good rewards.
    I've kept a focus on delivering a quality service to a small(er) group of customers in a specific area (CBD only) and have made a point of not expanding past my capabilities (still working on this one!!!).
    Make sure you have sufficient funds to support yourself, your ongoing training/accreditation requirements and your hardware requirements.
    And like everyone else has said, if you don't like paperwork, GET A GOOD BOOKKEEPER/ACCOUNTANT!!!!
    God I hate BAS!!!! :mad:
    Good Luck.
    Sometimes I hate the frantic days/constant calls/afterhours work requirements but overall it was the best thing I've done (plus it paid for my new VFR ....... and the wife's zzr250....and the wife's new diamond ring, which helped "sell" the new VFR upgrade) :grin:
  11. Combine the two, internet cafe. :grin:
  12. ditto. lots of people go into business as great technicians but lowsy business-people ie without a good handle on the functions of sales & marketing, managing and admin.

    worth reading "The E-Myth" by Michael Gerber before getting started.

    good luck buddy and enjoy the ride :wink:
  13. As said above, if you dont know something, find out first.
    If you need specialist help, get it early on, it wil help you get on teh right track.
    Just make sure it's something you like, and as also said above, that you don't have too many debts befoe you start up, as income will be variable for a while.I found I was working fairly cheap for about six months, to get my reputation out there. After that, I went to my proper hourly rate, and this worked well. I was not doing quick nasty work, but quality work, and people remember quality long after the price is gone.
    I found when I had my business, I was content to do quality work, make an average wage, but have the freedom of coming and going as I pleased.
    You may want money, and lots of it, and that's fine, but be prepared to have no other life if you go this way for a couple of years.

    Regards, Andrew.
  14. Snowball,

    I am an Accountant and help small businesses set up accounting systems/procedures, etc.

    The best piece of advice actually comes from a cartoon which has been mentioned previously. "find a need, fill a need".

    Try to find within your skill sets where there is a gap in the market which people are willing to pay to have filled. A lot of people decide they want to start their own business but find their skill sets are out of whack for what they would like to do. Another problem is that they are excellent trades people, but terrible as business people. How are you/would you be at selling. Every small business owner MUST also be a salesperson.

    As an example, one of my clients is in IT and they specialise in designing web based solutions for the financial services industry. Unfortunately, their products are a nice to have but not a must have. You need to find that MUST have product/service.

    Like myself, everybody needs bookkeeping/accounting services.

    I'd be happy to sit down with you for an hour or so and go through what you need to do and look at. Free of charge of course. Otherwise, we could do it via PM.

    Then we could go for a ride.