For many people new to business, it can take a while to realise there is no license to start. There is no official form, course or program. Some of you may require licenses for specific industry, eg. a taxi license, or council permits for food, but for many, you decide to go into business (you register a business name or maybe not if you’re just a sole trader) and you’re off and away. You don’t need permission, you just do it.
Umm. Okay…. But what now.
If you’re new to your business or new to the business world, you may have no idea what you’re doing. Many people aren’t really even sure what their business model or product actually is (probably a topic for another post). So there can be a huge gap between saying you’re in business and then getting your first customers. ‘Where’s the business support?’ some of you ask.
Depending on where you’re at, here’s what starting out might look like for you …
- Government programs: If you qualify, there are government programs such as Indigenous Business Australia and the New Enterprise Investment Scheme (NEIS) that are designed to help business newbies.
- Buy Expertise: If you have a bit of bungoo, you can hire people who will help you get your business up and running. These people will be your lawyers, accountants, business and marketing strategists.
- Research: Read everything that there is out there (I’ve got some recommendations below). There’s heaps of information on the web – read every blog post, every YouTube video.
- Trial and Error: Just start and see what works. If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t work, do something else.
The reality is there is no one-stop shop for business support. I guess when you’re ‘in business’, there is an assumption that you have a little capital (some $) that you can risk on your journey, and that you’re someone who can find the skills and/or information you need as you need it. The reality for most business people is a combination of 2, 3 and 4 above. You try something, it works so you keep doing it. While at the same time, you’re researching and trying new things so that you can expand your business.
The other thing you need to commit to is NETWORKING. I don’t mean the superficial kind of turn up and hand out your business card type. I’m talking about the networking where you’re building meaningful relationships with people where you can offer your expertise to them, and they in turn offer you their expertise. Building relationships is fundamental to your business growth.
I’ve spent the past two decades working independently in business. For the bulk of that time, I’ve watched what others do, see the gaps, then through trial and error and personal research, I’ve reverse engineered.
You can do it to. Don’t ask permission. Just start. It’s an incredibly hard slog (a topic for another post), but when it works, the rewards for success are great.
Where are you getting your business support from?
My recommended business research sources.
I’m reading, watching and listening to business resources EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- Gary Vaynerchuk, an old-fashioned wine seller turned Creative Agency director is one way to describe him. He delivers fresh content each day.
- Suzi Dafnis founder of the Australian Businesswomens’ Network speaks to business people at all stages of business. I’ve become an avid follower of her Content Sells podcast on iTunes.
Resources a bit closer to home
- The Queensland Government’s Business and Industry portal: There’s nothing hipster about the space, but it’s full of useful and up-to-date information that is essential for Queensland business owners.
- Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Business Forums and Workshops: These are free events held around the city. Featuring business owner talks, these events can be really inspiring.
Courses and programs
- Murra Indigenous Business Mastersclass: Is a national program for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander business people. It is held annually at the Melbourne Business School.
- Edgeware Creative Entrepreneurship: Based in South East Queensland, Edgeware is a fantastic program for start-ups. They can also offer tailored programs for existing businesses around business strategy.