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Starting your first business can be an exciting but daunting experience. Read these three top tips to ensure you give yourself the best chance of success!

woman writing business plan on paper

  1. Make a plan

Before you get too far into running your new business, make sure you have got a plan. A great way to kick it off is using horizon planning. It is important to have a measurable, quantifiable action plan into your three core horizons.

Horizon One – Your day to day core business and how you’re going to do it.

Horizon Two – Growing your core business in the coming 6+ months.

Horizon Three – Chasing genuinely new business and growing your business (new ideas, strategies etc.)

Don’t forget to do your market research intimately and learn as much as you can about your market and competition.

Once you have set your plan using the above methodology, follow and track it constantly. It is very important to hold yourself (and your employees if you grow quickly!) accountable to your business plan and the direction you want your business to go.

Pro tip; every idea can seem like a good idea but sometimes they can just distract you from your business plan. Create an idea ‘parking lot’, every time you have a good idea, write it down! Set some time aside on a regular basis (fortnightly for example) to look back and review the ideas to see if there is anything worth exploring.

One very important thing to remember is, things won’t go to plan all the time! Make sure you keep track of your goals, monitor your success (and failures) and focus on what is important. Business that is resilient in the hard times, always seem to have more good times!

man on ipad looking at website

  1. Get online!

If you aren’t online in 2018, where are you?! In 2018, 88% of all Australians are active internet users. Having a company website has never been easier. People are becoming more comfortable researching products and services online before purchasing them.

You can start a website via an online platform such as WordPress, Wix or SquareSpace. It might take a bit of your time, but it will be worth it in the long run. Just remember who your audience is, keep it relevant and engaging and make sure you keep it up to date!

If you aren’t too savvy with the internet, there are lots of website designers that can help you along the way. Just remember to do lots of research, look at their previous work and make sure you explain exactly what you need before you commit to anything.

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  1. Protect yourself

Not everything goes to plan when you are running your first business (or second or third!) so it is always important to do your due diligence and make sure you are protected!

If you are part of an association or group, they are always a good first point of call. Get in touch with them and see if there is specific cover you must have. There are also good government resources that can help guide you when conducting a risk assessment.

Some examples of compulsory insurance are; Workers Compensation (mandatory if you have employees), Public Liability Insurance and Third Party Personal Injury Insurance.

David Green from ProfessionalIndemnityInsurance.com.au say’s, “If you provide professional services or advice, you will need insurance. Professional indemnity insurance can cover you in a situation where you may have made an error or omission and your customer has suffered a loss because of it.

Starting a new business is one of the biggest challenges and greatest experiences of your life. Follow the above three tips and you will give yourself an even better chance of success!

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